Tasty Tuesday: Vegan Kimchi Pancakes

For the last three months, I have been working in Koreatown, which is 95% awesome because I get to go out to lunch everyday and spend money I don’t have on super delicious Korean food!

The 5% of non-awesomeness comes from the fact that Korean food is not the most vegetarian-friendly of cuisines.  Even though every meal includes lots of delicious and interesting veggies, they’re often accompanied by chunks of meat or simmered in fish broth.  I had been content stuffing my face with kogi-free bibimbop and kimchi, until I actually took a gander at a package of kimchi in the market.

I’m relatively new to the veggie game, so I’m still getting used to double-checking everything I eat.  I mean, pickled cabbage doesn’t seem like something that would contain tiny chopped-up baby shrimp and anchovies, does it?  Or am I just an idiot?

After inhaling boatloads of kimchi, I discovered that it often contains fish products.  FIDDLESTICKS!!!  Luckily for me, there is an Asian market just down the street that carries approximately 700 varieties of kimchi, and a couple of them don’t contain seafood– like this kind, which I started buying:

Of course, lots of people might turn their nose up at this type of thing: it’s prepackaged and presumably not as fresh or authentic as the kimchi that comes in giant plastic bags at the market.  But if you’re vegetarian, it does the trick; and it is still totally delectable without all the dead creatures adding “flavor” or whatnot.

You can also make your own kimchi.  There are lots of recipes online.  But honestly, it seems like a pretty time-intensive thing to tackle, when other people who know what they’re doing make it so much better.  So I’m sticking with my little jar.

One of my favorite ways to eat kimchi is in pancake form.  Kimchi pancakes are not that expensive to buy, but like any pancake, they’re definitely cheaper to make yourself.

I modified this recipe from Maangchi, and I served it with a side of sauteed seaweed stems.

Vegan Kimchi Pancakes

makes 4 big pancakes

Ingredients

– 2 cups kimchi, chopped

– 1/2 cup water

– 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed) (plus more for pan-frying)

–  1/3 cup white onion, chopped

– 1/2 tsp sugar

– 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions

Stir first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  Then, stir in flour.  Heat about a tablespoon of oil into a skillet on medium low.  Pour enough batter in to make a good-sized pancake, and spread evenly.  Cook about a minute and a half, then flip and heat for another minute and a half.

When both sides are golden and slightly crisp (but not crunchy), remove from pan, and repeat with the next batch of batter.

I love pancakes!  I love kimchi!  I love not eating animals!  Long live vegan kimchi pancakes!!!

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