Another major snowstorm (Blizzard of 2010) is paralyzing many states along the East Coast of the U.S. I have already been snowed in for a few days, and it does not seem like it will end anytime soon. So since there is nothing I can do about it, I decided to enjoy it by staying warm inside and doing the things I enjoy. Cooking is on the top of the list. I've been making and eating so much food that it's almost embarrassing to talk about. But my poor husband who's been out shoveling the never ending amount of snow appreciated all the food I made.
On a rainy or cold snow day, Koreans like to make some sort of jeon (savory pancakes) for a snack, and kimchi jeon is a popular choice. So this was one of many things I made in last few days. I had previously posted this kimchi jeon recipe as a supplement to the seafood scallion pancake recipe, but I decided that this popular Korean snack/appetizer deserved its own spotlight.
If you have nicely fermented kimchi and a bag of flour, you could make this popular snack in no time. The flavor packed sour kimchi does a wonder when it’s fried in a simple batter. Everything else is nice to have, but not necessary. Here, I added sweet rice powder to give a little bit of elastic texture to the pancakes. The juice from the kimchi is a must. It gives the batter the flavor and a nice orange hue. The chewy squid lends a nice textural contrast to the crunchy kimchi. For a little spicier kick, add a spoonful of gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste). Enjoy it as a snack, appetizer, or a light meal-- it will be a delicious treat!
1 cup thinly sliced kimchi (fully fermented)
2 scallions, roughly chopped
1/4 medium onion, thinly sliced
80 grams squid, cut into small strips
1 cup flour (or pre-made Korean pancake mix)
1/4 cup sweet rice powder (or use more pancake mix or flour)
1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
1/4 cup juice from kimchi
1 lightly beaten egg
1 cup icy cold water (use more water if juice from kimchi is not available)
Vegetable or canola oil for pan frying
Prepare all the ingredients before making the batter.
In a large bowl, mix the flour (or pancake mix) with the next 5 ingredients. Do not over mix. Mix in all other ingredients.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Ladle the mixture into the pan, and spread it evenly into a thin round shape. Cook until the edges turn light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low if the pancake browns too quickly. Turn it over, adding more oil, and press it down with a spatula. Cook until the other side is light golden brown, about 3 minutes.