This week I increased my peasant dish repertoire with Korean vegetable pancakes (Pa jun) suggested by Kitchen Kung Fu. There were many different recipes on line, and they all said pretty much the same thing: pretend you’re making blueberry pancakes and swap the blueberries for sliced vegetables. Well, that’s not quite what they said. Close, though.
I used a bunch of CSA ingredients in these pancakes:
- broccoli leaves
- broccoli stem
- green onions
- three-grain pancake mix
- dried oyster mushrooms
- celery leaves
- half a carrot man
Check out this carrot – isn’t he strange?
Here’s everything sliced.
The dried mushrooms are awesome! When you reconstitute them (by soaking them in hot water for five minutes or so), you not only get mushrooms but also mushroom stock.
I used a cup of that stock as the majority of the liquid for the batter and made up the rest with soy sauce and water. The batter is better thin – more crepey, less pancakey. It should quickly drip off a spoon rather than fall in clumps. This batter is 4 little eggs, about 1-1/4 cup liquid, and about 1-3/4 cups pancake mix.
The other half-cup of stock, I reserved in a bowl and then added soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and scallions.
Yummy! Mushroom stock has terrific flavor, and I look forward to using it in lo mein and in other non-Asian casseroles!
Here’s the batter with the vegetables added in.
I poured roughly 3/4 cup of batter onto a skillet preheated to medium with a teaspoon of peanut oil.
Flip after four or five minutes. Wipe out the skillet and repeat.
And here’s dinner!
Vegetable pancakes work well with CSA vegetables. The dish definitely calls for some slicing, but no more than fried rice or lo mein. The success of this dish really depends on how happily you cook pancakes. Pancakes can be tricky, although I’ve learned three tips:
- Patiently wait until the pan is hot and stably so. You don’t want the temperature increasing as you go.
- Use a teaspoon of oil (for non-stick) and wipe out the pan between pancakes.
- Don’t fall for the idea of making one last really big pancake. A thick cake will burn on the outside before it’s done on the inside. Make two small pancakes instead. Which is hard because you have to stand there and make them both. Tough. No one wants to eat a intriguingly burnt, yet impishly underdone pancake.
However, I intend to use these lessons for blueberry pancakes more than veggie ones. I’m really glad I tried the dish, and the pancakes were delicious. Still, I prefer lo mein because pasta beats pancakes any day of the week. But the dish works great – especially if you can prep it and talk someone else into making the pancakes!