I think Maangchi is adorable and I love to watch her YouTube videos. The New York Times called Maangchi “YouTube’s Korean Julia Child” and she has a cookbook too, Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking: Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook. If you want a straightforward Maangchi video, start with Korean vegetable pancakes and Maangchi will guide you.
The first Korean-style vegetable pancakes at our house came courtesy of Blue Apron. Some of the ingredients didn’t seem traditional. The ingredients included an egg for the pancake batter and club soda instead of water. But the pancakes were a little more substantial with the egg, and we found that vegetable pancakes are great for making vegetables, cooked or uncooked, into a delicious and healthy meal.
When we signed up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share from Wild Hope Farm, we were amazed at our bounty. We used Wild Hope turnips and purple kohlrabi, both stem and leaves, in these pancakes.
Note: if your raw vegetables are crunchy or tough, cut them up and roast in the oven at 475°F for 20 minutes before mixing them into the pancake. Sweet potato, kohlrabi, carrots, and turnips would all benefit from precooking (though Maangchi doesn’t precook her sweet potato). You could also sauté a cup or so of coarsely chopped greens (they wilt and then you have 1/4 cup of greens) and add them too.
You will need about 3 cups of sliced vegetables. Possibilities include:
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch or 2-inch batons
⅓ cup leek, sliced thinly 1-inch long
3 ounces zucchini matchsticks (about 1/2 cup)
1 green chili pepper (or jalapeño), sliced thinly
3 ounces onion, cut in half top to bottom and sliced thinly
1/3 cup sweet potato, peeled and sliced thinly
a few fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup all-purpose flour
(I substituted half whole-wheat flour and could not tell the difference)
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 clove garlic, finely minced
(if you omit the egg, this is a vegan dish)
1 cup club soda or water
2 tablespoons canola oil
Cut up vegetables into matchsticks or thin slices. Precook any tough raw vegetables, see note above.
Peel and mince the garlic very finely. Pound into a paste if you can.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, garlic, egg and water or club soda. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large nonstick or well-seasoned pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the veggie pancake batter to the pan to make 1 large pancake. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side, carefully flipping with a spatula (or in mid-air like Maangchi does), or until cooked through and browned. Transfer the cooked pancake to a plate. Cut into quarters and divide between two dishes. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve the pancakes with dipping sauce on the side.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar or Chinese black vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.