One of the benefits to living in the South Bay is being in close proximity to the large number of Korean grocery stores, restaurants and shops in Santa Clara. Korean cuisine is my favorite…I love the spiciness, the kimchi, and the abundance of vegetables in each dish, making it seem so fresh and healthy. And need I mention all the side dishes that come with each meal at the restaurant? Score! Hands down, my favorite Korean restaurant in the South Bay is Choi’s Kitchen. They give the best variety of side dishes (in my opinion), a lot of side dishes, have a varied menu with lots of choices, the food’s great and the prices fair. In fact, my surprise birthday dinner was at Choi’s Kitchen this year. Hubs knows me very well!
But I digress. I’m supposed to be talking about Korean pancakes. I brought up Choi’s Kitchen because it was there that I first tasted the hot-off-the-pan deliciousness of Korean pancakes. The contrasting textures of the pancake had me at hello…the crisp exterior, crunchy vegetables and seafood scattered throughout, combined with the fluffy, steaming interior…yum! Paired with the right dipping sauce, it’s a perfect accompaniment to a Korean meal or any meal, actually.
While you can make the batter from scratch (and maybe one of these days I will), I had a bag of Korean pancake mix handy in the pantry. They sell these mixes at all the Korean grocery stores for just a few dollars and it makes this dish so much quicker to make. Following the directions on the bag, I made two cups of batter, working out all of the lumps. I then thinly sliced a red bell pepper and a green bell pepper, diced up a small zucchini, chopped up some chives from the garden, and added it all into the batter mix. I made two huge frying-pan-sized pancakes, cooking on both sides for several minutes each. Easy.
For the dipping sauce, I combined soy sauce, chili oil, crushed red pepper flakes, and toasted sesame seeds. After whisking everything together, I had a delicious dipping sauce that complemented the Korean pancakes quite nicely.