Mung Bean Pancake

First of all, happy holidays and a happy New Year! It’s been a busy last few weeks. School went on break for the holidays and then we drove up to New Jersey. Yes, Florida to New Jersey. It was a long trek but very much worth it. We walked all over NYC, went to a Brooklyn Nets game, ate doughnuts, ate dim sum, ate prime rib roast, ate…well, we just ate. A LOT. And we brought this little brat:

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My favorite thing about going back to New Jersey is being able to eat homemade Korean food endlessly. From soups to noodles to kimchi, I just can’t get enough of it. One of my absolute favorite foods growing up was the mung bean pancake, or as we say bin dae dduk. It’s a very traditional Korean dish that you can see being sold by street vendors all over the busy parts of Seoul. Filled with vegetables and some pork, this pancake is addicting. It’s like the crack of Korean pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, the name “mung bean pancake” is not at all appealing, I know. But my husband had these for the first time this past Christmas and boy, was he excited.

But first, let me cover the basics of this recipe. I’m sure you’re used to seeing mung bean sprouts at the store but I am going to assume the actual mung bean is not something you have really ever shopped for. It’s the mung bean sprout…in seed form! I was lucky enough to find it at my local Asian market but I also have seen it in organic food stores as well. Make sure to get the ones that are split already since the most tasking part is getting as many of the green skins off of the beans as possible.

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Other than the mung beans themselves, this recipe calls for really basic ingredients. Serve it with onions in soy sauce and vinegar and you’ll be happy as a clam.

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Makes about 10-12 medium sized pancakes
Ingredients:

1-1.5 cups of split mung beans (soaked overnight in water)
1 cup mung bean sprouts, blanched and squeezed out
1/2 cup chopped kimchi (the older, the better)
1/2 cup julienned pork (I used pork loin)
4-5 stalks of green onion, julienned thinly

1. You must soak the beans overnight; this will soften the beans as well as allow the green skins to come off.
2. Once your beans have soaked, start massaging the beans to get as many of the green skins off as possible. As you do this, swish the beans around with the hand and pour out the water. The skins will float out. Continue to add water and repeat this process until you are left with mostly “peeled” beans. Set aside.
3. Blanch your bean sprouts, meaning boil them in water for about 2-3 minutes. Then, rinse them with cold water and squeegee the water out of them. Put into a large mixing bowl.
4. Rinse your kimchi with water to get rid of the pepper flakes and juices. Chop roughly.
5. Add your green onion, pork, and chopped kimchi to the large mixing bowl.
6. In a high speed blender, blend your mung beans with a bit of water. I added about 1/2 cup but essentially, you want it to be relatively fluid like a thick soup. Add water if needed.
7. Mix together the blended beans and the ingredients in the mixing bowl. (See photo above)
8. Heat up a large frying pan over medium high heat and add plenty of olive oil. (Make sure to have ample oil every time you ladle more pancake mixture in)
9. Ladle your pancake mixture and flatten the pancakes as much as possible. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
10. Enjoy with soy sauce, vinegar, and diced onion!

One of the biggest tips is to slightly undercook the pancakes, meaning just to a light golden color. I like these pancakes best when they are reheated so by undercooking the pancakes, you can fry them back up to a nice golden color to eat.

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