THE RAMBLE: WINNER FOR TEAM KOREA!
LET’S TALK ABOUT kimchi. I could try to describe it and talk all about it, but nothing beats this video from PBS’s Mind of a Chef:
Basically, it’s fermented cabbage with a bunch of other ingredients, which yields a very tangy, tart, sour, spicy, pickled cabbage. But as Anthony Bourdain says on Mind of a Chef, fermented stuff tastes good! Now, I love it, really, but it’s still pretty strong for my palate and I always prefer to eat it with some rice or something to balance the strong flavor. Most people not accustomed to it hate it the first try, so these kimchi crepes are such a great way to try kimchi for the first time, or just a great way to add kimchi to your diet. It is incredibly healthy, cabbage being a cruciferous vegetable, and therefore one of the most beneficial. The fermentation allows good bacteria to thrive, so this stuff really is great. Other great recipes with kimchi include kimchi fried rice and kimchi chigae (soup), both coming soon to add to our KImchi Party!
LET’S TALK ABOUT these crepes. The eggs give a really great richness that balances the sourness from the kimchi. Sweet potato gives body and more richness, not a common ingredient in other versions of this recipe, and with the savoriness from the soy sauce, the slight hint of spice from the gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) these ingredients create such a well-rounded flavor. After my mother-in=law made these for me the first time, I craved them. Luckily, they are so good and so easy to make, so make them for breakfast, for a snack, or to accompany dinner as ban chan. I don’t think you can really mess up this recipe. It’s very forgiving, so measurements can be to taste. Another great recipe from Korea for Team Korea!
Watch Mind of a Chef on PBS! Unfortunately, Netflix just took it off, but go to PBS to watch! It is incredibly informative, you fall in love with the chefs, and you pick up some great recipes throughout the season.
WHO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT making great Korean food: Hyosun of Korean Bapsang, Sue from My Korean Kitchen, Maangchi of Maangchi, Julie of KimchiChick, Judy Joo @JudyJooChef of Cooking Channel’s Korean Food Make Simple and Jinjuu in London and Hong Kong, food truck pioneer Roy Choi @RidingShotgunLA of Kogi and cookbook L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food and LA restaurants Chego, Alibi Room, Sunny Spot and A-Frame.
My Mother-in-Law’s Korean Kimchi Crepes
A Spain vs Korea Recipes original, Easy-level recipe, yields about 20 crepes, about 30 minutes to make
1.5+ cups tepid water
1 tsp salt
1 cup A.P. flour
2 scallions, sliced
2 carrots, shredded
1 medium to large sweet potato, cooked, peeled and mashed (microwaved works)
1 cup kimchi, chopped well
about 1/2 cup neutral oil, such as sunflower, divided
about 2 TBS sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup Korean or Japanese-style soy sauce, such as Kikkoman
1/4 cup water
a few drops of sesame oil
sprinkle of gochugaru
- Place your skillet or frying pan over medium heat, add about a tsp of your oil and a few drops of sesame oil.
- In a large bowl, add water and dissolve salt (this prevents lumps in flour). Add flour and whisk together, then add eggs and whisk.
- Add your scallions, carrots and sweet potato, and using a fork or whisk, mix the batter and veg until no large lumps of sweet potato remain. Add kimchi and mix together until consistent throughout.
- Once pan is evenly hot, swirl oil around until bottom of pan is evenly coated, add a few more drops of neutral oil if needed. Then, tilt pan to the side, and add between 1/8 – 1/4 cup (or a heaping 2 TBS) of batter to top left side of pan and allowing the batter to run to the other end of the pan, gently pushing the veggies down with the batter if needed. This makes a nice, thin crepe. Repeat on right side of pan, to have two crepes cooking at one time, then place pan flat onto heat again (add a few tablespoons of water or kimchi brine to batter if it is making too thick of crepes for your taste).
- After about 1-2 minutes, or when bottoms are slightly browned, flip crepes to cook other side, another 1-2 minutes. Remove crepes and pile onto a plate to keep warm.
- Repeat steps 1, 4 and 5 until all batter is used, about 20 crepes.
- In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for dipping sauce, enjoy!