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Kimchi Pancakes with Soy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce

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Yields eight to ten 3-inch pancakes

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

The batter may seem thick at first, but the liquid from the chopped kimchi and added kimchi juice will give you the proper consistency (that of heavy cream) and a beautiful orangey hue. The addition of rice flour gives the pancake a chewy center with crisp edges. Serve hot with soy-vinegar dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Kosher or sea salt
For the pancakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (not glutinous rice flour)
  • 1-1/2 cups kimchi, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, cut lengthwise into quarters and then cut crosswise into 3-inch lengths (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup kimchi juice (if there is not enough juice in the jar, make up the difference with water)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. canola oil; more as needed
Make the dipping sauce

Mix the scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Make the pancakes

In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour and rice flour with 1 cup of water to make a thick batter.  Add the kimchi and scallions and thoroughly mix into the batter. Add the kimchi juice, egg, and salt. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream, and a light orange color; let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Heat 1 1/2 Tbs. of the canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the surface of the oil begins to ripple or a droplet of batter beads up when added to the skillet, the oil is ready.

For each pancake, add about 1/4 cup of batter to the skillet. Spread the batter with the back of a spoon or ladle to make a thin 3-inch pancake (you can cook 4 at a time). Let the pancakes cook until the bottoms begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Slide a spatula under the pancake and flip it. Flatten the surface of the pancake with the spatula.

Let the pancake cook for another 2 minutes, pressing the surface a few more times. Flip the pancake again, press the surface and cook for another minute. Flip and press one more time, cooking until the pancake is nicely browned on the outside, about 1 minute more.

Set the pancakes on a serving platter and repeat with remaining oil and batter. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Really tasty meal (also good for a snack). The sauce is a must--if you don't have all the ingredients, I guess plain soy sauce would be an okay dipping alternative, but the sauce recipe really makes this dish I think. We didn't have rice flour, and without it it was a little difficult to get the right consistency. Tried adding extra flour and corn starch and got it to work, next time I'll try using less water and start from there.

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