Happy (kimchi) Pancake Day!

by Terry Hope Romero · 5 comments

in News

Apparently it’s pancake day (according to IHOP). Or if you could care less about IHOP, at the very least next Tuesday is as good enough as any to prepare yourself for celebrating everyone’s favorite flat, round tasty thing.

Pancakes may be my favorite food group: dosas, crepes, blini, gimme. Say no more, I’m coming over.

Here’s a nibble from Vegan Eats World to add to your pancake recipe treasure trove (you do have one, don’t you)? Gluten-free, Korean-style pancakes bursting with kimchi are just what you need on a cold Feburary day like today. Use store bought vegan kimchi or make your own; if possible use “old” kimchi that’s very juicy and soft as those juices will go straight into the batter.

While you can show off and make huge round pancakes, my advice is to take it easy and make lots of small pancakes. Use about ½ cup of batter per cake and spread it to slightly less to 1 inch thickness.

Gluten-Free Kimchi Pancakes (kimchijeon) from Vegan Eats World

Makes up to 3 thick, 10-inch pancakes or a bunch of little pancakes!

For a fast dipping sauce, serve this kimchijeon with a sauce 2 parts soy sauce, 1 part rice vinegar and a dash of toasted sesame oil.

  • 2 cups cabbage kimchi, drained of juices (reserve it) and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup mixture of kimchi juice and water (use whatever amount of drained juice is reserved from the kimchi, the rest should be water)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, root ends trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
  • ¾ cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
  • Additional cooking oil spray

1. Preheat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for at least 6 minutes. In a large bowl combine kimchi, kimchi juice/water mixture, oil, scallions, garlic, sesame oil, and red pepper powder. Pour in the rice flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir to form a thick, chunky batter.

2. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet, then tilt the skillet to spread around the oil. Spread a third of the batter over the griddle, using the back of a spoon to evenly distribute the kimchi chunks throughout. Fry for 5 or 7 minutes, occasionally shifting the pan to evenly brown the pancake. It’s ready to flip when the edges appear dry and bubbles have form all over the top. If the pancake begins to stick, use a little more oil on the next pancake or spray the pan with additional cooking spray.

3. Slide a thin spatula underneath the pancake to loosen the bottom and check the color; it should be golden brown and firm. Using a large wide spatula, carefully but quickly flip the pancake; if it’s too difficult, try sliding the pancake onto a plate first, then flipping it over into the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the other side is golden. Loosen the pancake with a spatula, then slide it onto a dinner plate, slice into wedges and serve with the dipping sauce.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Divya February 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

Nice to see a new use for kimchi. I’m studying food science and nutrition in Sweden and research shows that eating fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut help vegans/vegetarians to absorb iron better, so more reason to eat these foods daily!


avatar Gina February 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Oh la la. Next Tuesday I will start with this recipe, kimchi addict that I am; sounds a beautiful concoction. Then (vegan) French crepes for dessert. Everyone in that evening’s multicultural group shall be appeased. Thanks!


avatar Bad Breath Whisperer March 2, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I just happen to have 3 quarts of kimchi on my counter. I’ve made a similar pancake in a Greek style with veggies in it topped with tzatziki type sauce. I love to make and eat pancakes too; when I told my Asian grocer this, he looked at me like I confessed to constantly eating dessert. Also made my first arepas (thanks Viva Vegan). I used to fume when I had to spend a few minutes kneading dough, now I often do it daily. Just made my first blue corn tortillas too – it’s still blowing my mind. Livin’ la Vida Masa!


avatar Jenna March 29, 2013 at 12:16 am

I love this book! I made these tonight and was super excited about it, but they turned out a bit gummy instead of crispy and crunchy. Any thoughts as to why? I accidentally left out one of the oils when making the batter, might that be it? Or maybe because I used a regular non-stick skillet instead of a cast-iron one? I’d love your thoughts – I still have enough kimchi left over for another, and I’d love to try again!


avatar Terry Hope Romero March 31, 2013 at 6:57 am

Definitely try a cast iron skillet…non-stick won’t give you the crispy outside texture I love. And try making the pancakes a little thinner, or into smaller individual cakes.


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