I hope most of you are reading me from your striped beach chair but I suspect that many of you are still sitting in an office! If I can be of consolation I didn’t (and I won’t probably) a proper holiday time this year (expect from some impromptu Wednesday afternoon on the beach..but this is the good part of living on an island … that holidays are always less than half an hour from you :) In fact today I write from my office-garden and I literally didn’t take a break until now … because it just came out of my mind that it’s time to share with you another recipe from of the korean picnic series! Directly from the picnic we made with Laon Pottery to celebrate the opening of its new workshop in the heart of Madrid, an oasis of peace where you can find the tableware corean artist Ju-hyun creates.
I already shared the recipe for a great spicy cucumbers salad and today it’s time for the recipes of kimchi pancakes, ideal for an east mood breakfast..energizing, because it’s kind of ..hot! But first a little lesson about kimchi (if you need one..)
Kimchi for dummies, lesson number one: Kimchi is a fermented emblema of Korean cuisine based on vegetables, salt, hot spices and lactic fermentation. The word “kimchi” literally means in Korean “vegetables with salt” and as in Spaineveryone thinks to keep the secret for the perfect tortilla de patata, in Korea they do the same with kimchi: every grandmother whispers her recipe of fermented kimchi as if it were a treasure (or at least this is what my imagination brings to life, I like a lot to imagine grandmothers revealing recipes to her grandsons&daughters, it’s a fact:)
The idea of fermenting any kind of vegetable has been getting pretty popular lately worldwide but in Korea is an art that has been practiced for centuries. Due to the harsh climate and the scarcity of vegetables throughout the year, they began to develop conservation methods based on natural raw fermentation using salt in combination with lactic acid. It is best known the kimchi made out of cabbage but we can actually make kimchi out of…whatever: carrots, turnips, radishes, cucumber, lemon and even fruit! Without going into academic details I will highlight the fact that science leans toward the outstanding amount of beneficial effects of this preparation: cocktail of calcium and vitamins C, A, B12 …, purifies the intestines, lowers cholesterol, stimulates metabolism, antioxidant, and allows raw vegetables keeping all its properties for longer. There are many tutorials on line to prepare our own kimchi at home and I will probably give it a try soon … but this time we got firsthand home made kimchi from a korean restaurant of Ju-hyun’s friends!
To approach the taste of kimchi, its strong slightly sour flavor, we can try to incorporate it in this recipe that can vibrate easily with our mediterranean souls: these pancakes are nothing more, nothing less than mini spiced tortillas! They can be prepared in advance, being the main course for a breakfast with an oriental twist or a quick lunch next to a bowl of white rice.
If you do not find kimchi..what you can do? A good alternative is a sauerkraut can, basically the european version for kimchi, (or prepare it handmade, of course ..), the taste will be slightly different but is a good base to experiment with our own local fermented!
Ingredients for 9 pancakes
1 spring onion, sliced
half sweet green pepper sliced
half red hot chili pepper
half cup of Kimchi with its water
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 cup of water
1 beaten egg
salt & vegetal oil to fry
Sauce to dip:
Sesam seeds + soy sauce + the other half of the red hot chili pepper
1. Mix in a bowl the flour, salt and water and mix until you create a not lumpy batter.
2. Add the diced kimchi with its liquid, the beaten egg, green pepper and spring onion slices to the batter and mix everything. Leave covered in the fridge for half an hour. The result should be a dense batter, that does not leak, the color red is all from the kimchi!
3. Heat a nonstick pan with oil. The idea is to make mini pancakes, the size of about 10 cm width. Prepare the “patties” the right size and put it in the pan, one next to the other (about 4 can be stay simultaneously in the pan), let the stir about 3 or 4 minutes and then turn them upside down and let themcook on the other side. Ju-hyun as she flips them, she adds a few hot pepper slices for each pancake. You can also prepare large single omelet instead of mini pancakes. We liked the idea to create those mini tortillas, because more easy to take-away to the garden:)
4. When serving, mix in a small bowl the dip: soy sauce, sesame seeds and more strips of spicy red chili to taste! And do not forget to bring chopsticks;)
It is the basis for a host of good combinations: we can replace the peppers with chopped squid, potato strips, mushrooms. Feel free to experiment yourself to find your taste!
Pics © Picniquette
On the next post about the world of Ju-hyun and her collection of tableware (that you have seen throughout this series of posts)
we will discover the secret to preparing a perfect kimbap, the famous Korean sushi! …#staytuned!