Tag: comfort food

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. read more

Teriyaki Meatballs

Teriyaki Meatballs

It’s hard to believe, but apparently we’re already in back to school mode. And that means easy dinners that will bring everyone to the table. These Teriyaki Meatballs really fit the bill. A juicy and tender mixture of pork and beef with a yummy teriyaki read more

Kimchi Pancake

Kimchi Pancake

One of the most popular Korean dishes is the Kimchi Pancake. Late night snack, savory breakfast, craveable side dish, this kimchi pancake does it all! This is peak Korean comfort food. One bite and you’ll see why, its crispy perfection will have you making this over and over again. The fact that it’s so quick and easy is an added bonus. Provided you always have kimchi on hand (and you should!), a delectable kimchi pancake is just minutes away!

ingredients kimchi pancake

It Starts with Kimchi

Homemade or store bought, kimchi is a pantry essential. Having a jar in your fridge means you can whip up kimchi rice, Korean dumplings, or these popular Ramen Hack noodles whenever hunger strikes. Because kimchi is a fermented food, it just gets better with age. Funkier, spicier, and ready to lend its explosive flavor and bright red color to an endless parade of dishes. So if you have a jar that has been sitting in the fridge for a while, a kimchi pancake is the perfect vehicle to use it up.

kimchi closeup

Making A Kimchi Pancake

Making kimchijeon is really easy, but it does absolutely require a nonstick pan. Or a really well seasoned cast iron one. And a little more oil than you may be used to. The oil gives the kimchi pancake its heavenly crunch and makes it easier to flip. You can absolutely make smaller ones but I like the more dramatic presentation of one big kimchi pancake, and getting to devour it as soon as its done.

Start by trimming the scallions and cutting them into four pieces.

flour kimchi pancake

You may notice there’s just a scant amount of flour for a pancake recipe. Kimchi is the star of the show, and the flour just plays a supporting role. I add just enough water to hold it all together. This is a very thick, and sticky, batter.

batter kimchi pancake

Preheat your pan before adding the oil. You don’t want the oil to smoke and get bitter, plus you want a hot pan so the kimchi pancake gets nice and crispy.

I add more oil when I lift the pancake to flip it, and still more oil while the other side is cooking. The oil is essential, it helps everything crisp up and hold together and release from the pan. The batter is very sticky, even a nonstick pan needs that oil.

I tend to serve this Kimchi Pancake as a snack, but you could easily turn it into a meal. Serve with some quick  banchan like Spicy Bean Sprouts and Lemon Zucchini for a satisfying, Korean inspired dinner.

Whip up my Kimchi Pancake this weekend, and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!



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recipe card kimchi pancake

Kimchi Pancake

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2-3 1x
  • Category: small plates
  • Cuisine: Korean


  • 3 scallions
  • ½ pound (8 ounces) napa cabbage kimchi, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 ounces shrimp (I used small 51-60 size), about ⅓ cup
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 48 Tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Trim the scallions and cut them into 4 pieces. Put it into a bowl. 
  2. Add the kimchi, shrimp, salt, sugar, sesame oil, flour, and water (Start with 4 Tablespoons and add more water if needed. Depending on the amount of kimchi juice you have, how dry your shrimp was when you put it in, and the humidity level of the flour, you will need more or less water) in a medium bowl and mix well with a spoon. Use only as much water as needed to pick up all of the flour. You should have a thick sticky batter.
  3. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet (it’s better to use a bigger one if needed but do not use a smaller one as your pancake will be too thick and not cook through) over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon or a spatula to make a large circle.
  5. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Pick up the pancake with a spatula and pour another tablespoon of oil in the center of the pan. Carefully turn the pancake over with a large spatula (you can also slide the pancake out onto a plate and then flip it back into the pan). 
  7. Then drizzle another Tablespoon of oil around the edge of the pancake.
  8. Use the spatula to tuck in any loose shrimp and keep the circle tidy. Also press gently on the pancake to ensure that all parts are touching the pan.
  9. Cook the pancake until the bottom of the pancake is also golden brown and crisp, another 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Flip the pancake one more time and cook for an additional minute to really crisp that side.
  11. Slide the pancake onto a large serving platter and serve immediately.


*You can use any size shrimp, dicing it if necessary. You can also make this without shrimp if you prefer.

*It’s important to use a non-stick skillet or a very well seasoned pan as the pancake has a tendency to stick. Even with the non-stick skillet, you will need to use the generous amount of oil stated to get that crispy, crunchy exterior.

