I originally heard of these Korean Pancakes from a little, saucy Korean woman on YouTube named Maangchi. I’m not sure how interested in her pancakes I was as much as her short, cute, packed little figure, but I ultimately made her recipe successfully. Of course, I’m not the only one–Yotam Ottolenghi the well known chef mentions these sort of pancakes in his own book, Plenty, though thankfully he twists it a bit askew enough by suggesting lime butter as the accompaniment.
Ottolenghi’s recipe calls for very little batter, as it turns out, but a lot of greens. It originally called for about 8 cups of spinach but as I had a spring mix of chard, arugula, and other various greens, those sufficed and I wilted them in a wok for a few minutes with some sprinkling of water, and followed the recipe then. Add green onions, thinly sliced, an egg and some (low fat in this case) milk, as well as a beaten egg white and once you’ve added the chopped, drained spinach, you will end up with green pancakes as he calls them. As I didn’t have time to make any additional dishes, I added some small shrimp to the mix for a full load of greens, carbs, and protein.
The batter is thick and this recipe makes about ten 3″ wide (roughly) pancakes. For a dipping sauce, I went Korean and mixed the usual suspects of water, low sodium soy sauce, sesame seeds, agave syrup to replace the tablespoon of sugar, and minced garlic. A good combination which was not only delicious, but also healthy for me and my ‘condition’.
– 1/2 lb spinach or mixed greens
– 3/4 cup self-rising flour (I would suggest a mix of whole wheat with this as an option)
– 1 tbsp baking powder
– 1 egg
– 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
– 1 tsp ground cumin (I left this out as wifey is not a fan)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2/3 cup milk (I used low fat; consider non-fat or even unsweetened nut milks as well)
– 6 green onions, finely sliced
– handful of small, shelled shrimp (optional)
– 2 fresh green chiles, thinly sliced (left out per wifey’s request)
– 1 egg white
– oil for frying
Mix all the dry ingredients and whisk together. Add the wet ingredients to this, mixing well. Meanwhile, wilt the greens I a w or frying pan until they are wilted, press as much water from them as possible, then chop them up roughly. Add the sliced scallions, wilted greens, and shrimp if using to the batter.
You can choose to let the batter rest now as you go online to find a simple Korean pancake dipping sauce recipe (don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere) and mix that together. Set that aside,
Take approximately 2 tbsp each of the batter and put onto a medium-hot skillet with a tablespoon or more of cooking oil. Depending on the size of your skillet, put anywhere from 3-5 little dollops and cook, about 2-3 minutes per side. Watch so that they don’t get overdone. You may find that the interior of the pancake is, even after cooking, slightly moist due to the amount of greens contained. Just make sure it’s cooked properly. You may also, more than likely, need to cook these in batches, so with each batch, pout them on a plate and cover with paper towels, layering them as you go. If you prefer to make larger pancakes rather than little ‘silver dollar’ type, that’s fine, too. Remember that it may take a minute or two longer to cook the larger ones.
Serve and enjoy. A nice white that isn’t too expensive would go well with this; a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc. Even beer would be a natural accompaniment to this. Salud.
Final health notes: one thing I’ve come to learn in my aged ways at 60 is that our health is so very important. If you’re young and vibrant and reading this, it’s only natural for the most part that you won’t be overly interested in ridding yourself of all those wonderful foils to your health like unprocessed sugar, butter, and cream. I don’t blame you. As I still love and appreciate those aspects of cuisine, I will continue to utilize them in my cooking, but specifically–in moderation. I hope that a weekly single time extravagance of an onion tart or a creamy bacon and gruyere quiche won’t kill me…or just kill me more slowly.
I’ve also learned that there is a lot of food that is good for you, as well as delicious out there, and it doesn’t need to be swimming in cream, fat, or excess. Enjoy yoh selves!