Recently, it has come to my attention that kimchijeon (kimchi pancake) is hands-down my favorite way to eat kimchi. The pancakes (more of a patty to this American) are simple to make, and mixed with onions and flour, the kimchi loses a bit of its heat, causing other, more subtle flavors to come out. And the best part? Even older, soggy kimchi can be made into tasty pancakes.
While this recipe is quite simple, I have made changes in the traditionally used recipe by replacing regular flour with whole wheat, and skipping the sugar. For my kimchijeon, I used red onion, but any onion color and amount can be used, depending on your preference.
Enjoy kimchijeon as a snack, a side dish, or (as my husband and I did this morning) a delicious breakfast!
*It is good to note that I may make kimchijeon a bit more crispy than the average Korean, though some do enjoy a more well-done texture.
1 or more cups kimchi, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat flour for each cup of kimchi used
Onion, diced fine
Grapeseed oil for lightly frying
Finely chop your kimchi using a knife or use a few pulses of the food processor to create nice, shredded kimchi. Combine the kimchi and flour in a medium bowl according to the ratio given above, adding as much or as little onion. Mix together well, until a thick paste is created. Test the texture by forming a small kimchi patty in your hands. The paste should be on the sticky side, but not falling through your fingers. If the paste is too dry, add a little water or reserved kimchi juice. If too thin, add a little extra flour.
Pour 1/4 cup grapeseed oil in a frying/saute pan and turn the heat to medium-high. As the oil begins to heat, form 3 or 4 patties and place them in the pan. Allow them to cook 1 minute on each side. Kimchijeon should be a little crispy with a gorgeous burnt orange color. When the patties are finished cooking, place them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Repeat this process, replacing oil as needed, until all of the paste is used.
Serve kimchijeon plain or with a sauce. At home, we enjoy a sauce of soy, sesame oil, honey, and rice wine vinegar, but a yogurt sauce would make for an excellent compliment to kimchijeon as well.