BiBiFresh is a new casual spot that celebrates Marja Vongerichten’s Korean roots and the cuisine’s signature dish, bibimbop, which means “mixed meal” or “mixed rice.” Bindaetteok are another Korean specialty. They look quite a bit like potato pancakes and are very similar to falafel, but are based on ground dried mung beans mixed with water and a little seasoning. The mixture is formed into flat cakes and shallow-fried until super crispy. A bit of sweet rice is the secret ingredient that holds them together and helps produce a caramelized crust. While this recipe is all about the kimchi, you could omit it and the kimchi liquid to make a plain pancake (simply add another 1/2 cup water to the batter). You can also add chopped pork belly to the batter instead of, or in addition to, the kimchi.
Mung Bean Pancakes:
2 cups dried mung beans, rinsed in a few changes of cold water
1 ⁄4 cup sweet rice, rinsed in a few changes of cold water
1 ⁄2 cup sour kimchi liquid
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
Pinch coarse salt
1 generous cup finely diced sour kimchi
Vegetable oil, for frying
Scallion Dipping Sauce:
1 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp. gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
1 cup Korean soy sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. vinegar
- Prepare Scallion Dipping Sauce. Mix scallions and red pepper flakes in small bowl. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar; whisk to combine; set aside.
- In med. bowl, combine mung beans and rice. Add cold water to cover by at least 1 in.; soak for at least 6 hr. and up to 24.
- Drain soaked mung beans and rice and place in a blender along with 1⁄2 cup fresh water, the kimchi liquid, fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt. Blend just until smooth, being careful not to overmix (it should be coarsely pureed as opposed to perfectly smooth). Transfer batter to large bowl and fold in kimchi.
- Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over med.-high heat. Using a 1⁄4-cup measure, ladle in batter to form 4 pancakes and cook until crisp and browned on one side, about 2 min. Carefully flip and cook until crisp and browned on second side, about 2 min. more.
- Transfer pancakes to a paper towel–lined plate and keep warm. Continue with remaining batter and more oil as necessary.
- Serve pancakes hot, with Scallion Dipping Sauce.