It’s kimchi season right now, which means many Korean families will be making enormous amounts of that famous spicy fermented cabbage. We’re in the middle of making our own right now, and I must say, it is quite a fete. I can see why many families forego the whole ordeal and just buy some at the supermarket. It’s not only a long process, but we’re dealing with pounds and pounds of cabbage, more than you would believe you’d eat in a lifetime. However, nothing beats food made at home. There’s that love and trust that is absent elsewhere.
I hope to share with you the whole experience of kimchi making, but it’s still in process. So in the meantime I’ll share with you a wonderful recipe I found on Epicurious from Gourmet. It’s another savory pancake made with sweet potatoes and kimchi! I was a bit wary about the combination so I made half of them with potatoes, but the batch with sweet potatoes was definitely better. The sweetness from the sweet potatoes was a great complement to the spiciness of the kimchi. The julienned potatoes became soft with a crispy exterior while the cabbage slices gave a different kind of crunch. Dipped in soy sauce and vinegar, all the right flavors were accented.
I tweaked the recipe to emphasize the taste of kimchi. I also discarded any extra seasonings because kimchi already contains large amounts of garlic and salt.
Sweet Potato Kimchi Pancakes
Adapted from Gourmet
3 cups julienned sweet potatoes, from 1-2 large sweet potatoes*
1 ¾ cup kimchi, thinly sliced**
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup minus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Peel and julienne sweet potatoes. Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 5 minutes. Heat a large skillet and pour enough vegetable to coat the pan. Over medium low heat, drop small ladlefuls of batter. Press to flatten and even the thickness of each pancake. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Serve warm with soy sauce and vinegar. Mix 2 parts soy sauce with 1 part vinegar.
*You may substitute with potatoes.
**If you can’t eat very spicy foods, reduce the amount of kimchi.