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Category: Small Plates

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious way to enjoy broccoli, this simple broccoli salad might just become your new favorite. Inspired by my recent trip to Seoul and reminiscent of banchan, the dizzying array of small side dishes that accompany a Korean BBQ read more

Soy Glazed Potatoes

Soy Glazed Potatoes

Whenever I tell people that I don’t love potatoes, they gasp as if I just said I hate kittens. But it’s true, they aren’t my fave veggie by a long shot. I usually find them kind of bland and boring. Generally when I want a read more

8 Treasure Rice

8 Treasure Rice

Lunar New Year starts on February 10th this year. It is a 2 week celebration that is one of the most (raucously!) celebrated holidays of the year for the more than 1.5 billion people worldwide that celebrate. Think fireworks, parades, elaborate decorations, gifts, new festive outfits, and of course special foods. Dishes that symbolize luck and prosperity, long life, and family are especially popular. This 8 Treasure Rice is another classic Lunar New Year dish. Not to be confused with the dessert rice dish of the same name, this is super savory and packed with luxurious ingredients fit for a royal celebration. Juicy chicken thighs, scallops, dried shrimp, and shiitakes mingle with other goodies like roasted chestnuts, lotus root and crispy shallots. The eight treasures get quickly stir fried and then mixed into perfectly steamed rice. This is a feast for the senses, so let’s get into it!

ingredients for 8 treasure rice

Dried ingredients are usually more intense than fresh. Sun dried tomatoes, dried porcinis, dried herbs…they all lend a deeper flavor than their fresh counterparts. I make use of that in my 8 Treasure Rice with dried scallops, shrimp, and shiitakes. So I start this recipe by soaking them. (The rich soaking liquid will be used later on.)

 

Make sure to remember to save the soaking water!

Then I get the rice started so that it’s piping hot when everything else is ready. (If you need a refresher on making perfect rice, start here.) Traditionally, this dish is made with sticky rice and then wrapped in Ti leaves and steamed. This is a simpler version but if you feel inclined to soak and steam some sticky rice, that is a great option.

Once the rice is begun, I get everything prepped. I peel and dice the lotus root. It also gets soaked in water right until I start cooking because otherwise, like a potato, it will discolor.

sliced lotus 8 treasure

carrot diced rice

chicken 8 treasure rice

When everything is prepped I gather it all within reach; it will be quickly stir fried. Closeup shot of all 8 of our treasures:

I also have the sauce ingredients at the ready as the sauce gets made directly in the pan while cooking.

chicken onions 8 treasure rice

soy sauce rice

shrimp treasure

Taste and add more salt or white pepper as needed. Now the only thing left do is to transfer the 8 Treasure Rice to a serving platter and garnish with the minced scallions.

If you want to round out your Lunar New Year meal try serving 8 Treasure Rice with Shanghai Bok Choy and Almond Cookies. Hopefully this becomes part of your family’s treasured traditions too. Let me know in the comments what you think, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

 

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recipe closeup 8 treasure rice

8 Treasure Rice

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: appetizer
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh, diced small
  • ½ large onion, diced small
  • 1 small carrot, diced small
  • lotus root, peeled, diced small, and soaking in water to prevent discoloration
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 dried scallops
  • 3 Tablespoons dried shrimp
  • ¼ cup cooked shelled edamame soy beans
  • ½ cup roasted and peeled chestnuts, about 8 pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons crispy shallots
  • 2 Scallions, trimmed and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 4 Cups freshly cooked rice

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • A couple dashes Ground White Pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimp, and dried scallops in 2 cups of warm water for 20-30 minutes in a medium bowl (put something like a small dish on top of the ingredients to keep them submerged). Pour the soaking liquid into a separate container and save (You need 1 cup. If you don’t have enough soaking liquid, add a little water so you have 1 cup). Set the ingredients aside.
  2. If you haven’t started making the rice yet, start it now. You want to use freshly steamed rice that is piping hot for this dish. 
  3. Trim and discard the shiitake stem. Slice the mushrooms thinly and set aside.
  4. Drain the lotus root just before starting to cook.
  5. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the oil and chicken.
  6. Let the chicken cook for 1 minute untouched and then break it up and stir fry for another minute. 
  7. Add the onions and carrots and continue stir frying for another minute. Add the drained lotus root and shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for another couple minutes.
  8. Add the sauce ingredients to the pan: Oyster sauce, soy sauce, shaoxing wine, and 1 cup of the reserved soaking liquid. 
  9. Bring the pan to a  simmer and add the dried shrimp and the scallops. Stir the ingredients together. 
  10. Add a couple dashes of the white pepper, stir, and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 4-6 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
  11. Turn off the heat and wait for the rice to finish cooking.
  12. Once the rice is ready, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the saucy ingredients, edamame, and chestnuts and gently combine the ingredients together using a slight chopping motion to prevent the rice from being crushed.
  13. Add the sesame oil and crispy shallots and mix again.
  14. Taste and adjust seasonings with a little salt and ground pepper as needed.
  15. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the minced scallions.
  16. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This dish is delicious hot, warm, or room temperature.

*Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Gently microwave for several  minutes before serving.

*You can substitute any of the ingredients if they are difficult to source or you don’t want to bother. The idea is to keep the ingredients special. So you can use fresh shrimp and scallops instead of the dried, adding them in right after the sauce ingrdients. Use other vegetables such as diced snap/snow peas, wild mushrooms, or zucchini. And if you’re vegetarian, use tofu or a meat substitute for the protein along with a vegetarian oyster sauce or hoisin sauce instead of regular oyster sauce.

