Brown Rice Kimchijeon (+ Brown Rice Flour!)

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One of the first dishes I tried in Korea was jeon—a savoury stuffed pancake dish native to the peninsula. Though deemed “pancake” by Western eyes, jeon often focuses more on the filling than its glutinous vehicle, with its tasty innards often spilling out the sides. Usually served as banchan, or “side dish”, jeon comes in many forms and flavors—as pajeon, or green onion pancake, saengseonjeon, a variety stuffed with seafood, bindaetteok, made with mung beans and veggies, and many more—but according to my tastebuds (and fervor for anything kimchi), the ace of cakes here is clearly kimchijeon (김치전)—which is, of course, kimchi pancake. Tinted with that familiar crimson hue so pleasantly ubiquitous in Korean cuisine, kimchijeon takes both the flavor and texture from Korea’s favorite fermented cabbage dish, mellowing its spicy and sour tones with wheat flour and salty dipping sauce.

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Personally, I like to work wheat-free as often as possible, so it’s only natural I took this traditional recipe and gave it a more tummy-friendly take. In keeping with the Korean theme, this recipe uses homemade brown rice flour (which is faster to make at home than pick up from the shelf at the store, though its easy to find in-store or online) instead of wheat flour, and word from my wonderful taste testers’ mouths is that the gluten was not missed. I added some chopped green onion for a little extra kick and also for that familiar pajeon flavour (does anyone else live off of Chinese green onion cakes during Heritage Days?).

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Rice and kimchi are the ultimate Korean staple—and here, they are reimagined as a tasty break from routine. And this recipe ummm, really takes the cake.

To make the rice flour, you need a food processor or high speed blender (or flour mill, if you have one!). Make sure your equipment is bone-dry. Measure out your rice (do it in small-ish batches, no more than 2 cups at a time) and grind it in your food processor, switching between the “high” and “pulse” setting until you have a very fine grain. According to the very reliable internet, in most food processors or high speed blenders this should take about five minutes, in my crazy jet-engine food processor it took about one. Huzzah!

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If you don’t use it immediately, store the flour in a tightly-sealed container and keep refrigerated.

And now for the main event:

Brown Rice Kimchijeon (gluten-free, vegetarian or can be made vegan, soy-free, nut-free)

Makes about 12 3-inch wide pancakes

Adapted from Girl Cooks World

Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour

1/2 cup potato starch

2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs (or equivalent egg alternative for binding)

1 cup water

1 small head of cabbage’s worth of kimchi cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces, plus the kimchi “juice” from the container

10 green onions, cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces

1-2 tbsp Korean red pepper powder (optional, to taste)

Coconut oil for frying (or oil of choice)


Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, starch, and salt. Beat in the eggs and water until combined (note: the batter should be quite thick). Mix in the chopped kimchi, kimchi “juice”, green onions, and red pepper powder, if desired.

In a frying pan over medium heat, heat up the coconut oil. Use a ladle to make round, 3-inch wide pancakes. Flip when golden brown.

Serve immediately, with the following dipping sauce:

Two parts soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos

Two parts water

One part vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar)

Chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds, for garnish

**Note: Most Korean restaurants will serve a giant, full frying-pan size jeon with scissors for the table to cut and share. If your frying and flipping skills are apt for that, go for it. Otherwise scissors, a pizza cutter, or a plain old kitchen knife will help you cut the jeon into easily-servable strips.

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Green Juice Omelette

 

As someone who’s into veggies, and isn’t easily grossed out, I have to (and hate to) admit that I find juice pulp kinda icky.

Maybe it’s the texture, maybe it’s the fact that it’s food coming from the deject pile. Or maybe it has something to do with the day in the summer where I didn’t clean out my juicer and left for work… (oh yeah, if you’ve never done that before, I don’t advise you start doing so now.)

I know it’s such a waste of beautiful, fibrous, organic green veggies, but other than making dehydrated pulp crackers on occasion (back in the good ol’ days when I had an oven), I tend to donate my juicing leftovers to Toronto’s Green Bin program and call it a day. Except here in Korea, where they just get tossed atop the mountains of garbage outside my building’s front door. When I make juice once a week it doesn’t really bother me—but since I’ve decided to mostly quit coffee (I can do it!) and dump sugar for a little bit, I’ve been juicing almost every day! Greens pulp galore.

I tried putting them in my smoothie one time, choked down half the thing and dumped the rest in the toilet (sorry, earth!). The thought of putting them in a soup thereafter made me gag.

But I think I found one way to get those leftover greens down: Enter the Veggie Pulp Omelette.

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Hey, it’s not the most beautiful dish going around. But it is a win-win-win, really—reducing kitchen waste, saving a buck or two, and of course, filling your belly with nutrient-dense green goodness. And it’s so easy.

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Sprinkle  a 1/2 cup of juice pulp (I like kale, spinach, celery, lemon, and garlic) with your favorite seasonings—here, I  use sea salt, pepper, and plenty of Korean red pepper powder. Add the pulp to 3 beaten eggs (and a splash of non-dairy milk, if you prefer).

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Fry in coconut oil as you would a traditional omelette, a few minutes each side until both sides are browned slightly. Serve alongside toast, potatoes, or atop some leafy greens with melted coconut oil and green onions as I’ve done here.

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Enjoy and give yourself a pat on the back for your resourcefulness!

IMG_4812 copyDo you have any more ideas for juice pulp? If so, please share in the comments! I’d love to hear your suggestions and maybe you can help me thing of more ways to save my kales 🙂

 

Bye bye bap, hello best of both breakfasts

Ahhh. Drink it up. Slurp it. Spoon it. Scoop it.

A genius breakfast idea, in my humble little opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kimbap—but the $2 rolls I would pick up daily were a little heavy on the white rice. (Fact: Alien’s Day Out says that Koreans call kimbap “rice thief”—the rolls hide how much rice you’re actually eating!) Other than a pastry or two at home (girl’s gotta live), I rarely touch white bread in all its processed-ness. I guess white rice—that bandit—snuck right into my diet!

So anyways. At home, I have two favourite second breakfasts (after green juice, duh)—the green smoothie and the overnight oats. I like to think I’m on Walter Jr. level of breakfast-liking, so putting together two of my favorite breakfasts pretty much sets the whole day up for awesomesauce. Ah. The best of both breakfasts.

To make the above: Take my overnight oatmeal recipe (of course, this is completely customizable to your tastes or what you have on hand):

1/4 cup oats (I used steel-cut oats which are less processed than standard rolled oats)

1/4 cup quinoa flakes

1/4 cup chia cereal like Ruth’s or Holy Crap! brand, or 1/4 cup chia seeds

1 tbsp natural almond butter, cashew butter, or nut butter of your choice

1 banana, chopped

1 tsp hemp seeds

1 tsp sprouted flax

handful of walnuts

1 tbsp goji berries

1 tbsp cacao nibs

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or non-dairy beverage of your choice

And simply sub out the almond milk for a green smoothie! Bam! I don’t have my arsenal of health goodies (Vega powder, chia, flax, hemp etc) in Korea (….yet), so I simply blended 1 cup of soy-almond-walnut milk, 1/2 cup spinach, 2 tbsp almond butter (I made my own), and 1 frozen banana. Top with oatmeal, screw on the lid of the jar, and you have an easily transportable, perfect breakfast. Although, due to the hue, your Korean co-workers might give you a few strange looks. XD

What are your favorite breakfast combinations?