Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Korean Green-Onion Pancake

Part One:

Visions of pancakes distracted me on Tuesday. It was Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday, Fasching... the Tuesday ending Mardi Gras or Carnival. Historically pancakes were a way to use up a family's supply of rich ingredients like eggs and butter - items that were traditionally prohibited during Lenten fasting. 

But I ignored sweet western-style pancakes and focused instead on savory Asian pancakes. Blame the internet for my pancake distractions, tempting me with post after post after post that raved on about those tasty, aromatic delights. A google search for recipes had me clicking away for ages, mentally sampling each variation. Some resembled crepes while others were closer to my notion of thin, savory pancakes.

This Tuesday's pancake came from a David Lebovitz recipe, an adaptation based on ingredients available in my kitchen. His recipe was unusual by having an egg layer added separately from the pancake layer. More commonly Korean Scallion Pancake recipes called for adding eggs to the batter mixture. The two-layer method sounded intriguing, and I do love fried eggs.

This first attempt was more of a Korean puffy omelet instead of a thin, crispy pancake. Oops! It wasn't pretty, the kitchen smelled funny and my chief taste-tester would only try two bites. I was disappointed in the texture, frustrated by the two-layered approach, underwhelmed at the flavor and thankful I had not wasted any shrimp on my first try. This was not the pancake of my daydreams. Chalk it up to another learning experience. The Green Onion Pancake idea deserves another try; the Lebovitz recipe received many positive reviews from other cooks. 

If there is a round two with this particular recipe, I'll thin the batter some, use rice flour instead of AP flour, add fewer vegetables, skip the soy sauce or use it as a condiment rather than an ingredient, and either divide the same quantity of batter to make two pancakes or use a larger skillet. Then again, I might try a different approach (link). Sigh, I'll also have to find someone else to help me sample the results.

Scallions sizzle in an oiled skillet
Zucchini joins the party
Pancake batter sets up
Beaten egg tops the pancake

Korean Green-Onion Pancake
based on a David Lebovitz recipe, intended to make one 9" pancake

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 bunch of green onions, cut into thin, finger-long lengths
a large handful of shredded vegetables (optional)
chopped, cooked seafood (optional)
a drizzle of soy sauce (optional)
canola oil for the skillet
  1. Combine the flour, water and salt in a small bowl.
  2. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
  3. Add a tablespoon or two of oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion pieces and cook until soft. If using soy sauce or other seasoning liquid add it to the pan now.
  4. Add any shredded veggies (like cabbage or zucchini, etc.) and seafood (perhaps sliced cooked shrimp or crab pieces); stir and toss briefly while they warm.
  5. Add the pancake batter to the pan, pouring it over the vegetable mix and tilting the pan like you would to spread omelet or crepe batter. Cook a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown.
  6. Pour the beaten egg over the top, again tilting and moving the skillet to spread it out. Cook until this egg layer begins to firm up around the perimeter.
  7. Flip the pancake with a very wide spatula or slide it out onto a plate and then flip it back into the pan. Cook for several more minutes until the egg is set to your liking. (Lebovitz recommended aiming for crispy edges.)
  8. Remove to a cutting board and cool to room temperature. Slice into pie-shaped wedges and serve with a dipping sauce.

1 comment:

  1. I had to comment on your Korean Pancakes. I have two lady friends who are S. Korean. And they both know that Korean Pancakes are about my favorite thing. If you go to an Asian market - though I know you are a "Scratch Cook", you can get the pancake mix. My friends don't put soy sauce in the mix. Anyway, lots of green onions, maybe some shimps sometimes, and bok choy and whatever you want as you mentioned. Makes me really want some of those pancakes! Angie


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