Monday, September 3, 2012

Savory Kim Chi Pancakes

In certain parts of China savory pancakes are a popular dish. What I like about these pancakes is that making them with a dough rather than a batter makes them dense, crispy, and perfect for dipping. I think scallions are the most popular flavor for these kinds of pancakes in China, but they are the perfect vessel for spicy kim chi. Kim Chi is available in the Asian food refrigerated section of most large grocery stores these days, or you can make your own Kim Chi.

I use arrowroot powder to thicken the dipping sauce but you could replace it with corn starch if you want to. I learned about arrowroot powder when I dabbled with Macrobiotic food and I do prefer it to corn starch because it's said to be more easily digested and less acidic in the bloodstream than corn starch, it also makes a glossy rather than cloudy sauce.

For the Pancakes:
1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. unbleached allpurpose flour
1 1/4 c. minced kim chi
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. finely ground black pepper
3/4 c. boiling water with 1/2 tsp. sea salt dissolved in it
1 Tbsp. kim chi juice (added only if the dough is too dry to stick together)

For the Sauce:
1/2 c. shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp.)
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder (or corn starch) dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water

1) In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, the pepper and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt and mix to combine.

2) In a small sauce pan bring the water and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt to a boil.

3) Pour the salted water into the bowl, add the minced kim chi and mix with a wooden spoon until a ball is formed. If the dough will not stick together add some kim chi juice or more water 1 Tbsp. at a time (you want the dough to be a little on the dry side rather than sticky and wet). Then, being careful of the heat, form a dough ball with your hands. Place a cloth over the dough in the bowl and let it rest for 30-40 minutes.

4) Once the dough has been allowed to rest, spray a little cooking spray on the counter and roll the dough out into a large oval shape with a rolling pin. Slice the large oval into two halves and roll them out a little more to make them closely resemble 2 large circles.

5) Heat about 2 tsp. of high heat oil (such as canola) in a frying pan over high heat. Add one of the large pancakes to the pan. Fry for about 5-7 minutes on the first side until it is browned and just starting to blacken. Flip it to the second side with a large spatula and fry the second side for about 3-5 minutes until browned and cooked through. Repeat with the second pancake.

6) Once you put the second of pancake in the pan, start to cook all of the ingredients of the sauce, except for the arrowroot and water, in a small sauce pan over medium heat. In a small bowl whisk together the arrowroot and water and add to the sauce once it comes up to a bubble. Let the sauce bubble while whisking constantly for 1 more minute after adding the arrowroot and then transfer to a serving bowl.

7) Slice the pancakes into smaller shapes, and you can either dip the pancakes in the sauce or drizzle it over the pancakes.

This makes 2 large pancakes, about 4 servings when sliced.

1 comment:

  1. NOTE: I'm not fully happy with the dipping sauce for this recipe. I think it needs something sweet/sour added. I'm going to try adding a Tbsp. or 2 of mango butter or chutney later this week. But if anyone wants to experiment and is able to figure out a good ingredient to add to make the sauce a little sweeter, let me know!!