Here’s another adventure in cooking! A while ago, I realized that my jar of kimchi was diminishing. What to do with just a little bit was the quandry? Korean pancakes are a favorite of mine (between you and me, I don’t understand why they are so expensive at restaurants. Anyone got the answer?). So, between downloaded recipes (mykoreankitchen.com), internet search, and my cookbooks, I settled on kimchi pancakes (kimchijeon). I decided to serve this treat with some grilled shrimp and scallops. This was a three step dinner.
First step – Kimchi pancakes are relatively easy to make, following a recipe. I suppose once you get the hang of it, this treat can be made without a recipe and can be improvised, like the enoki pancakes I made months ago (see Jan 22, 2017 post). The ingredients are on-hand in most kitchens – flour, water, salt, egg, and kimchi (maybe not this one). Chillis are optional depending upon your taste. The batter is mixed and then sits a little bit. Next, poured and spread it evenly into a heated, oiled pan. Like a breakfast pancake, when the edges start darkening and the center solidifies a bit, you turn the pancake, and press it down with your spatula.
Second step – I made a simple marinade of soy sauce, a little sesame oil (what a great discovery), and thinly sliced lemons, just after making the pancake batter. The shrimp and scallops went into the marinade and waited their turn.
Once the pancake was cooking, I returned to the shrimp and scallops; they take much less cooking time. Time to go onto the grill. Many years ago, when a Crate and Barrel store was closing, I found a demonstration table-top electric grill at a great price. I enjoy using it from time to time. I grilled the shrimp quickly while the pancake was cooking; the scallops stayed on a bit longer to cook through.
Truth be told, this is about the 4th time I’ve tackled scallops; I’m not good at them. I think I’ll leave scallops alongside fried chicken as my restaurant eat-out food. Tip: don’t forget to save your shrimp shells and boil them to make a stock, good to use in rice, shrimp risotto, and elsewhere.
Third step – The accompanying dipping sauce is made before you start the jeon batter and the shrimp. Again, the ingredients are in most households – sugar, soy sauce, water, sesame oil, chili flakes, chopped green onion, sesame seeds – must look pretty! Here are the recipes I used. Note: Korean food is gaining popularity, many more recipes are available on-line, chose that which suits your cooking style.
My kimchi pancake – for a first try – was too thick. I should have made several thinner pancakes with the batter I prepared. Nevertheless, Constant Companion had no problem eating it. Love at first bite.
Of course, if you are not as adventurous, yet, you can always pick up some jeon at Trader Joe’s. They have scallion pancakes, one of the varieties that can be experimented with in the home kitchen.
But honestly, if you make homemade pancakes rather than using box mixes or frozen, you know it takes almost no time to prepare from scratch. The same with kimchi pancakes – a very quick meal to assemble and cook.