Korean mung bean pancakes, called bindaetteok, are a delicious, savory, irresistible meal in themselves. Packed with ingredients: ground mung beans, rice, kimchi, pork, vegetables, egg, and full of seasonings, they are hearty and unforgettable. I make the pancakes in big batches and keep the leftovers in the freezer, wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and then putting the wrapped pancakes into a zipper-lock bag. Whenever I want one or two as a quick meal, I thaw them out and pan fry them with a few drops of vegetable oil.
Korean pancakes are an essential part of Korean cuisine, and I knew that when I wrote Real Korean Cooking I needed a whole chapter devoted to them. Between my book and my website I’ve still barely begun to post all the recipes for the many varieties of Korean pancakes!
When I was in university, me and my friends used to go to the bindaetteok place and have a pancake with makgeolli. Those two really go well together! And both are pretty filling, so in the course of eating and drinking together we consumed a complete, well-rounded meal.
This recipe is the same one in my cookbook, and the same one I’ve been using for years and years. I learned it from my friend whose parents-in-law were born in North Korea and taught her their local version of this dish. Complete credit for this goes to my friend in Korea who first showed it to me. As her parents-in-law shared it with her, I share it with you.
The fernbrake (gosari) is traditionally foraged in the wild, but can be found these days in most Korean supermarkets. It can take some some effort to find but really adds an earthy dimension to this dish that makes it unique. But if you can’t find it, skip it.
Enjoy the recipe!
Ingredients (Makes 6 pancakes)
- 1 cup dried skinned mung beans
- ¼ cup sweet rice (glutinous rice: chapssal in Korean)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 4 ounces ground pork
- 4 ounces (about ¾ cup) well-fermented napa cabbage kimchi, chopped
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) fresh or soaked and drained fernbrake (gosari)
- 6 ounces (about 2½ cups) mung bean sprouts), washed and drained
- 1 large egg
- 4 green onions chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Silgochu (shredded dried hot pepper) for garnish, optional
- vegetable oil
- Combine the skinned mung beans and sweet rice in a large bowl, rinse and drain in cold water a couple of times. Cover with water, and soak overnight (8 hours). Drain. You should have about 2¾ cups of beans and rice.
- Combine the soy sauce and vinegar in a small bowl to make the dipping sauce. Set aside.
- Combine the bean and rice mixture and ¾ cup water in the workbowl of a food processor and grind until it’s creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add kimchi, green onion, garlic, gosari, mung bean sprouts, pork, egg, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and toasted sesame oil. Mix well.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Add about 1 cup of batter. Spread with the back of a spoon to make a nice 6-inch round pancake. Cook until the bottom turns light golden brown and crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn it over and cook until the second side turns light golden brown, another 2 minutes. Turn it over once more and cook another 2 minutes on the first side. Add more vegetable oil to the pan if needed.
- Transfer the pancake to a large plate. Garnish with silgochu (if used). Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.