About a couple of months ago, I had a go at making my first jar of kimchi. It was a fun experiment and something I can see myself getting into, despite managing to get chilli in my eyes – a lesson I learnt the hard way, this is especially true if you are a contact lens wearer. My tip is to wear a pair of gloves when massaging gochugaru into other ingredients.
Unfortunately, I ended up having to eat the entire jar myself as Duncan pronounced it inedible on account of their being way too much garlic (see, he doesn’t always love everything I cook 😛 ).
Yup, I have no problem admitting that I did overdo the garlic on this occasion – 4 cloves just did not seem like an awful lot for a head of Chinese cabbage… Turns out my garlic-o-meter was off the scale.
Still, as I hate wasting food, I decided to eat it anyway and so I have been adding tiny amounts of it to my Asian-inspired lunch bowls for a very long time. I still had quite a bit left at the bottom of the jar that I was desperately wanting to use up, but I was over those overly garlicky lunch bowls and wanted to try something else. I decided to make kimchi pancakes and I loved them so much now I’m excited about making another jar of kimchi (this time with a more conservative cabbage-to-garlic ratio 😉 ) to be able to make these more often.
I tried making these pancakes with three different types of flour. First I went with buckwheat flour as I am a big fan of it, then a regular all purpose flour and finally a shop-bought GF flour mix. I must say that regular all purpose flour was my least favourite and that’s not because I have anything against gluten per se, I just felt that the texture of the other two was superior.
I loved these dipped in a super simple dipping sauce made from staple Asian condiments. Apart from being delicious, these little fluffy pancakes with bags of umami are also super easy and quick to make and they would make a great dinner party entree too as they are delicious when cold.
- 150 g / 1 heaped cup GF flour mix (I used Dove’s Farm free from) or buckwheat flour or all purpose flour*
- 1 tsp (gluten-free if required) baking powder
- ½ tsp (gluten-free if required) baking soda
- 120 ml / ½ cup plant milk (I used almond milk) or water
- 1 cup vegan kimchi, drained (keep some liquid) and finely chopped**
- 2 small spring onions / scallions, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp tamari (for GF version) or soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp oil for frying (I used rice bran oil)
- In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Whisk in plant milk by trickling it in slowly to avoid lumpy batter. The batter will be dense, but don’t panic as you will be adding kimichi which always has some water in it.
- Stir in finely chopped (drained) vegan kimchi, spring onions, coriander, sesame oil and tamari (or soy sauce). Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
- The batter is meant to be thick, it should slowly slide off your spoon onto the pan, but it should not be runny. If it’s too thick add a small amount of kimchi liquid.
- Heat up a medium non-stick frying pan on the stove, but be careful not to get the pan too hot as the pancakes will burn before cooking in the middle.
- Brush the pan with a bit (I found that ½ tsp is enough if you’re using a non-stick pan) of oil using a pastry brush.
- Ladle 1 tablespoon of the pancake mix per pancake. Cook each pancake for about 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip. Cook for another 2 minutes on the other side.
- While you are frying the pancakes, mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Keep the cooked pancakes in a stack in a warm oven while making the rest. Serve with the simple dipping sauce.
**You don’t need to drain your kimchi very thoroughly (using paper towels or anything like that). Simply lift it out of the brine on a slotted spoon and let most of the moisture drain away – some of its brine (its acidity to be precise) is actually what makes the pancakes rise (in combination with the baking soda).