July 21, 2017

Korean Savory Pancakes


by Sun

It’s been a while since I've posted an article…… I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your food life!

During the last few years, I have noticed an explosion of interest for Korean food and influenced dishes. I see kimchi incorporated into all types of menus in many of the restaurants I go to; from high end places to casual hamburger joints. Even Costco has started carrying roasted Korean seaweed, dumplings, and frozen foods.

Typically most people familiar with Korean food mostly recognize Korean BBQ or Bi Bim Bob; but K food has many different categories. Starting with a variety of soups, noodle, rice cakes, meat and seafood, pancakes, vegetable dishes, etc. Kimchi alone has over 100 known varieties. The most popular ones are napa cabbage, kkak du ki (spicy radish), oi so ba gi (cucumber ), chong gak (young radish) kimchi. There is a long list of health benefits related to eating kimchi; I have saved that for another article.

For now, I would like to share a few of my favorite Korean dishes that can be easily made at home. If you live in a big city like Chicago, NY, and LA, you can always venture out to a Korean grocery store where you can find all kinds of new ingredients for your dinner table. I bet it will be a lot of fun and an exciting discovery for you. You will also find many Japanese and Chinese ingredients as well in K grocery stores. K food is like no other cuisine in the world. If you haven’t tried K food before, it’s about time to broaden your taste buds.




Korean pancakes make a great appetizer or snack, and the best part is it’s texture. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with a bit of chewiness; which is one of my favorite combinations of food texture. You can usually get green onion or seafood pancakes at any K restaurant and readily make it at home.




The key ingredient is the packaged Korean pancake flour mix which may be purchased at most K grocery stores or amazon.com. (there is no paid product endorsement here.) Some people use cake flour but I haven't tried it myself. I normally use thinly sliced onions and zucchini or scallions with shrimp. Kimchi pancake is also very popular. One reason K pancakes could appeal to most everyone is that you can pretty much put any veggies you like as long as they are thinly sliced.

Enjoy!




Two 8” - 9" Wide Pancakes

Ingredients:
1 cup Korean pancake mix ( at Amazon)
3/4 cup water
1 bunch of thinly sliced green onions
1 shredded medium zucchini
2 tbsp canola oil ( preferred over corn oil
———————————————
Dipping Sauce:
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
A pinch of red pepper chili flakes
1/2 tsp Sesame oil
Roasted Sesame seeds

or you can use a simpler version:
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp white or rice vinegar 


1. Mix the Korean Pancake Mix and water in a mixing bowl ( shouldn’t be too watery or too thick )

2. Wash the green onions thoroughly and cut them in half. Slice the onions long way a couple more times.

3. Heat the pan with canola oil in medium high heat. Place the green onions/zucchini in the pan spreading them out. Let them cook for 1 - 2 mins. Pour in the batter barely covering the veggies.

4. Flip when the downside is golden brown and crispy. Cook the other side the same. Cut them in 2 inch squares and serve with the dipping sauce.

Note: If you are making kimchi pancakes, grab a handful of kimchi between your hands and squeeze out the kimchi juice. Estimate 1.5 cups of squeezed kimchi for two 8" pancakes. Cut them in 1/2 inches and cook the same way as above replacing green onions with kimchi.
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July 14, 2017

Passion Fruit Rollet Cake

by Marjan
Last year, I was enthusiastic over our passion fruit harvest and enjoyed incorporating this exotic and delicious fruit in both my savory and sweet dishes.  One recipe I continued to make all year long was my rolled cake, or rollet, infused with passion fruit. I prepared a sweet passion fruit sauce in which I folded into my whipped cream to elevate and enrich this easy to make cake. I transformed some of the sauce into a passion fruit caramel, poured on top of my cake to add another flavor of deliciousness!


How can you resist having just one serving? Elegant, delicious, exotic, creamy, and satisfying bites of this fluffy cake left a permanent impression on my palate! Hope it does as well for you!


July 7, 2017

Okra Stew

by Marjan
This past year, I have introduced you to many popular traditional Persian stew recipes. Today, I'm introducing you to one which is not as well known, yet it is one of my mother's favorite: Okra Stew, Khoreshte Bamieh. Very similar to Khoreshte Bademjoon, which is a stew of fried eggplants; both share the same tomato base accented with tart sour grapes creating a decadent balance of sour and earthy stew and served with classic Persian basmati prepared rice.


Okra has a very distinct texture of mucilage soluble fiber making it easily digestible and nutritious with vitamin C and K, thiamin, folate and magnesium. In season from late June until October, take advantage of this nutritious vegetable. Serve along saffron laced Persian rice.
Comforting flavors and texture of okra in a sea of tomato, saffron, turmeric, garlic and sour grapes braised with either beef or lamb stew is both healthy and delicious. Omitting use of meat delivers an equally hearty stew which is a wonderful vegetarian option. Rich, delicious, and healthy, I pledge to make this stew more popular this year! Any followers?