Thursday, August 9, 2012

A recipe for bindaetteok, aka Korean mung bean pancake

Posted By on 08.09.12 at 04:10 PM

Not my bindaetteok, Kwangjang Market, Seoul
  • Mike Sula
  • Not my bindaetteok, Kwangjang Market, Seoul
Even if you have only a passing familiarity with Korean food, you're likely to know pajeon, or haemul pajeon, the wheat flour, scallion, and sometimes seafood pancake that often precedes the main meal in Korean restaurants, either as an appetizer or along with the banchan. But it's less likely you know its more scarfable cousin bindaetteok, a crispy, savory flapjack made from pulverized mung bean batter. In Seoul's Kwangjang Market there's a magical bindaetteok stall (pictured) where a giant rumbling grinder splorts out coarsely ground mung beans, which are promptly griddled on the spot in inch-thick, LP-size disks. You can get smaller ones in front of Sam Bok in Pittsburgh's Strip District each Saturday, but we can't have nice things like that in Chicago. I have memory of seeing them wrapped to go at JoongBoo Market and perhaps Hmart on occasion, and they used to make them at New Chicago Kimchee, but no more.

In any case, if they sit around very long they get cold and toughen up, and they're frankly not terribly enjoyable.* You gotta get them hot. It's best just to make them yourself, and to that end I've adapted—simplified, really—a recipe from A Korean Mother's Cooking Notes by Chang Sun-young. You don't have to limit yourself to kimchi and bean sprouts in the batter. You can add beef, pork, seafood, mushrooms, whatever. Serve them with a soy-vinegar-sesame dipping sauce and you're golden-crispy. Recipe after the jump:

Bindaetteok
1½ c skinned yellow mung beans
1 c kimchi juice
¼ c water
¾ c chopped kimchi
½ c bean sprouts
3 green onions, cut into three-inch slivers
1 T minced garlic
1 T minced ginger
1 T fish sauce
1 T sesame oil
cooking oil

Dipping sauce
½ c soy sauce
¼ c rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
½ t gochucharu
¼ t sesame seeds
1 chopped scallion

Soak the mung beans in water overnight. Pulse beans, kimchi, juice, water, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and sesame oil in a blender. Don't overblend. You want the batter to be coarse and a bit gritty. If it's too thick add a bit more water. Add kimchi, bean sprouts, and green onions. Drop batter in batches on a hot, oiled skillet. Fry on each side until browned and crispy. Place pancakes on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Eat with the dipping sauce.

*If you know any place that makes them to order, please advise.

My amorphous bindaetteok

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