Korean Vegetable Pancakes

So much to celebrate today!!! Not only is it the start of the Winter Olympics but it's also the birthday of my oldest baby, so Happy Olympics Birthday, Simon!! If he was at home, I'm sure we'd be having a big old Olympic birthday party tonight (complete with competitive games of course) but alas, he is doctoring it up out West, so we'll have to content ourselves with watching the games and gobbling up these yummy pancakes instead!!

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Before we get to talking about these very timely pancakes (can't believe I actually had the patience to hang onto the recipe for months and only share now) how excited are you for the games?!!! I'll definitely be watching the hockey (of course) and all of the ice skating and I'm really looking forward to the skiing and luge too, even though they often terrify me. Oh, and the curling! A definite must!!

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But what's watching without nibbling? And what's more apt than Korean food?!! And what's more fun than little fried veggie filled pancake wedges?!! After one bite of these, I think we're going to be seeing perfect scores across the board!!! Quadruple toe jumps and all that!! 

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And they're pretty easy to make too. Just a simple flour, egg, soy sauce batter into which you fold sautéed mushrooms, carrots, scallions and jalapeño pepper.

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Then, it's just a few minutes in a hot skillet until the first pancake is ready

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Crispy, tender and loaded with good veggie flavor, perfect for dunking in a homemade jazzed-up soy sauce, these will disappear quickly and won't weigh you down. In other words, you'll still have plenty of energy for cheering on your favorite athletes!!

Make them tonight and you'll feel like a winner too!! 

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Korean Vegetable Pancakes

Makes 4-5 servings as an appetizer (3 large pancakes)
Prep Time:  About one hour but only half of this is active 


For the pancakes

  • 1 scant cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 5 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (I used grapeseed) 
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced  
  • Pinch of kosher salt  
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated carrot (about 1 large carrot) 
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, ribs and seeds removed and minced

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce  
  • 1 ½ tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (optional) 

The Recipe

1.  To make the pancakes:  place the flour, baking powder, salt, water, egg and soy sauce in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Let stand for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 250º F.

2.  Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 9-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of kosher salt, lower the heat and sauté mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until softened and beginning to turn golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and let cool a bit. Do not wash skillet yet.

3.  Once batter is ready, add carrots, scallions, jalapeño and slightly cooled mushrooms and stir well. 

4.  Add 1 ½ tablespoons oil to skillet and heat over high heat. Add  ⅓ batter to skillet and spread out a bit. Lower heat to medium and cook for a minute or two until bottom is light golden. Use a large wide spatula or two spatulas to carefully flip pancake and cook on the other side for another minute or two until the bottom is golden as well. Slide pancake onto paper towels to drain and then place on a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

5.  Repeat procedure with remaining batter two more times and place cooked pancakes into the oven to keep warm. 

6.  To make the dipping sauce:  combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

7.  When ready to serve, cut pancakes into wedges and serve dipping sauce on the side. You could definitely make these early in the day and reheat before serving. 


Note:  Recipe adapted from Sara Moulton's Home Cooking 101. I used regular instead of shitake mushrooms, cut the salt down and used a jalapeño instead of a serrano chile.


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