Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Alone. Pregnant. Starving. Kimchi.

We had open campus lunches at my high school back in Columbia, South Carolina. When my friends insisted on going to Burger King for the hundredth time, I’d take off in my crappy little Ford Tempo and drive around the corner to the O-bok, a Korean joint that looked more like a Laundromat from the outside than a restaurant. I always ordered their kimchi pancake. Cheap, hot, crispy on the outside, and filled with tangy, spicy kimchi on the inside—it was the perfect meal to eat quickly while studying for next period’s French test.

These pancakes are so darn good, totally comfort food, and an excellent dish to break someone in gently to Korean food. (In pancake form, the kimchi isn’t nearly as spicy or potent as when eaten straight.)

Years later, I learned that you can just make these guys at home, so long as your home is in reasonable proximity to an Asian grocery store. Tonight, with a husband away, a child asleep, and a growing belly demanding all sorts of crazy things, the kimchi pancake made a long overdue appearance on my dinner plate. It was consumed with joy and soy (sauce) while watching Iron Chef America.

Kimchi Pancake for One

½ cup Korean pancake mix
½ cup water
1 egg (optional)
¾ cup to 1 cup kimchi, chopped, juice reserved
Chopped green onion
Vegetable oil for pan frying

1. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
2. While skillet is heating, chop kimchi and reserve juices
3. Combine in a bowl: pancake mix, water, egg, kimchi and juice. Stir until well
4. Heat oil (1-2 Tbs should do it) in skillet, then dump pancake mixture into the
pan, allowing it to spread across the entire bottom.
5. Fry until well browned, flip and fry again until browned.
6. Plate the pancake and serve with soy sauce. (Eat with knife and fork, or cut
into squares and eat with chopsticks.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gee, I Sure Love...

Tantre Farms' giant bag of mixed baby salad greens. The best salad I've ever had, with a nice mix of spicy, bitter, and sweet leaves of at least 6 different varieties. Why no picture? Because we ate it all, that's why.

And Tantre's French Breakfast Radishes with butter and salt. Snow is falling outside my window. It's dark, and cold enough now for the snow to stick to everything, even my sidewalk.But my kitchen is warm, and my plate is (was) full of verdant, fresh vegetables that leave my family happy and well-fed. Cheers!