Recipes

Savory Korean Pancakes (From Sugarproof Kids)

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(Recipe by Emily Ventura, PhD, MPH. First appeared in Sugarproof (Penguin 2020))

This savory pancake recipe has a high ratio of egg to flour for added protein and is flexible in that you can use any vegetables your kids like, and if needed, each family member can customize their own. Like most of the recipes in Sugarproof, this recipe is versatile and can be used interchangeably between meals, so if your kids get hooked on these pancakes, you can send them for a packed lunch, or make them for dinner, using any leftovers the next day at breakfast. To add to the fun,  serve them sliced and give your kids a chance to practice their chopstick skills. If you don’t have time to make the dipping sauce or your kids prefer more simple flavors, just use plain tamari or soy sauce.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup rice flour
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • Oil of choice for greasing the pan (we like coconut)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger, optional (1-2 teaspoons per pancake)
  • 2 cup vegetables total (1/2 cup per pancake), such as green onions (scallions) and/or thinly sliced or grated vegetables of choice, like sliced mushrooms or red peppers or grated carrot or zucchini. For a look similar to a Korean pajeon, keep the scallions whole or slice them into large pieces, or else you can also just thinly slice the bulb.

Method:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, water, and salt. Add in the eggs and whisk until combined.  If you want, you can mix the vegetables directly into the batter, or you can customize each pancake with different vegetables according to what each person likes following the steps below.
  2. Make one pancake at a time:
    • In a medium-sized frying pan, heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil on medium high heat. (If using a non-stick pan, you can use less oil.)
    • If using ginger, add 1-2 teaspoons of it and cook for a minute, until fragrant
    • If you did not add the vegetables to the batter, add ½ cup of sliced vegetables of choice and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, redistribute the vegetables evenly in the pan in a single layer.
    • Give the batter another stir and add between 1/3 cup and ½ cup to the pan.
    •  Tilt the pan to allow the batter to reach all of the edges and create a circle.
    • Turn down heat to medium and cook on the first side for 3-4 minutes until it looks set and the edges are beginning to brown.
    • Gently flip the pancake and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
    • Transfer the pancake to a plate or cutting board, slice into wedges, and serve with the tamari dipping sauce, recipe below.
  3. Continue cooking the other 3 pancakes one by one, adding 1-2 teaspoons of oil to the pan, then 1-2 teaspoons ginger, ½ cup veggies, and 1/3 to ½ cup batter each time.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1 pancake): Calories 230 Total Fat 10g Protein 9g Total Carbohydrate 25g Dietary Fiber 3g Total Sugars 2g Added Sugars 0g

Tamari Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
  • 1 clove minced/pressed garlic, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), optional

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the tamari, rice vinegar, and water. Add in any of the other optional ingredients, as desired.

NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (1 tablespoon): Calories 15 Total Fat 0.5g Protein 1g Total Carbohydrate 1g Dietary Fiber 0g Total Sugars 0g Added Sugars 0g

Emily E. Ventura, PhD, MPH, is an experienced nutrition educator, public health advocate, writer, and cook. After working in writing and public relations in the arenas of environmental protection and food, she completed her Master's in Public Health and Doctorate of Philosophy in Health Behavior Research at the University of Southern California. She was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach Public Health Nutrition in Italy and now lives in California, where she works as a writer, recipe developer, and mother to two young boys.

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