In korea, there is a saying, "On a rainy day like this, let's just flip some flapjacks!" Well we might not call them flapjacks, but it's basically the same thing. Korean pancakes are called Buchimgae-- "buchim" which is from "to fry" a kind of food that involves flipping: to cook both sides, that is. Anyways, this delicious version of a pancake is quite popular among koreans and non-koreans alike, including me! I loove buchimgaes because they are so easy to make and soo yummy.
All it really involves is some flour, water, and well, any "topping" you'd like. Really, it's like one of those creative foods (like pizza!) that you can basically put in anything you want. It ranges from different meats, seafood, and vegetables. More typical ones are like zucchini, kimchi, green onions and chives.
Althought today wasn't such a rainy day, I was craving some soft and chewy buchimgae anyway. We had some chives that we bought from a Chinese market (they were humongous -- more like green onions, I'd say!) It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and just around 2-3 minutes to cook each one. How easy is that! For those who can't get their hands on Korean pancake mixes, it's totally fine to just use all purpose flour. The pancake mixes are basically just flour, a bit of gluttonous rice flour (to give some added chewiness) and some maybe a bit of salt. When we run out of that, we substitute it for All purpose flour, no problem. I know some people like to ground some POTATOES in their buchimgae, which gives it a little more starch, making it a little more chewy, but there's always a danger that it'll get too stiff. If you want to add that in, make sure you don't put too much.
Koreans often each buchimgae with some dipping sauce because they are oftened not salted. A soysauce sauce is delicious for buchimgaes, I guess it's like a pancake's syrup! Haha! (But substantially less drenched, of course!) You can eat the soy sauce straight out of the bottle, or for more flavor, add some sesame oil, korean style finely ground red pepper, and sesame seeds. Yum!
Buchimgae with Chives, Red Peppers, and Mushrooms
about 4 large pancakes
2 cup korean pancake flour (you can get this at any korean supermarket and most asian groceries)
1 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chives, cut into 1" long
1/3 cup red peppers, cut into 1" long thin strips
1/3 cup oyster mushrooms, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 tsp korean style finely ground red pepper (optional)
1. Mix the pancake flour and water until there are no lumps. Add in the washed and cut vegetables into the batter and mix well.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Ladle batter on pan until it covers the pan and flatten out pieces that are sticking out. Flip over after around one minute, or until golden underneath. Heat the other side for another one to two minutes. If the pancake is starting to brown too much, reduce the heat to low.
3. Combine the soy sauce with sesame oil, seeds and red pepper, if desired. Dip Buchimgae with soy sauce for better flavour.