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Category: Veggies

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

Okonomiyaki Style Cabbage

A while back I posted my take on Okonomiyaki, Japan’s famous savory cabbage pancake. It’s filled to the brim with yummy delights like shrimp and bacon, and remains a family fave. But sometimes I’m craving this deconstructed version, where I cook just the cabbage, drizzled 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

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup

It’s official: Fall has arrived in Miami. We woke up this morning to 63 degree weather. I know most other places are already enjoying cooler temperatures but I was walking in 92 degree weather last week. And now finally we can enjoy our days without read more

Korean Cucumber Salad

Korean Cucumber Salad

Late August and I’m still reaching for quick and easy, no cook dishes that don’t skimp on flavor. And this Korean Cucumber Salad, known as Oi Muchim, is a favorite. It’s cooling and crunchy, a little spicy, and it has an amazing umami packed dressing. You read more

Cucumber Tomato Salad

Cucumber Tomato Salad

It feels like it’s almost too hot to eat these days, let alone cook. That’s where this Cucumber Tomato Salad comes in. Summer produce at its peak doesn’t need much in the way of embellishment, but a quick dressing with some umami rich favorites keeps this out of run of the mill salad territory. Juicy tomatoes, crunchy and cooling cucumbers, drizzled with a tangy and nutty dressing…this is what you need when you can’t even fathom turning on the oven.

Although this salad features cucumbers and tomatoes, you could easily swap out the veggie combinations for either what’s in season at that point, what’s in your fridge, or what you prefer. So avocados and radishes, roasted cauliflower or eggplant, blanched green beans or bean sprouts, or even some crumbled tofu stirred in are all good options. Can’t stand the heat but still need to eat? Forget the stove and let’s get chopping!

ingredients cucumber tomato salad

I start making my Cucumber Tomato Salad by washing and prepping the veggies. I usually reach for the long, thin European cucumbers or the smaller Persian ones. Both of them are more crunchy and less watery, which will keep your salad from turning mushy, and they also have thin unwaxed skin that doesn’t need to be peeled.

diagonal chunks cucumber tomato salad

For the tomatoes, get whatever looks good. Large heirloom tomatoes, or smaller grape/cherry ones will all work here. Unlike the rest of the country, Florida grows in the winter, so my tomatoes are simple grocery ones. I prefer brown kumamotos which are widely available, juicy, and flavorful.

tomatoes chopped

onions

Since this is such a speedy simple dish and we do eat with our eyes, I take care to compose my Cucumber Tomato Salad in an appealing way on a nice platter or deep bowl. This one was made by my dad during his ceramic phase. This salad can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated. Keep this salad undressed as the dressing will quickly be diluted by the watery veggies if tossed ahead of time.

composed salad

The Tomato Cucumber Salad Dressing

It’s really this dressing that elevates this salad into something you’ll be craving all through these warm days. For kids and adults who may frown at vegetables, a great sauce or dressing can really turns things around. Fresh and interesting flavors can help motivate those who are unenthusiastic. And we need to break the ranch crutch. So until you can get your table-mates excited for your veggie masterpieces, keep it fresh by introducing different kinds of vegetables with new flavors.

For this dressing, the workhorse is sesame. Sesame seeds feature prominently in Asian cooking and a deep roasted sesame flavor is particularly prized by Japanese palates. You’ll see all sorts of sesame dressings and sauces lined up at the grocery store and gourmet food sections in department store basements. Our dressing pairs freshly toasted sesame seeds with toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic to bring a little zing, plus rice vinegar and soy sauce which provide a refreshing tanginess. Even though I always buy already toasted sesame seeds, I toast them for a few minutes again because nothing beats that freshly toasted aroma and flavor. Don’t skip this step as you’ll be richly rewarded.

I like to coarsely grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle, keeping some good texture and grit for the dressing. There’s something so satisfying about using these old fashioned pieces of kitchen equipment. Grinding the sesame in this way allows you to do it more slowly, letting you see your progress, and also gives you control over small quantities that may be more difficult to work with in large food processors or blenders. Finally, a mortar and pestle releases the oils in the seeds better.

If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can also make this dressing in a blender or food processor. Place all of your prepped ingredients into the work cup and blend/process until you have a thick dressing.

 

toast sesame seeds

 

Normally with other Asian cuisines, the flavors are more robust and bits of garlic and ginger are appreciated. But Japanese food embraces subtlety, so I use a Japanese style grater to get the ginger and garlic silky smooth. You can also do this manually with a knife and chopping board, but keep mincing until your garlic and ginger are extra fine.

The veggies can be prepped, and the dressing made ahead of time, making this salad even more of a perfect summer staple. Keep the Cucumber Tomato Salad and dressing separate until serving though so the cucumbers stay crunchy and the veggies don’t get discolored. My preference is to just serve the dressing at the table so everyone can help themselves. If the dressing has been sitting for a while, give it a quick stir.

I hope this Cucumber Tomato Salad inspires you to get back in the kitchen for at least a little while this summer, and enjoy a cooling and healthful meal. Take a minute to let me know what you think, and of course don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

Looking for more salad inspo? Check out my Noodle Salad, Wild Mushroom Salad, or this Brussels Sprouts one!

 

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recipe card cucumber tomato salad

Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: salads
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale

For the Salad:

  • 1 European cucumber or 4 small persian cucumbers
  • 2 large tomatoes- or a mix of any kind is fine, about 2 cups.
  • ¼ red onion 

For the Dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced fine
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar 
  • 4 Tablespoon light colored soy sauce (regular is fine too)
  • 4 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Wash the cucumber. Trim the ends and then cut it in half lengthwise and slice it diagonally into chunky bite-size pieces.
  2. Wash the tomatoes and then cut them in half and then into wedges, slices, or attractive chunks. 
  3. Slice the red onion into very fine pieces. Rinse the onion in a colander under cold running water and then drain the water completely. Set aside.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds in a clean dry pan over medium heat for several minutes. Be sure to stir the sesame seeds to keep them from burning.
  5. Put the sesame seeds into the mortar and grind using a back and forth motion. You want a coarse grind where some of the seeds may still be whole.
  6. Add the ginger, garlic, sugar, light colored soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to the mortar bowl. Stir to combine and then transfer to a small pitcher or serving container.
  7. Divide the cucumber mixture into four individual bowls or one deep platter. Top with the tomato and the red onion. Serve the Cucumber Tomato Salad immediately with the dressing on the side.

Notes

*Even though the sesame seeds are already toasted, I like to re-toast them in the skillet. This step brings out more of the toasty, nutty flavor.

*I like to keep the dressing separate until serving since it will draw water from the veggies and you will end up with a very runny unattractive looking salad.

*You can make all of the components ahead of time and covered until ready to serve.

Keywords: salads, tomato, cucumber, summer, sesame seeds,