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October 20, 2011

Cabbage Pancakes



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Hello there!!!!
Have I gone too long?
I am so sorry that it took so long to be back, but boy! what a summer I had...

First of all, I traveled to Korea to visit my hometown.
Then, my family had to cross the pacific ocean again to relocate onto a tropical land in SE Asia. Where? well, I will let you know in my next post.

It always takes some time to settle into a new place no matter where you go. I finally was able to put my family onto a routine so that I can come back to blogging.
 So here I am..., introducing a simple dish to start.
But before I start the tutorial of these gorgeous cabbage pancakes, I would like to introduce my lovely hometown, Tong-Young city, of South Korea.


 
 Beautiful, isn't it?


I used to walk along this road everyday to go to school. 
It has changed so much since I left some 20+ years ago.


 Fishing is the major industry in this town.


 Some random kiddos goofing around 6am in the morning on Nam-mang hill park.


Painted walls in Dongpirang hill. Every house has whimsical paintings on their walls.

The same random kids who were following me every where I go...


 Do you speak Korean? Try to read this! So funny!
Such a strong southern Korean accent, they had to put translation on the bottom. Of course I understand the whole thing. In fact I used to talk like that.


 This angel looks just like my daughter...


 The front door of my house...  Just kidding.
It's the entrance of the memorial house of Admiral Lee; the most respected general in Korean history.


 
 That's him!
5 seconds of Korean history; If England has Admiral Lord Nelson who brought victory from the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral lee and his world's 1st iron boat saved Korea from the Japanese invasion in 16th century. The winning battle happened in the ocean near my hometown.


 Traditional Korean architectural details.


 I love Korean doors.


 The bamboo and the cascading walls remind me of the back yard of my grandparent's house.


 The colors of Korea...  We call it Dan-Cheong.


The famous seafood market in the city.


The most famous seafood out of all from Tong-Young is these dried anchovies. 


Cleaning the fish for her customer, she tried to wink at me as I taking her photo. 
People are humorous and sweet in the south...


A lady ripping out the skin of eels. My kids freaked out about this.


Love their visors.


This is one of the best fish stew I ever had in my life. One of my mother's friends runs seafood restaurant and this is the dish she served. I finished 2 bowls of rice with this stew. Soooo good!


This is the fish in the stew, called "Galchi".
You can tell it is from Korean ocean judging from the shine of their fish scale.



 My mother carrying some dried sea products. Of course they are all for me.
Why is she holding an umbrella in sunny day? That is her secret to maintain the beautiful skin.


 Another famous thing in Tong-young is the handcrafted furniture.
This man is a master artist in Korean handicraft. He uses Avalon shells to create beautiful furniture pieces. He kindly welcomed our visit to his studio and taught my kids about his work.


 My kids learned how to inlay the Avalon thread into motif.


The master himself was working on his project, the jewelry box.
I asked him how much the jewelry box he is working on. He looked at me and said, "I don't think you can afford it". I told him that I will decide whether I can afford it or not. He smiled and saying, " This will sell for US$5,000".
I told him immediately that I can't afford it.


This twin chest will run up to $100,000.
It will take the artisan one year to complete.


 Another famous handicraft of Tong-Young is these quilted bags. They run from $30-150.


 This is Tong-Young style Kimbap. I can eat this every day.
Plain rice wrapped with dried seaweed and served with spicy squid, fish cakes, and radish kimchee.
A must-eat when you visit Tong-Young.


 A boat ride to nearby islands. My kids sharing their shrimp crackers with seagulls.


 There are so many tiny islands nearby and they all have a beautiful scenery. This one has a lighthouse on the top.


So how do you think? Would you like to visit Tong-Young next time you go to Korea?
I should get a job with Korea tourism board... ha ha!


 *****

Now coming back to my recipe...
This recipe (it is too easy to call it a recipe though) is originated from southern province of Korea.
The sweet mellow flavor of cabbage leaves gets coated with batter and pan fry them. A wonderful snack or lunch on a rainy day for me.

All you need is cabbage and some flour. 
Look for small yellowish cabbage hearts instead of huge green bulky ones (those are for Kimchee).


 
My humble beginning of this recipe is; cabbage, Korean deep fry flour*, plain flour, Korean soy sauce, sesame oil.

*Korean deep fry flour is basically seasoned flour mix for deep fry batter. This will make the pancakes quite crisp to bite on. If you can't find this, substitute with cake flour mixed with baking powder, onion powder, and salt.


Cut cabbage leaves from its base. If your leaf curls up like mine...


Just tap the white stem part with back of you knife until it gets flat.


Now she is as flat as pancakes. Well, she will become a pancake if not...


In a shallow bowl (I used a pie dish), mix flours and some water...


The batter will be runny like crepe batter.


This is Korean soy sauce (for soups). It is DIFFERENT than regular soy sauce.


It is more translucent and salty, almost like fish sauce, but there is no fish involved in the sauce.
(If you are serious about Korean cooking, you better get this soy sauce because I am using this sauce quite often.)
Add a little bit to the batter.

Add a drop of sesame oil.


Whisk everyone well in the batter...


Heat up the pan and add some oil. I like to use brush when I make Korean pancakes.


First coat cabbage leaf with a little bit of flour.


And coat with the batter, drizzle out extra.


Place on the pan and don't bother her for the next 3-5 minutes.
Adjust the heat so it doesn't burn her. Medium heat is alright for me.


