Sunny-Side Up - Bindaetteok (Korean Mung Bean Pancakes) with Dipping Sauce and Stir-Fried Vegetables
Although most Americans know the mung bean best as the squiggly, little pale sprouts which dominate the vegetable population in our cartons of take-away Chinese fried rice, this versatile legume leads quite the chameleon's life.
From their bright, olive-green birthday suits, mung beans morph into different shapes and colors depending on preparation. They can be cooked whole for uses in stews, soups, and desserts; ground into flour for breads and noodles; kept moist for sprouts; or skinned and split to reveal cheerful yellow centers for even more variations of recipes.
For bindaetteok, a Korean pancake that is fashioned more like a thick burger than a flexible, flat disk, yellow split mung beans are soaked then ground into a paste. With kimchi, the lauded ferment of spicy cabbage providing much of the seasoning, bean sprouts are a common addition which further boosts nutritional value while providing a sturdy infrastructure that helps to keep the fritters in shape as they are frying. This recipe is an excellent source of protein and fiber, and a particularly attractive and hearty dish to serve to diners wary of meals that do not include meat. You will likely never convert a carnivore, but you just might get on one's sunny side nonetheless.
Bindaetteok (Korean Mung Bean Pancakes) - Adapted from the recipe in The Food of Korea - Authentic Recipes from the Land of the Morning Calm by Periplus Press.
1 cup dried yellow, split mung beans
4 cups water
3 large eggs (not extra large)
8 tablespoons rice flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated or minced freshly peeled ginger root
1/2 cup rinsed and chopped vegetarian kimchi, firmly packed
1 cup mung bean sprouts, canned or fresh (drain if using canned)
1/2 cup flavorless oil (such as safflower), divided
2 scallions, green part only, chopped or slivered
2 tablespoons sesame oil (optional garnish)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional garnish)
In a large strainer, pick over, rinse, and drain beans. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with water. Set aside on counter or in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. Drain and rinse soaked beans before transferring them to a food processor or blender. Add eggs and process until mixture is a loose, paste-like batter (it will not be smooth). Pour into large bowl. Whisk in rice flour, corn starch, salt, and ginger root. Stir in kimchi and bean sprouts.
Working in 2 batches, heat half the oil over medium heat in a large skillet until it shimmers, and a dollop of batter instantly sizzles when dropped into it (around 30 seconds). Using rounded half-cup measures, pour batter into hot oil to form pancakes, taking care not to crowd them. Quickly, with a metal turner, shape and build up the sides to create even rounds. Press a few scallion pieces into the wet tops. Since the batter will still be somewhat loose, it is critical to leave the pancakes undisturbed while they brown and set to maintain their shape when you turn them. Do not leave the skillet unattended. When the undersides are brown and crisp (about 5 minutes), avert your face as you quickly turn the pancakes over. Brown for another 5 minutes, then remove to a large plate covered with paper towels to drain. Tent with foil to keep warm. Scrap any bits from the skillet before repeating the frying process with the remaining oil and batter. Serve immediately while still warm with dipping sauce and vegetables on side. Drizzle and sprinkle optional garnishes around pancakes.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and grated or minced
4 inches scallion green, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Divide into individual servings.
Stir-Fried Vegetable Medley
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, then rinsed and sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, shredded, grated, or cut into matchsticks
1 medium summer squash (green or yellow), rinsed, shredded, grated, or cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon flavorless oil (such as safflower)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
In a large skillet, warm oil over medium-low heat until it shimmers (about 5 seconds). Add vegetables and stir-fry with a large spoon or chopsticks until mushrooms release their liquid and shrink (about 7 minutes; matchstick carrots will also be soft at this time). Stir in sesame oil and salt. Remove from heat and serve a small amount with each pancake portion.
This recipe is for Smitha of Kannada Cuisine, hosting My Legume Love Affair 35, which closes today. Do stop by Smitha's site for her round-up coming soon.
Aqua of Served with Love will be assuming the reins for June's MLLA 36. The announcement will be posted shortly.
Been There, Done That ~
Green Mango Dal
Vegan Dubu Kimchi
Other People's Eats ~
Nokdu Bindaetteok from Gluten-Free Gobsmacked
Sukju Namul from Wandering Chopsticks
Mung Bean Sticky Rice from Ravenous Couple