We’re always looking for healthy-ish, satisfying snacks. Like, always. All day long. Sometimes having an apple in the middle of the afternoon just doesn’t cut it. We love kimchi pancakes as a quick, flavor-packed snack or easy appetizer. Kimchi is super trendy these days as people become more and more aware of gut flora and fermented foods and chickpea flour is one of my favorite ingredients for everything from Sicilian panelle to Indian pakoras.
Chickpea flour, or besan, is made from ground chickpeas so it has a mild, vaguely sweet, bean-y flavor that’s naturally gluten-free so no need for additives to make this work! The magic of this batter is just letting it sit. Chickpea flour takes a second to absorb liquid so give it a chance, re-whisk, and thin out with additional water as you need to. I like a relatively thick batter, think slightly thicker than regular pancake batter but still able to spread on it’s own in a pan.
Kimchi adds a ton of flavor, nutrients and good bacteria into this mix. There are plenty of options for store-bought varieties in glass jars and white caps and the internet will serve you well if you’re looking to make your own. If you’re not into kimchi, just thinly slice scallions and make classic scallion pancakes instead! Just don’t skip the dipping sauce.
Happy snacking, people!
- 1 ½ cup chickpea flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup liquid (see note)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped
- ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Whisk chickpea flour, baking powder, salt, liquid, egg and 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Allow batter to rest for 5-10 minutes so the chickpea flour can hydrate. Stir in chopped kimchi. Add additional water to thin as needed.
- Heat a large, preferably nonstick, skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Ladle ¼ cup pancake batter into the pan, flattening as needed. If the batter doesn’t easily spread, thin with a bit of water. Cook until pancakes are lightly browned on the bottom and air bubbles appear on the top – 3-5 minutes. Flip pacakes and continue to cook until browned, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from pan and season with salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Garnish with scallions and dip in sauce. Pro tip: Diana and I also get some Sriracha and Kewpie mayo on plate which are not at all traditional, just delicious.
- Use whatever kimchi juice you have and add water to total 1 cup. Use all water for a less spicy pancake.