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Guest Post: Kimchi 102 – Kimchi Pancake

The followcake in pan up to Chef Johnny Gnall’s first post about Kimchi is probably equally as important. Kimchi is delicious as a condiment, but to take that condiment and use it as a main dish is crazy delicious. It’s also a good demonstrationof technique to transform a small side condiment into the star of a heartier dish. I was salivating reading this recipe. Now heres Johnny! (Had to do it)

There’s nothing better than taking two things you love and putting them together, especially when those two things are foods. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Kimchi and pancakes?Yes, kimchi and pancakes. If you’ve never had a kimchi pancake, you might be raising a dubious eyebrow, picturing a stack of flapjacks, dripping maple syrup and topped with a pile of kimchi. Gross.

In reality, kimchi pancakes are incredibly delicious. They’re savory, made with rice flour, and don’t belong anywhere near maple syrup. The rice flour imparts a really pleasant chewiness throughout, which is a scrumptious contrast to the pan-fried crispiness of the cake and the crunch of the kimchi vegetables. All of these flavors and textures harmonize to make kimchi pancakes a top-ranked comfort food in my book.

Once you try these pancakes, your brain will inevitably begin to wonder what other foods kimchi can improve. One of the best family meals I ever ate during my days as a line cook was a mind-blowing kimchi meatloaf. And there’s nothing like making a gooey, melty grilled cheese stuffed with spicy kimchi; the cheese can soften the kimchi’s heat, and your grilled cheese sandwich, once a simple childhood favorite, becomes a complex, mouthwatering revelation.

Kimchi just makes things better.

KIMCHI PANCAKES

Method


1. Mix flours with kimchi juice and let sit for 10 minutes at room temp. Make sure the flour and liquid are fully incorporated.

2. Add kimchi and scallions and mix thoroughly.

3. Add a teaspoon of grapeseed oil to a nonstick skillet or griddle, at medium heat.

4. When your surface is hot, spoon about _ of your batter onto it and gently spread out with a rubber spatula, until your cake has even thickness and is 4 to 5 inches in diameter.

5.Cook for about two minutes per side, or until golden and crispy.

(If you really want to turn up the love, you can throw a little braised beef short rib into the batter at the same time you add your kimchi. Just shred your pieces small so they easily incorporate.)

About Johnny:When Johnny Gnall drove across the country to attend culinary school in San Francisco, he assumed that afterwards, he’d return to the Washington, DC area, where he grew up. But after a few weeks around the Bay, he knew he’d found home. After a stint cooking in Basque Country, he worked for several years in SF, first in restaurants, then in catering, all the while writing about food, both professionally and in his blog, Tasty Morsels. Johnny recently married his culinary school sweetheart, Julia, and the pair opened J Squared Catering in Sonoma Valley. Johnny is also obsessed with his backyard vegetable garden and believes Sungold tomatoes are the perfect food.