One of the most well-known fermented foods, kimchi is an essential part of Korean cuisine that is made with vegetables (often cabbage), as well as many seasonings. Though it’s pretty easy to make, it does take time to ferment, so if you need to speed the process up, look for ready-made options in your nearest speciality food store.
Once you’ve made your first vat, it’s good to eat until you no longer enjoy its smell or taste – 3 months is a ballpark, but it depends person-to-person. This gives you plenty of time to make and revisit this simple recipe.
Food writer Jennifer Linford’s take on this popular Korean dish contrasts the chewy-textured, chilli pancake with the welcome coolness of crème fraîche, which is enriched with the mellow sweetness of black garlic. This recipe serves four as an appetiser or two as a main course.
100 g/3⁄4 cup plain/all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
100 ml/1⁄3 cup water
3 tablespoons kimchi liquid (reserved from kimchi)
130g/1 cup kimchi, finely chopped
1 spring onion/scallion, finely chopped
150 ml/2⁄3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
3 black garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
1 thinly sliced spring onion/scallion, to garnish
1. Make the batter by whisking together the flour, salt and water into a thick paste. Stir in the kimchi liquid, then mix in the kimchi and spring onion/scallion.
2. Mix together the crème fraîche and black garlic and set aside.
3. Heat a large frying pan/skillet until hot. Add the oil and heat well. Pour in the batter, which should sizzle as it hits the pan, spreading it to form an even layer. Fry for 3–5 minutes until set, then turn over and fry the pancake for a further 3–4 minutes until it is well browned on both sides.
4. Cut the kimchi pancake into portions and serve topped with the black garlic crème fraîche. Sprinkle with extra spring onions/scallions to garnish.
Find this and 64 more gorgeous recipes in Garlic by Jenny Linford (Photography by Clare Winfield, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all images © Ryland Peters & Small, RRP €18)