Korean-Style Veggie Pancakes (Pa Jun)

I had to try these after I read the description: “nearly addictive savory cakes…almost crêpelike in their crisp and chewy texture.” Once again, from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. I made the dipping sauce, too, and I’m totally hooked. They remind me of the scallion pancakes from one of our favorite eateries near Boston.

One problem: I don’t know if I didn’t follow the cooking directions right, or if they need to be adjusted, but I had trouble getting the pancakes to cook through. They were delicous but a little too soft in the middle. When I ate the leftovers (just as good the next day) I baked them a little in the toaster oven, and the texture was perfect. I guess next time I’d just finish them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 or so.

The kids didn’t go for these. I mean, they do look kind of crazy to a kid, and my kids are (aren’t they all?) suspicious of wayward veggie chunks mixed into things like pancakes. I think my daughter (7) did take a bite, but it was just not her thing.

I’m making them again anyway! They were too good not to.

Get the recipe here. Below is the recipe for the dipping sauce:

Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Korean Style

from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS dark sesame oil

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (whoops I forgot to toast mine but it was still great)

1 TBS sugar

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 TBS peeled, minced fresh ginger (I think I cheated with good-quality powdered ginger)

1/4 cup minced scallions

Mix everything together and enjoy. Keeps up to 2 days in the fridge.

Also, I made this lemony lentil soup (pictured below) the other day from 101 cookbooks  and love loved it. Totally repeat-worthy. It’s very similar actually to Awanti’s Family-Friendly Dal, but the lemon and spinach give it a nice twist—also the Greek yogurt as a condiment is perfect.

I blended up the onions with the stick blender (at the same time you’re supposed to blend the lentils) so the kids wouldn’t see them. I served it to the kids without spinach (side of green beans instead) and one kid ate it and liked it, the other did not, but hey, he ate a bunch of fruit so I’m not going to quibble.

I have to try the Roasted Lemon Chutney on 101 cookbooks also. Sounds amazing. And the Barley Risotto on Mark Bittman’s site.

For other posts on trying (mostly) vegetarian recipes, see my “Food” category.

* I wonder if you could make this with all rice flour and make it gluten-free. If you’re a Hannover friend, you can find rice flour at the Thai shop on Ferdi-Walli or probably at any of the Asian shops around town.

Unrelated: I just read this excellent essay about creativity and silliness and faith here. So worth reading. Thank you to my sweet neighbor back in the U.S. for sending it my way.

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