Keywords: kimchi, pancake, korean, kimchijeon, shrimp, korean snacks,

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

Pork Rib and Radish Soup

While much of the country is still digging out of a deep freeze, I thought I would post one of the easiest and most comforting soups that I know. Chinese Pork Rib and Radish Soup has a steaming clear broth, hearty chunks of rich pork read more

Kimchi Stew

Kimchi Stew

Maybe the word “stew” conjures images of a bland and boring bowl of overcooked gray meat. Well, Kimchi Stew is going to change that! Vividly red, packed with spicy and funky flavor, this recipe will change the way you view stews forever. Kimchi Stew, or read more

Hainanese Chicken

Hainanese Chicken

Every culture has its own chicken and rice dish, comfort food at its comfiest. Here in Miami, the favored version is Cuban Arroz con Pollo, which is so ubiquitous you can literally find it at gas stations and any festive gathering. But Hainanese chicken, a southern Chinese take on the classic pairing of chicken and rice, is so rarely offered at restaurants that the only way to satisfy my craving is to make it myself. Hainanese chicken has a clean vibrant flavor which is a perfect antidote to all the rich foods we eat this time of year. The chicken is gently simmered, creating a flavorful and nutrient rich broth to cook the rice. And the two dipping sauces really take it over the top!  The frizzled scallion ginger sauce adds a blast of freshness, while the spicy bean sauce is rich and smoky.

Hainanese Chicken may look like a lot of steps, but don’t be scared. The sauces can be made ahead of time, and the cooking is mostly hands off. And then you are rewarded with silken chicken and a savory rice dish. This meal celebrates the rich flavor in the chicken itself, in an unvarnished and natural way, that is incredibly satisfying. Plus, this is a great recipe to learn some butchering skills. I will walk you through breaking down a chicken so you can attractively present it on a serving  platter. Prepare for very impressed guests!

Let’s Get Cooking!

hainanese chicken ingredients

I like to start with the sauces as they can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Both are really easy and quick to make. For the ginger scallion sauce, I begin by mincing the ginger and scallions. You want a really fine mince here, so that each bite of the dipping sauce contains both ginger and scallion. Then, you heat both sesame oil and neutral oil to near smoking hot, and very carefully pour it over the ginger, scallions, and salt and pepper.

The hot oils will tame the sharpness of the ginger, almost melt the scallions, and the toasty sesame flavor perfumes the entire sauce. When it’s done, store it in the fridge. Take it out when you are ready to start the chicken, so it comes to room temperature.

This sauce is salty, pungent, fresh, and finger-licking good. You can use any leftovers on top of simple grilled meats, salmon, or any steamed veggies.

dipping sauce for hainanese chicken

The spicy bean sauce is made from pantry ingredients like soy bean sauce, sambal olek, and rice wine vinegar. Stir them together and that’s done too! Like the ginger scallion sauce, it can be kept in the fridge until you’re ready to make the chicken.


A Nice Warm Bath

The key to Hainanese chicken is a slow simmer in a fragrant mix of traditional Chinese flavors like ginger, garlic, and Shaoxing wine. The long slow bath lets the chicken release its flavors into liquid, creating a rich stock for cooking the rice. I like to use a cast iron enamel dutch oven for this. It distributes heat better and can be kept at a low simmer for long time, without having to constantly adjust the heat.

hainanese chikcen in pot

The chicken will gently simmer for about 40 minutes, and then you will flip it over so the breast side is down. The key to making sure you have moist delicious breast meat, is to let it cook off heat, where the lingering heat in the steamy bath makes sure it’s just cooked through. Then you remove the chicken and set it aside in a covered bowl to keep warm.

Making the Rice

Cooking the rice for Hainanese chicken is pretty straightforward. The real difference being that plain water is replaced with the deeply flavored stock that the chicken cooked in, infusing every grain of rice with the rich savory flavors of chicken. For a refresher course on cooking  rice, check out perfect rice. I use jasmine rice in this, and rinse it before cooking.

hainanese chicken rice

While the rice is cooking, you can prepare the traditional Hainanese Chicken cucumber garnish. For a pretty presentation, I like to peel a few strips off the cucumber, leaving peel in between. Then I thinly slice it on the diagonal.


Breaking Down a Chicken

Knowing how to butcher a chicken is a great kitchen skill to have. It makes for a beautiful presentation and also comes in handy when you need to carve a turkey. Same principal, bigger bird. First, push down on the thighs and cut through the soft cartilage at the joint. Sometimes you can even pop the joint out and then just tease your knife to slice through the skin. Either way, your knife should cut through without too much resistance.

