In my memory, I always associate Kimchi pancakes with a night out drinking with friends. Going to Koreatown in LA and throwing back some soju and beers, a steaming hot plate of this is just what you need at the end of a long night. I can't say I've had a bad version of it yet. And you can find them stuffed with anything and everything, from seafood to pork belly, and it's still delicious. The Kimchi pancake is a great vehicle for customization. Once you have the base of onions, chopped kimchi, and flour, the rest of the ingredients are up to you. I've only made a handful at home to date, but it's always a fun challenge. Similar to cooking full size omellette, the flip is the hardest part. Next is knowing when it's done, you need enough heat in the pan initally to give it a good crispy exterior, while keeping the insides piping hot and light. It always takes a little longer than you think it does. Here's a healthier 'daytime' version of it that makes for a good lunch for two, or an appetizer. It's flavorful without being heavy or fatty. The Dipping sauce has a sharp bright kick with minced tomatillo and heat with pepper flakes and hot sauce, and is meant to be spread sparingly over the surface.
Healthy Kimchi Chicken Sausage Pancake with Tomatillo Dipping Sauce
-1/2 cup Flour
-3 green onion sprouts
-1/4 cups water
-1 Cup Kimchi (the more sour the better) chopped.
-handful Pine nuts
-1/2 tbsp sugar
-1/2 tbsp salt
-1 cup leafy greens (spinach, arugala)
-1.5 chicken sausage (fully cooked) and diced
-1/4 block tofu diced into 1/2" cubes
-Minced green onion tops
-few tablespoons vegetable oil
slice green onion stalks into thirds, and split white sections down the middle lengthwise. In a bowl add all ingredients except for furikake, green onion, and vegetable oil. Mix by hand. In a large 12" nonstick frying pan, add oil and heat on high till frying temperature. Pour in pancake mixture, flattening out as evenly as possible. After three minutes, the pancake should be cooked enough to be able to move freely when shaking the pan. In another pan, heat a tsbp of oil on high and coat evenly. Place this pan upside down over top of the pan with the pancake cooking, and quickly flip over. The top should be golden brown/dark. Cook another 4-5 minutes, steam should be escaping from both sides and from center of pancake. Transfer immediately to a plate, garnish with furikake and minced green onion. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.
-thumb sized piece of ginger finely minced
-1 tbsp gochugaru (korean red pepper flakes)
-1tbsp rice vinegar
-1/4 lime juice
-1 small tomatillo minced finely
-2 tbsp fish sauce
-1 tbsp hot sauce of choice
-splash sesame oil
-2 tbsp ponzu sauce
-1 tbsp soy
Mix all ingredients well in a bowl. When serving, make sure to collect many of the solids as you pour over the pancake.