Sunday, December 4, 2016

Korean Mung Bean Pancakes

My Mother used to live near a Korean Market and whenever I would go and visit her, one of the treats I would pick up for us to eat was Korean Mung Bean Pancakes. These are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a delightful little crunch that comes from all the vegetables that make it a very healthy snack. It is often made with Kimchi and also meat, usually pork. I knew that they couldn't be hard to make, so one time I bought some Mung Bean flour to make them and they were good, not great.  So, I eventually asked a Korean friend how to make them right and she informed me that these pancakes need to be made with soaked and ground Mung Beans and that was the secret to perfect Korean Mung Bean Pancakes. I've been making them for years now and never thought to put them on this blog until I made them today when my son asked me if I had posted this recipe yet.  This was after he devoured his first two pancakes and was reaching for more. So here's the recipe that I make. It's pretty simple once you remember to soak the Mung Beans ahead of time - usually overnight. I don't usually add Kimchi as I like to use shredded Napa Cabbage more, although Kimchi is certainly very tasty and gives it some heat and even more authentic flavor. I also add in Bean Sprouts, Red Pepper and Carrots along with Garlic and Green Onion. I like to chop everything up as the Pancake stays together better, but the traditional way is to have the vegetables cut into shreds.  Meat can be added or not if you prefer to keep them vegetarian. I serve it with a simple Tamari and Sesame Oil Sauce although adding Rice Vinegar to this is good too and so is adding Chili Oil. I've included that recipe below. This a delightful and delicious snack that I make even for breakfast!

Korean Mung Bean Pancakes

2 cups dried yellow Mung Beans
Water to  cover by 4 inches
1 1/2 cups or more Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
1 1/2 cups Bean Sprouts, chopped
1 cup chopped Napa Cabbage leaves
1/3 cup chopped Red Pepper
1/3 cup Carrot, peeled, sliced, cut into shreds about 1 inch long and then cut in half
4 Green Onions, cut into small pieces
2 large Garlic Cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
Vegetable Oil for Cooking - 1 Tablespoon per batch, about 1/2 cup
Optional: 4 ounces of cooked Pork, 4 ounces of chopped Kimchi (instead of Napa Cabbage)

Soak Mung Beans in a large bowl overnight. Drain and rinse and then return to the bowl and add Boiling Water to cover.  Drain and add to the food processor. Add in the 1 1/2 cups of broth and Puree until smooth. Add in an additional 1/4 cup of broth if the mixture is too thick. Remove to a bowl.  Add in all the vegetables and meat if using and stir to mix up.  

Heat oven to 250 degrees.  Heat a large frying pan and add 1 Tablespoon of Oil, heat and using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop up the Pancake mixture and make 2 large pancakes. Use the spatula to pull in ragged edges.  Cook on medium high heat until the bottom is golden brown and turn carefully. Cook until the other side is completely browned. Don't worry if the pancake breaks, just pull it back together. This will take about 4 -5 minutes per side. Place cooked pancakes onto a large baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm while you complete the other pancakes.  Add an additional 1 Tablespoon of Oil before cooking each batch of pancakes. Remove from the oven when you are done and serve with dipping sauce or a drizzle of Tamari and Sesame Oil.

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup Tamari or Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 teaspoon Roasted Sesame Oil
1/4 teaspoon Chili Oil or more to taste

Five Element Analysis

Mung Beans belong to the Water Element and the Pork if you are using it adds even more as does the Tamari and Sesame Oil in the Dipping Sauce. The Napa Cabbage contributes the Wood Element and so does the Kimchi, if you use it and the Vinegar in the Dipping Sauce adds even more. The Red Pepper makes sure that the Fire Element is present as does the Chili Oil in the Dipping Sauce and the Carrots do the same for the Earth Element. The Metal Element is represented by the Green Onions and Garlic. Korean Mung Bean Pancakes end up being a balanced Five Element Savory Snack!

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