Figuring It Out

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Since failing at making kimchi pancakes recently, I have been fixated on perfecting them.  The first time around I was hungry and hasty, prioritizing speed over detail, making leaden, rubbery pancakes.  This time, I would follow the Dok Suni recipe with precision and alacrity.  I was still baffled by the 3 to 1 proportion of flour to liquid which yielded a dough, not a batter, could this be right?  I could barely spread it out thin, and in the end it was okay, but not as light and crisp as I’d like.

Going off the grid, I added 1/4 cup more kimchi juice to make it more batter-y.  In a Momofuku-inspired moment, I added bacon and fried it in bacon grease.   All improvements.

But I still wasn’t totally happy, so I tried Mark Bittman’s Korean pancake recipe for the batter, keeping the Dok Suni filling.  The batter had 50% more liquid to flour and a bit of oil.  And that was that.  Perfect.

Kimchi Pancake

-mince 3 garlic cloves, 1 jalapeno, 4 scallions (including green parts)

-drain and save the juice from a 10-oz. jar of kimchi

-chop 10-oz. of kimchi

-combine 1 cup flour, 1 egg, 1T oil, and 1 1/2 cups of liquid (kimchi juice and water)

-stir in vegetables

-heat 1t oil in a skillet over medium high, spoon in about 1/4 batter, spreading evenly

-cook until the edges are dry and the bottom is brown, about 3 minutes

-flip and cook another 2 minutes

-serve with dipping sauce – 1T white vinegar, 3T soy sauce, 1t sugar

The bacon addendum:

-cook 4 strips of bacon

-cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is chewy, not crisp

-drain bacon on paper towels, save bacon grease

-fold cooled bacon into pancake batter with vegetables

-cook pancake in 1t bacon grease


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