Last week, I wanted to cook my favorite snack food – so I opened up the one comic that resides in my kitchen:
Robin Ha’s Cook Korean contains a bunch of awesome pictorial recipes, including a very simple and well-illustrated walkthrough of making kimchi pancake. I am not much of a cook, but I love kimchi pancake (in my experience, no Korean bar snack is better). I also love that, with the help of this comic, it’s both easy and fun to make!
With my craving near an all-time high, my wife Kat and I spent an hour of last Thursday evening cooking up some kimchi pancake. This is our story.
Because Kat is a real cook who cares about how her process is presented on the internet (I just blog about comics), we assembled the ingredients in an artful fashion. There is not much to a kimchi pancake, which is part of why I love it. You need only:
- 1 cup of flour.
- 1 cup of water.
- 1/3 cup of kimchi juice. (Kat and I disagreed on how to procure this.)
- 1 1/2 cups of kimchi.
- 1 pepper (of your choice; spice to taste).
- 1/4 cup ground pork.
- (Optional, but really you should) 1/4 to 1/2 cup of delicious cheese.
- Some olive oil to spread in the pan you cook the pancake in.
To procure the kimchi juice, Kat juiced the kimchi we planned to use in our pancake. I WOULD NOT recommend this (and argued against it heartily). Instead, I usually add some juice that’s floating around in the kimchi container – I want that extra flavor!
I think Kat and I agree, now, that we should’ve added extra juice, but I did get a couple badass photos of Kat’s juice procurement method:
With the board set, we began moving the pieces. To start, I mixed the flour, water, and kimchi juice together in a large mixing bowl:
Then, Kat chopped the pepper (after I struggled with it, somehow), I chopped the kimchi, and we mixed those things (and the ground pork) into the batter:
Now, Robin Ha’s recipe says it makes four to six portions. That’s likely true. But the Ledger-Prince household is quite impatient, so we made two large pancakes. We (and by “we” I mean “I”) may also have over-oiled the pan, though no one can say for certain.
I suspected our first pancake might not turn out, but was delighted to be wrong! After about twenty minutes of cooking (roughly five minutes per pancake side, on slightly-higher-than-medium heat), both pancakes were ready.
No, really, they were:
Our pancakes could have used that extra bit of kimchi juice flavor, but they were still delicious.
Robin Ha recommends pairing kimchi pancake with a cold beer or some makgeolli, and I second that recommendation. There’s not much better than a cold drink paired with a still-too-hot kimchi pancake. (In South Korea, we used to order kimchi pancake at a bar that served flavored makgeolli. It was wonderful; the pancake always came out piping hot.)
If you’re a comic lover who enjoys Korean food, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of Cook Korean!. It’s a great book full of colorful and well-illustrated recipes. But even if you’re not a foodie, I IMPLORE you to cook up some kimchi pancake using Ha’s recipe (and our adjustments, if you choose). Kimchi pancake is an incredibly simple and delicious food – one that even this cooking-impaired comics blogger can make.