This week I put two celebratory days together in my kitchen – unlikely as it may seem. First, Shrove Tuesday. Also known as pancake day, it always falls 47 days before Easter. Religious motives aside, it’s a good excuse to play around with a simple recipe. Pancakes are a great starting point to let loose your creativity in the kitchen. You can play with anything you can find in your fridge or cupboard.
Second, comes the Olympics that kicked off in South Korea last weekend. I made the spicy, tangy and satisfying Korean traditional pancake for our breakfast. My daughter loved it. It is a great way to start your day and it is also a good idea for a quick snack. It definitely nourishes your digestive tract (kimchi is a food loved by our gut bugs. More on the healthy note below).
Although I've made kimchi frittata and kimchi omelette, my self-imposed mission to make this traditional pancake didn’t come without swearing, sweat and almost tears. So simple, but I was defeated twice. By the time my pancake batter reached the frying pan it became a gooey blob that stuck to it and never flipped in one piece. But with my Olympic spirit I vowed to beat it and on my third attempt, I scored beautifully. The result: a crispy, tangy and flavoursome pancake.
As a tip for a successful crispy pancake: use a non-stick frying pan (preferably with a ceramic coating), and spread the batter. I learnt it the hard way :-)
|Place the ingredients in a bowl...|
|...and mix them well with a fork.|
|Spread the batter evenly...|
|...and cook the pancake until it turns a golden colour.|
|My kimchi-jeon pancake.|
serves 2-3 people
140g organic white spelt flour or any other all-purpose
35ml kimchi juice
3 spring onions
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Maldon)
½ teaspoon coconut sugar
Groundnut oil, or any other neutral oil, for frying
In a bowl, place the chopped kimchi, kimchi juice, chopped spring onion, salt, coconut sugar, flour and water. Mix it well.
Heat a little oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan (about 28cm diameter). Place the mixture in it and spread it thinly with a spoon. Cook one side for about 1-2 minutes. Flip to the other side and let it cook for another minute. Turn it over once more and cook for 30 seconds before transferring it to a serving board or plate.
Serve it straight away whole or cut it into bite sized pieces. When the pancake gets cold it gets a bit soggy, but still tasty though. We had our pancake with an egg each and greens on the side.
* When I don’t make my own kimchi, I buy it from my local Korean shop SK Mart , Natural Natural, Centre Point Foodstore, Japan Centre or Wholefoods market.
A healthy note: Kimchi, or fermented cabbage with chilli, usually garlic, spring onions and ginger, is a probiotic food traditionally known as a staple food from Korea. Our gut houses about 80-85% of our immune system, this is partly because of the 100 trillion bacteria (both beneficial and pathogenic) that live there. Eating fermented foods that are packed with beneficial gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria like kimchi is a great way to keep our immune system in check, and our digestive tract happy. Kimchi contains the B vitamins and vitamin C.
Till next week!