Thursday, September 5, 2013

Korean Pancake

For me, savory pancakes rarely disappoint. These Korean Pancakes are more like a savory crepe though; instead of being filled with succulent goodies, these have them mixed right into the batter. It makes them a bit more difficult to flip, but they come out looking really lovely and the slightly caramelized add ins are on display.

These are very simple and easy to make, but just like with any pancake or crepe recipe, there is some personal fine tuning occasionally needed. Even though the first couple attempts may not produce the most beautiful pancake, they will always taste amazing. They are thin with slightly crisp edges that have a subtle chew, and an intensely flavorful and quick sauce to season them with is all you need to make this a complete snack or appetizer. 

Customarily the simplest recipes call for only a healthy amount of scallions added, but I had some bean sprouts I needed to use up so I tossed those in as well. You can really add whatever you like, as long as its done sparingly. A little goes a long way with these, and you don't want to weigh them down too much or they will be impossible to flip without tearing. Some coarsely chopped rock shrimp, thinly sliced mushrooms, julienned bamboo shoots - have fun with it.

makes about 4 pancakes; 4 1st course/appetizers or 2 snacks

3/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup AP flour
* You can easily use all rice flour, or AP flour for this (although you'll get a thicker and less delicate pancake with AP flour), but I prefer this ratio the best. 
~3/4 cup ice water
1 egg beaten
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
3 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch scallions
2 Tbsp butter 
2 Tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce
canola oil for frying the pancakes

for the dipping sauce

scant Tbsp gochujang (korean hot pepper paste)
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Start with preparing the sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a small glass bowl and whisk together. Taste and adjust ingredients to your preference. Set aside.

Place a 12" non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the butter and Bragg's. Add the well rinsed and dried bean sprouts to the pan. Saute for 8 minutes, or until nearly all liquid has evaporated. If there is still quite a bit of liquid left in the pan after 8 minutes, create an open space in the center of the pan by pushing the sprouts to the edges. Dial up the heat a bit and let most of the remaining liquid cook off. Place the cooked sprouts onto a plate and set aside.

While your sprouts are cooking, thinly slice the white part of the scallions and chop the green into 1 - 2 inch pieces. Combine the flour(s), egg, fish sauce and most of the water. Whisk until just combined. The batter should resemble crepe batter, or a very thin pancake batter. You may need to add more ice water if this isn't the case.

Place an 8" non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a scant Tbsp of canola oil. Add a quarter of the chopped scallions (both white and green) and saute for about a minute. Add a quarter of the cooked bean sprouts. Add a couple ladlefuls of your pancake batter, taking care to swirl the pan around immediately after to create a thin pancake. Cook until the top of the pancake looks nearly completely dry, then carefully flip and cook for another minute. These steps will look something like this:

Continue the process 3 more times, mixing the batter a little to prevent it separating before using every time. Serve immediately or at room temperature with the spicy, salty, tangy dipping sauce. 


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