One of the things I miss most is my Korean mother's home-cooked meals. She's the one who gets all the credit for my cooking skills, drilling me, at a very early age, that no good man would marry a woman who couldn't cook for him and his family! Though I can make her special dishes, it still just doesn't taste the same like when she used to make it. I sure do miss being in the kitchen with her, listening to her gossip about whatever new talk of the town there was while simultaneously teaching me how to cook.
I've been wanting to expand my horizons when it comes to trying new foods to work with in my kitchen. Since I've been feeling pretty nostalgic about my mom's food, I wanted to do a recipe this week that's not only Korean, but something I've never tried making before! The challenge? Mung beans. My mom used to make Korean pajeon pancakes, but this has a flour, egg and potato base unlike the Korean mung bean pancakes. The mung beans are soaked in water for several hours before grinding it up into a batter.
These Korean mung bean pancakes, nokdujeon (녹두전) aka nokdu bindaetteok (녹두 빈대떡), are rather addicting and relatively easy to make. I would strongly recommend buying the already-peeled mung beans at the store. That was my big mistake. I got the ones that were unpeeled, and had to do the hard, manual labor myself. Talk about torture! Ha ha! Let's just say the peeling alone took me an extra hour (or two...)! But the results were totally worth it.
These savory pancakes are soft and nutty. I used carrots and scallions for my veggies. They give an extra crunch, bring texture to the pancake. I'll warn you now though, they're rather addicting!
Korean Mung Bean Pancakes
For the Pancakes:
- ½ cup peeled and split mung beans, soaked in warm water for at least two hours
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon doenjang or brown miso
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup of chopped chives (scallions and leeks are good, too)
- 1 cup of shredded carrot
- a couple Tablespoons oil for pan-frying (any neutral-flavored oil, I used sunflower)
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) or ½ teaspoon common red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- Rinse your split mung beans and soak for a few hours to tenderize.
- Drain the beans and put in a blender or food processor with the water, doenjang or miso, and sugar and blend until the beans are broken up into little bits (It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth). Then add the brown rice flour and blend again just to combine. Pour the thick, yet slightly runny, mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for about a minute then add 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Using your fingers, put a mound of chives into the pan for each pancake. Top the chives with another pinch of carrots. Finally, using a tablespoon, put 1 Tablespoon of the pancake batter onto the chive and carrot mounds. Swirl the pan gently to redistribute the oil and cook the pancakes until the edges look browned and crisp. Take a peek under one to see how far along they are. When sufficiently brown, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until browned. After they are done, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process until you are done with the batter, replenishing the oil in the pan as needed.
- Make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Done! Serve with the pancakes while they are still hot.
-This recipe makes about 20 mini pancakes if you use one Tablespoon of batter for each one.
-Do yourself a favor and buy the peeled, split mung beans rather than unpeeled. It will save you the step of peeling them. Find mung beans in any Korean or Indian market.
-Add anything you want to these pancakes. You can try chopped kimchi, perilla leaves, mushrooms, and peppers. All are delicious.
-This recipe makes thin, but dense pancakes. If you prefer a lacier and thinner version, add another ¼ cup of water to the recipe.
Special thanks to Lands and Flavors for the recipe! I was so happy to come across it on Pinterest when looking to try something new! I know I'll be using this one a lot more often. :)
The dipping sauce to go with it is simply delicious! It's got my three favorite components: it's spicy, a tad sweet and is loaded with sesame!
We hope you try this recipe and share this amazing dish! Come on and try something new! Enjoy!
Love & xx's,
maQ + suz