Keywords: lunar new year, chinese new year, rice

Gimbap

Gimbap

You may have seen some of the viral Tiktoks about Trader Joe’s latest Korean offering, their seaweed rice roll. Gimbap (“gim” being seaweed, and “bap” being rice) have long been a beloved snack in Korea. And they’ve really taken the states by storm lately too. read more

Simmered Kabocha

Simmered Kabocha

If you love winter squashes but have never tried kabocha, you’re in a for a treat. Sometimes called Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha is sweeter than pumpkin and even than butternut squash. When gently simmered, it becomes incredibly tender and makes a perfect side for nearly any read more

Korean Potato Pancake

Korean Potato Pancake

Everyone knows that I’m a noodle/rice over potatoes girl any day of the week, but I do make an exception for a crisp and crunchy potato pancake situation. This Korean Potato Pancake is latkes’ cool older cousin; all the savory and crispy potato flavor you love coupled with the much easier (and far more fun) communal aspect of making one large pancake to share. I serve it with a creamy, gently spiced dipping sauce that takes just seconds to make. Best of all the ingredient list is short and uses common pantry staples.

I live in Miami and have many Jewish friends…and I cook. So who do you think gets asked to help out come holiday season? For years, my friend Kira and I would prep her Hannukah dinners at one of our restaurants. She would come in loaded like a pack mule and we would end the day with piles of ready made food, all set for her special night.

The highlight of those meals were her latkes, mini potato and onion patties/cakes, which she liked to make extra crispy and “spidery” to get the most crisp edges. The combination of potato and onion figure prominently in many different cuisines because it’s cheap, always available, and above all delicious: that comforting, familiar flavor is hard to beat. Add in my honey curry dipping sauce and it’s like a latke/samosa baby. So late night snack, appetizer, or side- my Korean Potato Pancake is ready to satisfy all of your carb desires, so let’s get into it.

 

ingredients Korean potato pancake

I start making my Korean Potato Pancake by whipping up the dipping sauce. A few pantry ingredients later and I have a sauce that combines the creaminess of mayo with the earthy spice of curry powder and just a touch of sweetness from some honey. The yield on this sauce is just enough for 1 pancake. If you’re a sauce lover, you can double up as any leftovers would be great paired with my Japanese Fried Chicken.

 

Once I’ve stirred everything together I put it aside and start grating the potato and onion. I use a russet for this, and one big potato should be enough.

grating korean pancake potato

salt pepper korean potato pancake

I mix it with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined:

mixed korean pancake

Now it’s time to fry this baby up! I use a neutral oil like avocado so it doesn’t mask the potato goodness. I heat the pan for several minutes. Get the pan good and hot. This is important because the potato mixture is quite wet and you need to get that pan as hot as possible so the mixture doesn’t glue itself to the pan when you pour it in. You can also use a non-stick pan, but I like to live dangerously. We use a generous amount of oil which helps to crisp up the potatoes and gives it flavor.

Once you scrape out the potato mixture into the pan, use a fork to help it spread out evenly and then don’t touch it. It needs time alone to build a crust and brown. Resist the urge to touch and look. Once it’s cooked for 3 minutes, use a thin spatula and scrape along the edges to loosen the pancake and then flip it over.

Once the second side has cooked, I like to cover it with a lid for several minutes. Since the potatoes started raw, you need to make sure that the inside of the pancake is soft and fluffy… not crunchy and undercooked. Once the pancake is cooked, I flip and brown each side for a couple more minutes to get a beautifully crisp pancake.

Slide the Korean Potato Pancake onto a serving platter and dig in! You can cut it into wedges like a pizza and serve, or you could enjoy it communally like Koreans do. What could be better than bonding over  a big, crunchy and crispy potato pancake?!

feature k potato pancake

We like to enjoy this as a snack on its own, but it would also be most welcome as part of a brunch along with my Tamagoyaki Frittata, Strawberry Lychee Lemonade, and Mango Sago.

I hope you love this Korean Potato Pancake. Whip it up this weekend and let me know! Leave a comment and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.

 

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recipe korean potato pancake

Korean Potato Pancake

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2
  • Category: snacks
  • Cuisine: korean

Ingredients

Scale

Dipping Sauce:

  • ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A couple dashes of salt and pepper to taste

For the potato pancake:

  • 1 large russet potato (about 10 ounces)
  • ¼ medium yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup neutral oil

Instructions

  1. Make the dipping sauce: combine the curry powder, mayonnaise, honey, and garlic powder. Stir with a fork until smooth. Taste and adjust with a little salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
  2. Peel the potato and grate it over a bowl. (Use a coarse grater or the largest hole on a box grater. Do not use an asian grater as it will turn the potato into a wet mush)
  3. Next grate the onion, adding it to the potato. Add the salt, ground pepper, and potato starch. Use a fork and mix to combine.
  4. Heat a heavy 10 inch skillet over medium heat for several minutes (be patient and get it good and hot). Add half of the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan.
  5. Scrape the potato mixture into the pan, using the fork to spread the mixture evenly into the pan.
  6. Cook the potato pancake for 3 minutes and then use a thin, stiff spatula to loosen the edges of the pancake. Flip the pancake and pour the remaining oil around the perimeter of the pancake. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  7. Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Take off the lid.
  8. Flip the pancake again and cook for another 2 minutes. And flip one last time to crisp the other side for another minute.
  9. Either plate the pancake for communal sharing or ransfer to a cutting board and cut the pancake like a pizza into 8 slices before serving.
  10. Serve Korean Potato Pancake immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.

Keywords: korean, savory pancake, potato pancake, crispy, gamjajeon, gamja-jeon