Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pa'chan (Korean pancakes with peppers & mushrooms)

You know how sometimes I say that a cookbook is worth buying just for one recipe? This is one of those times. What you are seeing here is Madhur Jaffrey's Savory Korean Pancakes with Peppers and Mushrooms from World Vegetarian. Go out and buy it. Buy it now. I can't even imagine you'll ever have a better meal than this one. I wasn't even hungry when I started to cook. I was thinking of skipping supper, and after all that business with the yuba this morning I was looking for something really simple, maybe to help use up some of the end-of-season zucchini….

I'm so sorry I can't copy the recipe onto this blog without permission, since all the recipes for Pa'chon (which is the Korean name Madhur Jaffrey gives this recipe) that I can find online look totally different from this. Suffice it to say that the pancakes are composed of equal amounts of unbleached white and rice flour, mixed with water, roasted sesame oil, salt, and 1 egg's worth of Ener-G, and that you pour this batter over a very lightly stir fried mixture of hot and sweet peppers, mushrooms, shredded green onions, and sesame seeds. Cook it covered for four minutes over medium-low heat:

Flip it and cook it another four, covered, on the other side:

Uncover and keep flipping until you get the surface texture you want, then remove it from the pan, cut it into wedges, and serve immediately with dipping sauce the recipe for which I can provide, since I made it up:

Korean dipping sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 tsp dried chilli, crumbled (I used hothot Hungarian chillis that my dad grew, but you can substitute whatever)

It seems there's something about rice flour that gives pancakes made from it, like these, and the dosas I made a few days ago, a glossy, crispy, absolutely wonderful texture. Add sesame oil and you get pancake paradise.

Okay, now this is served with the Ensalata Esmeralda from Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant, which is essentially lightly steamed zucchini, chopped avocado, the juice of one lemon, a pressed garlic clove, salt, and some vegetable oil (and, inspired, I added some dried tomatoes). However much vegetable oil you think ought to go into this dish, double it, and you've hit on the secret. Also excellent!

You know those dreams where you get to eat forever and never get full? Tonight I wished I lived in one of those…tonight I'm so glad I have a blog to inspire me to cook new things…

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