Monday, March 1, 2010

Korean Pancake

I have a savory tooth, not a sweet tooth. I perfer something salty and/or crunchy over something sweet any day. In the interest of trying to find more balance in my diet, I try to go beyond potato chips (which are still one of my favorite foods) and I look to ethnic snacks for variety.

Of course, I love Asian snacks and in particular I love Japanese Rice Crackers. But, my nearly constant need for a little protein in the afternoon has led me to some really interesting recipes. I'm still trying to perfect my Takoyaki or Octopus Balls which I first had in Singapore, so I can't share that one yet. But one of my standbys that I make on a regular basis is Korean Pancakes. This Savory Pancake is made with a thin flour batter (regular or Gluten Free Flour) and incorporates all kinds of meat and vegetables that you may have on hand. My favorite additions are a little bit of marinated ground Beef, Pork, or Chicken some Green Onions and some Red Peppers. It is served with a sauce made of Tamari, toasted Sesame Oil and Chili Garlic Sauce and garnished with Sesame Seeds and Cilantro. It's a wonderful tea time snack that I encourage you to try.

Korean Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour or Gluten Free Flour blend
1 1/3 cups Water
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 pound ground Beef, Pork or Chicken
2 teaspoons Tamari
2 teaspoons Rice Wine
1 small Red Pepper diced
3 - 4 green Onions sliced thin
4 - 6 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil or more if necessary

Marinate the Meat with the Tamari and Rice Wine and put aside. 

In a bowl, mix together the Flour, Water and Salt with a whisk until smooth. Put aside. In a small frying pan, cook the ground Meat until it just begins to lose the pink color. Then add in the Green Onion and Red Pepper pieces continue to cook until vegetables are softened. Add the vegetables to the pancake better and stir to incorporate.

In a larger frying pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of Oil until hot. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop up some of the batter and pour into the pan to make a pancake. Cook over medium heat until the top starts to dry at the edges and center is almost firm and bottom is browned. Flip over carefully and continue cooking until other side is browned. Put on a plate and continue with an additional pancake, until all are cooked, adding more Oil to the pan if necessary. Drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with Sesame Seeds and Cilantro Leaves.


2 Tablespoons Tamari
1 Tablespoon toasted Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon of Chili Garlic Sauce or Chili Oil

Mix together until well blended. 

For Serving:  Sesame Seeds and Cilantro Leave

Five Element Analysis

The varied colors of the ingredients in these Korean Pancakes makes them attractive to the eye and also more balanced than most snack foods. Pancakes are considered a somewhat Earthy food as they are a type of rustic flatbread and if you use Beef, it becomes even Earthier. Pork brings in the Water Element and Chicken brings in the Wood Element. The Red Pepper is a Fire Food and so is the little kick of Chili in the sauce. The Rice Wine adds in a tiny bit more Fire. The Green Onions an Cilantro bring in the Metal Element and you have even more Metal if you use Gluten Free Flour. The Sauce ingredients of Tamari and Sesame Oil contribute the Water Element, as do the Sesame Seeds. This ends up being a pretty balanced snack!

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