Kimchi Pancakes with Korean BBQ Sauce
Oh BOY are you gonna thank me for these KIMCHI PANCAKES and WOAH the KOREAN BBQ SAUCE! It’s insanely versatile and, although the pancakes are a perfect love match, it works on basically everything. I top burgers with it, dunk pizza crusts in it, marinade tofu in it, dip fries in it - you name it! The pancakes are beautiful because they’re pillowy soft and the moisture from the kimchi is rich with that wonderful sharp sour flavour that we know and love. There’s a slight kick to both the pancakes and the sauce, so be careful if you’re feeding this to children or the elderly, but otherwise GO WILD!
Serves 2 as a side.
For the Korean BBQ Sauce
2 shallots (peeled and roughly chopped)
2 big cloves of garlic (peeled)
40 g ginger (peeled and chopped roughly)
1 Ya Pear, or any variety of asian pear (peeled, cored and roughly chopped)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp cheongju (Korean rice wine - you can use sake or shaoxing if you cant find cheongiu)
3 tbsp gochujang paste (Korean chilli paste)
1 tsp brown rice miso paste
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic granules
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
For the Kimchi Pancakes
30 g white rice flour
30 g gram (chickpea) flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp kimchi juice or water
135 g vegan kimchi (use my recipe - it’s great)
1/4 tsp gochugaru (korean chilli flakes - see note below)
1 spring onion (shredded or chopped)
NOTE: my kimchi recipe is particularly low on gochugaru, that’s why I’ve chosen to add extra to this recipe. IF you’re using a traditional red kimchi recipe, you’ll probably have quite a lot of gochugaru going on anyway, so feel free to leave this out.
To Make the Korean BBQ Sauce
Place the shallots, garlic, ginger, pear and half of the water into a high speed blender and blitz to a rough paste.
Place a wide saucepan or high-sided frying pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and bring to temperature. Add the shallot etc puree to the pan and cook for a minute until bubbling nicely.
Reduce to a low simmer and add the cheongju, gochujang, miso, ketchup, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar and remaining water. Simmer for a further 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced nicely.
After 5 minutes has passed, sprinkle in the garlic granules, add the lime juice and liquid smoke and stir well. Remove from the heat.
You can serve straight away or you can place in a sterilised jar/keep in the fridge for a good few weeks. You’ll find the flavour is better after a few days.
To Make the Pancakes
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flours, salt and baking powder. Add the kimchi juice or water a tablespoon at a time, mixing well between additions - you may not need all the liquid - you want a nice thick batter, not too runny.
Chop the kimchi roughly so you have no large pieces of vegetable. Add the kimchi and the gochugaru to the batter and mix well. Set aside.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle with vegetable oil. When hot, test a tiny drip of batter on the pan. It should sizzle, bubble and brown quickly. If the pan is hot enough, drop a heaped tablespoon of batter into the greased pan, making sure you spread it out quickly with the back of the spoon to your desired diameter. Mine were relatively small, about the size of a large coaster.
Cook until bubbles start to rise from the centre and the sides of the pancake look lightly cooked (around a minute). Using a silicone spatula, flip the pancake and cook for a further 30 seconds or so. Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter until all your pancakes are made, making sure to grease the pan lightly between every pancake.
Serve with your BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of chopped spring onion.