kimchijeon

It’s been very foggy lately in the mornings (enough to make your photos dark even in the middle of the day). It’s the sort of gentle fog that accumulates into a milky horizon obscuring everything across the river–you look across, see only a line of trees, and completely forget that you’re in the city. The bridges stretch over to nothing. I love it, it feels deliciously mysterious and novel-like.

While I seem to always partake in it, who really is a fan of weather small-talk when it focuses around the forecast? The highs and lows, the oh-it-will-be-sooo-much-nicer-on-Wednesday (whether or not it actually is nicer) and a strange fixation on that falsity that is the wind chill. I think it is understandable that we focus so much on the weather, but the qualitative aspects are so much more exciting. It is beautiful or it is horrendous or it is both, and it is always affecting our daily lives. Sometimes we have to plan around it, sometimes we need to just march through it, and sometimes we celebrate it. More than that, it’s incredible how one day to the next and then one month to another, everything in the surroundings can change.I understand the fog isn’t too good for those driving on the highways. But for short-sighted people like me, having fog obscure everything two blocks ahead isn’t too bad–it feels less like a fault of being imperceptive and more like an adventure.

Speaking of less figurative adventures, the kimchijeon. Okay, so making pancakes doesn’t exactly qualify as the best adventure, but I needed a nice segue to the topic. As I read from mykoreaneats, this is an example of anju, food for eating with alcohol (yes, now that is some good motivation to make it). Otherwise, it’s also fabulous for using up overfermented kimchi. I’m not well versed in kimchi, but I have noticed the colour changing a bit (we don’t go through it very quickly, so it’s been around for a while), so I appreciate this aspect as well.

I was convinced that the enoki would look pretty on the bottom of the pancake, as a sort of tree or leafy pattern. How I was wrong. Instead it came out looking like a veiny mass (I think it has to do with the red colour of the pancakes)–but quickly forget that horrible description. Lay out the enoki in straight parallel clumps on the pan instead and it will look nice. Possibly.The flavour is strong and spicy. They are best when crispy (and maybe even a bit charred) and then they become that triumvirate of spiciness + saltiness + crunchiness. Cook them until quite crisp, cut into pieces or pull it apart instead. We ate it with some soya for additional saltiness and some pickled vegetables on the side.

What I’ve written for the recipe is a bit vague because the whole thing was made with a generously free hand. The first pancake I cooked had a lower batter to kimchi ratio and came out very delicate. It’s the sort of pancake that is easily to pull small pieces off, which makes it quite fun to eat. I added more flour and water to the second pancake. It was still flavourful enough, but also held together a bit better, and I ended up preferring the texture and consistency of this pancake. The recipe below is roughly akin to pancake #2. These are being brought to Natascha’s Pancake Challenge. Natascha and Lina put the challenge together along with a list of different pancakes to demonstrate the wealth of cakes that can be cooked in a pan. It’s a broad definition that is, excitingly, able to encompass a wide variety of different foods, the kimchi pancake being just one of them. There are quite a few different types and exciting flavours that I’m excited to see other bloggers bring!

kimchijeon

Adapted from Maangchi and mykoreaneats. Makes 2 large pancakes.

~1 c kimchi

2 green onions

1 c flour (1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 all purpose)

salt

sugar

~3 tbsp kimchi juice

~ 1/2 a beaten egg

1 tsp sesame oil

water as needed

1 small bunch of enoki

Chop the kimchi and the green onions. Mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the kimchi, green onions, kimchi juice and sesame oil, as well as enough water to make a loose but thick batter.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Lay down some of the enoki. Dollop the batter on top of the mushrooms and allow to set before spreading out the batter into a thin layer (doing this should prevent the mushrooms from being disturbed). Cook until nicely set. Loosen the bottom of the pancake with a spatula and then flip over. Continue to cook on the other side until well browned.

Serve with soya sauce and with some daikon and cucumber (lightly pickled in rice vinegar, sugar, salt and a red chile overnight or a few hours).

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25 thoughts on “kimchijeon

    1. Thank you Julie! The fog comes and goes, though it’s been hanging around for a bit longer lately.
      Ah, I know–the light is sometimes frustrating! The good thing about fog is that it moderates the light (otherwise the day alternates between full harsh sunlight and occasional respite during passing cloud cover). At the same time, it’s also so dark! Oh well, the blog will just be going through a dark period 🙂
      Kimchi is so flavourful, it’s great fun to experiment with in soup and stew, fried rice, or just eating on the side–and it lasts, so it can always hang out in the back of the fridge! 🙂

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  1. Wow Laurie! What an amazing contribution to the challenge! These Korean delicacies have turned out so well…perfect! Thanks for participating! The pictures have come really in spite of the fog….

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    1. Neither have I, not until I saw these on a list of suggestions for Natascha and Lina’s pancake challenge! It comes together quickly and uses up quite a bit of kimchi. Still trying to figure out the best kimchi-to-batter ratio though 🙂 Thank you Linda!

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    1. They are definitely very flavourful and nicely spicy. I didn’t cook the first one long enough to become crispy, but the second one I did. Crispyness helps as well! 🙂

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  2. I enjoyed your writing about the fog. Your photos evoke the dreamy feeling of the fog too. I agree, it’s good to go with the weather instead of fighting against it. 🙂 (I don’t always follow that, but I try). 🙂 Your kimchi looks yummy too–I have never made it, but have often wanted to.

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    1. Thank you Jenny 🙂 sometimes you just have to get things done in spite of the weather, so a bit of fighting back can be necessary…though food is usually best when it complements the weather! I wish I made my own kimchi, but I haven’t 🙂 It’s quite convenient to buy a nice large jar!

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    1. Aww, thank you! I love the sound of that image. Even the colour is appropriate, thinking about it as autumnal trees! If I concentrate very hard, I think I can absolutely move past the veiny tumor-ness… 🙂 Gosh, you are a poet (and I should stop writing, haha!)

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    1. My first thought of pancakes is always the very sweet and syrup drenched sort! So I quite like these savoury pancakes–they’re very quick and convenient to make 🙂 Thank you Nancy!

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  3. Laurie, I love kimchi but have never made pancakes with it! Now I have a new recipe, thanks to you!
    I love spicy food. Love the addition of enoki. Your pictures are awesome!

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    1. Thank you Sandhya! These kimchi pancakes have helped me realize how versatile pancakes are! I’m not sure if you follow Elaine’s blog foodbod, but she had a great vegetable fritter post about all the different possibilities with fritters. I think the same logic can be applied to pancakes, as they’re just about the same thing, except a higher batter to vegetable ratio! 🙂

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    1. Aww, thank YOU Natascha for hosting the challenge! You’ve been such a welcoming and friendly host. I love how much fun these challenges have been! You’re also so sweet–I’m always looking to improve my writing and photos 🙂

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