Then you’ll cut through the joint between the thigh and drumstick. For more manageable servings, I cut larger thighs in half; but that might be difficult without a heavy knife or cleaver. DO NOT attempt to cut through bone with a regular kitchen knife. You’ll severely damage your knife and probably your hand.

hainanese chicken

Next I remove the backbone. You can use either a sharp, heavy knife for this, or poultry shears. Then I remove the breasts, and slice into easily served pieces. And then I assemble all the pieces on a platter.

butchering chicken hainanese




Finally, it’s time to eat! Put out the platter of chicken, the cucumber garnish, the rice and the dipping sauces. Let everyone plate their own; it’s the least they can do after all your hard work.

hainanese chicken beauty shot


Hainanese Chicken is the perfect late winter, post holidays meal. Deeply flavorful and comforting, I know you are going to love it.  Let us know if you try it-leave a comment or tag us in your pictures @funkyasiankitchen, show us the goods!


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closeup hainanese chicken

Hainanese Chicken

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 20,minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minute
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese



Green Onion Ginger Dipping Sauce:

  • 6 scallions, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Ground white pepper

Spicy Bean Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal olek
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

For the chicken:

  • One 33 ½ pound chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 12 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 bunch of scallions, cut in thirds to easily fit the pot
  • 1 cup shaoxing wine
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 8 cups water


  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • ½ european cucumber
  • Handful of cilantro


Make the dipping sauces:

  1. Put the scallions, ginger, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper in a heat resistant bowl. Mix to combine. 
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and heat for 2-3 mins until you start to see some fumes start to come off the oil-it needs to be very hot. Take the pan off of the heat. 
  3. Add the oil slowly and carefully to the bowl with the scallion mixture. The oil will sizzle as the oil hits the wet ingredients so use extreme care when adding the hot oil. 
  4. Stir to combine and then set aside until ready to use or refrigerate.
  5. Mix the sambal olek, bean sauce, light brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar together. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve chicken.

For the Chicken:

  1. Rinse chicken and place in a large pot, breast side up. 
  2. With a mallet or flat blade of a kitchen knife, smash the ginger and garlic lightly and place it in the pot along with the scallions and the wine. Add the salt plus enough water to the pot to come up about 3/4 up the chicken, about 8 cups. (It’s ok if the chicken is not fully submerged in water)
  3. Put the pot on the stove and bring the chicken to a simmer over high heat. Cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. The chicken should be cooking at a gentle simmer. 
  4. Simmer the chicken for 45 mins. and then flip the chicken so the breast side is down in the water.
  5. Put the lid back on, turn off the heat, and let the chicken continue cooking for another 10-12 mins off heat. (The residual heat in the pot will gently finish cooking the breast meat. A meat thermometer should read 165-170).
  6. Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the stock. Put the chicken into a bowl and cover to keep warm and moist while you cook the rice.

Cook the Rice:

  1. Measure out 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth from the pot into a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid. You do not need to strain out the solids, just push them out of the way. A little chicken fat is a nice addition to the rice but if you have a thick layer of fat floating on the surface of the broth, then skim it off first before measuring out the broth. 
  2. Rinse the rice under running water and then drain. Add the broth and the rice into the saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and bring the pot to a simmer, stirring the rice once or twice with a fork (sometimes hot liquid tends to congeal the rice at the bottom of the pan where it can start to stick).
  3. Lower the heat to medium low as soon as it starts to simmer and cover with a lid.
  4. Cook for 8-10 minutes until you start to see small holes on the surface of the rice and it starts to puff up. Lower the heat to low, stir the rice once more with a fork, and cover the pot.
  5. Cook for an additional 10-12 minutes until the rice is shiny and soft. If the rice is still a little firm, add a couple more tablespoons of broth and cook for 5 additional minutes.
  6. When the rice is done, remove from heat and let sit an additional 5 mins to let the rice finish absorbing any remaining moisture. Let it sit in the pot until ready to serve.

To serve:

  1. Prepare the cucumber garnish. Peel a couple of strips off of the cucumber and then cut it into thin slices on a slight angle. Arrange the cucumber on a large platter with the cilantro.
  2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the thighs and drumsticks, and cut them into manageable pieces. 
  3. Remove the back by cutting down the sides of the bird. Then, cut the breast in half through the bone, by cutting on either side of the breast bone.
  4. Remove the breasts in one piece and flip them over to remove any cartilage or bone fragments. Then cut the breast into thick slices.
  5. Arrange all of the chicken on the platter next to the cucumber. Scoop the rice onto a separate platter or into individual bowls. 
  6. Serve the sauces on the side and let guests help themselves.


*The chicken is served warm, room temperature, or cold with the hot rice. You can make all of the elements ahead of time. Reheat the chicken gently in the microwave or in a pan with a little reserved cooking stock. 

*If you make the sauces ahead of time store them in the fridge until ready to serve. They keep for several days.

*The chicken can be made ahead of time too. It too keeps for serval days in the fridge. You can either keep it whole and gently re-warm in reserved stock in a pot, and then cut into pieces. Or you can cut it into pieces before refrigerating, pour some stock on top, cover with plastic film, and heat in the microwave.

Keywords: hainanese chicken, rice, comfort food