Korean food holds special significance for my family. No, we’re not part Korean. But over the past few years, the prominence of Korean culture has been on the rise for us. That’s because Ma Petite discovered a passion for Korean language and culture that matches mine for all things French. (Hard to believe, I know!)
Entering year three in a Korean language fluency program this year, she has only fallen more in love with K-everything. We even let proximity to Atlanta’s Koreatown guide our move last year. Did you know Atlanta is third in line (after Los Angeles and New York City) for having the largest Koreatown? For us, this is great news! It provides a mini immersion experience right here at home.
As with any culture, going beyond the language to meeting the people, learning the customs and getting familiar with the food are all important. That’s why Korean food shows up on our table regularly. Of course, there are obstacles. Gluten isn’t as much of a challenge as soy is for us. With Ma Petite and I having soy allergy, dining out is more challenging than dining at home. (But we do still get to enjoy Korean BBQ any time we like – there are many accommodating restos here in ATL). We can easily substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce in recipes we make. That’s what we do when we make the sauce for these pancakes. If you eat soy, just use a GF soy sauce, per the recipe below.
For the regular wheat flour, we subbed Laura Lynn GF Pancake and Baking mix, which worked perfectly! This recipe is one I created for Ingles Markets as part of their Ingles Table platform. You can watch me make this recipe here. It is based on traditional jeon. It’s an easy and delicious way to bring a taste of Korea to your table at home!
Gluten-Free Korean Vegetable Pancakes (Jeon)
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated sweet potato
½ cup red bell pepper
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups Laura Lynn Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix
1 large egg
1 to 1 ½ cups water
½ teaspoon salt
Coconut oil (for frying)
Sauce (optional, for dipping):
3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos, if also soy-free)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
Make the sauce first by whisking all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside until time to serve the pancakes.
Arrange all ingredients before beginning. Have a large skillet, spatula and holding plate ready by the stove top for frying the pancakes once the batter is mixed.
In a mixing bowl, combine vegetables, baking mix, egg and salt. Stir/toss and then begin adding water. Add 1 cup to start, then add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time (to make a maximum total of 1 ½ cups of water) as needed to get the right consistency in the batter. It should be thinner than traditional (breakfast style) pancake batter.
Once the batter is mixed, heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. You want the pan hot, but not smoking, so monitor the heat during cooking, as it will change during the cooking process.
When the pan is hot, use a measuring cup or spoon to pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan, spreading out with the back of a spoon or a small spatula. Cook about 4 minutes per side, until pancakes are crispy and browned on each side.
Transfer cooked pancakes to a holding plate while you use all the batter. Add more coconut oil to the pan as needed when frying pancakes (they will absorb the oil).
Once all the batter is used, you are ready to serve the pancakes with the dipping sauce. These make a great side dish, but you can also add very thinly sliced cooked meat or poultry to make them a main dish.