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11 March 2014

Korean Style Vegetable Pancakes

Do you have in your life, or are you one of those difficult people with some kind of dietary restriction? Vegetarian? Gluten free? Lactose intolerant? Here's the recipe for you: meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free. And tasty and pretty filling. (Not vegan, though, sorry vegans.)

The basis for this recipe is from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian," and I am loving it (I've probably made these 4 times in the last month). I multiplied it the original by 1 1/2 and should have done even more, because if you're going to stand over a stove cooking stacks of pancakes, might as well go big, like when you make crepes, always double or triple the recipe, you know they'll get eaten. 

This would be a good recipe for using up leftover difficult vegetables. You could probably even use one of those bags of prepped coleslaw or broccoli slaw mix. This time around I used shredded carrots, chopped onions, and slightly steamed cabbage. I think putting green onions in it gives it more of the Korean vibe, and I particularly like it with sauteed mushrooms, to give it a little meaty-ness. And it's an easy recipe to adjust, the egg : flour : water ratio is simple (1 : 1 : 3/4) and doesn't require complex math to scale up or down. And these are good the next day, and the next day after that, they just need a little rewarming, so go ahead, scale it up, and turn on a TV show or find a good book to read while you do some serious pancake cooking.

Korean Style Vegetable Pancakes

3 eggs
3 cups rice flour  **see note at bottom 
2 1/4 cups water
salt to taste
pepper to taste
any other spices you like (chili powder, coriander, paprika, basil, garlic, etc) to taste
about 3 cups? ( I didn't measure, oops.) chopped or shredded vegetables (carrot, summer squash, green onion, slightly steamed cabbage, peppers, regular onions, sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, etc)

Whisk together eggs, rice flour, water, salt, pepper, and any spices you want. Add your chopped and shredded vegetables. There should be plenty of vegetable per batter, I wish I'd measured for you. 

Heat up a skillet to medium or medium high heat, lightly oil the skillet and scoop out some vegetable/batter onto the hot skillet. I used about a cup, maybe a little less, of the mixture in my 9" cast iron pan. There should be enough batter-iness to the batter to completely encase the vegetables, but it should still be plenty vegetable-y. I found that I had to quickly move rearrange clumps of vegetables to get them evenly distributed among the batter. 

batter in the pan a couple minutes before flipping

pancake in pan after flipping

Let it cook for a few minutes, the bottom should get getting a little color, and the top will probably be dry, carefully flip it over and let it cook a few minutes more until the top gets a little color on the parts that stick out, then gently scoop it off onto a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Be sure to flip gently, and don't flip before it's ready, especially if you are doing all rice flour, they will be more delicate than the regular breakfast pancakes you might be used to, because there's no gluten to hold it all together.

Cut into triangles and serve with soy sauce, sriracha, Thai sweet chili sauce (my favorite), or whatever else floats your boat. This size batch made 6 9" pancakes. 

**Mark Bittman says you can use all or part wheat flour, but I like the texture of using all rice flour best, and then you can feed it to your gluten-free friends or self. I get rice flour at the Asian or international grocery store, I think you can also get it at Whole Foods or in the special healthy section of a grocery store if you have a good grocery store.

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