Flip and fry the other side of her. You will see the nice golden crust on her appearance.


If the pan seems to be dry, just drizzle a little more oil  around the edge.


She will taste divine the way she is now, but if you must have a dipping sauce with her...

Chop some green onion and chilies and mix with regular soy sauce (preferably low sodium), rice vinegar, and a little water.


You might think it is just plain boring pancakes made out cabbage,
but these are surprisingly good.
Do not underestimate the cabbage power...
And 
It is good for you.



Cabbage Pancakes
10 napa cabbage leaves
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup Korean deep fry batter flour (Tuigim garu)*
1 cup water
2 tsp Korean soy sauce for soup
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup flour for coating
some canola or grape seed oil for frying

Dipping Sauce:
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp water
1 green onion minced
1/2 fresh chili minced

* Tuigim garu: 1 cup cake flour + 1/4 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp onion powder + pinch salt

Flatten the cabbage leaves with back of you knife by tapping on the white stem part. Set aside.
In a shallow bowl (such as a pie dish), mix flours, water, soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk well. The batter will be as thin as crepe batter.

Heat non stick skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp of oil.
Coat each cabbage leaves with flour and drench with batter mix drizzling out the extra in the bowl. Place the battered leaf on the skillet and fry for 3-5 minutes. Do not move it around. It will sear the surface nicely golden and crispy. Flip to the other side and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so. Serve warm with dipping sauce.




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27 Comments:

At October 20, 2011 at 1:01 AM , Anonymous Aboxofkitchen said...

 Welcome back, Holly!! I really missed reading your posts! I`m really glad that you and your family have spent such marvelous time visiting your hometown. The pictures of your hometown are amazing! I totally agree, you should work for Korean tourism board :D By the way, it never occurred to me to try Korean soy sauce since I thought it was similar with the Japanese shoyu, but now I know it`s time to give it a try. And the cabbage pancake looks interesting! Can you call it Jeon?

 
At October 20, 2011 at 4:32 AM , Anonymous Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Welcome back! really enjoyed the photos of your hometown and it looks so scenic, would love to visit it if I have a chance in future :) Can I make a guess? I'm guessing you relocated to Singapore??? 

 
At October 20, 2011 at 4:38 AM , Anonymous Cindy said...

Hi Holly, Welcome back! Korea is such a wonderful place. Last year we spent our Christmas there, I love all the food they prepared for us.I enjoy bibimbap too, very.Looking forward to learn some Korean food from you.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 4:56 AM , Anonymous leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Nice to see you back! Love the snapshots. And the pancakes look delicious, I would never underestimate them!

 
At October 20, 2011 at 6:25 AM , Anonymous Laure said...

Hi Holly, it's good to have you back ! I really missed reading your posts.  I
usually never comment on here, but I love your site, actually it's the
one that got me started cooking korean food.


Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. Your hometown is such a beautiful place.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 6:44 AM , Anonymous kitchenriffs said...

Welcome back!  Really nice photos of your hometown. Great recipe!  And so simple.  Your instructions are extremely clear.  Thanks.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:10 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

@03c8fad0cbe3d9d437f8dafd276001b9
Traditional Korean soy sauce is quite different than regular soy sauce. It is made from fermented soy and has a little more pungent flavor. As for clarity it can be similar to Japanese shoyu but saltier. We mostly used it for seasoning soups, stews, and many vegetable side dishes. Some even add to Bulgogi.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:13 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home)
I love your new blog name. When did you change it?
No, I am not in Singapore. Good guess though.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:15 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Thanks Laure. Your comment means a lot to me. Hope to communicate with you more.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:16 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

@ff5a7342455262aefc19b0703b5a1649
Ha ha, thanks. Yeah... we don't underestimate vegetables.

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:17 AM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

@6d0fc56428f9bc99e542b35874bbf1ed
Great, thanks Cindy!

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:22 AM , Anonymous Shanying said...

I stumbled across this blog a few weeks ago and have been eagerly awaiting new updates. So glad to see you're back to blogging! I love that you provide more than just a recipe. Your stories give the dish a whole new dimension! And, as I told my friends, reading your blogs makes me feel like I have my own Korean mother telling me how to make something. Thanks omma! 

 
At October 20, 2011 at 7:51 AM , Anonymous Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home) said...

Thanks Holly! Yeah about 2 mths ago, wanted a custom domain and wanted something more fitting I thought...hmm how about Indo or the Philippines? since Malaysia is not an island hehe

 
At October 20, 2011 at 10:28 AM , Anonymous Jux said...

Darling Holly!!!
10000times Welcome!!!
I've been visiting your kitchen, from time to time, imagining when you would be back... i even took a look in the post from 2010 to see when you came back from your trip to Europe - btw, it was in septemeber... so september is gone, ocotber almost ending...
And...
And... Surprise!!! Here you are!!!
I must confess: when you published your last post in july, telling us about the summer trip with your kids - whose destination was a secret - believe or not, I felt you had travelled to Korea, to be with your clan!
And I was right!!!
I'm so happy to read about your trip, see the gorgeous photos and feel glad for your time with your mom... I remember some very sweet posts in which you mentioned how you missed your mother... I understand you so well, cause I miss my mother too. These wonderful women that brought us to this life!
Family and health are the most precious treasure of life!
Long and healthy life for our families!!!
Big hugs and, once again, welcome back!!!
Jux... a very happy Jux to see you again!

 
At October 20, 2011 at 11:26 AM , Anonymous Melissa C. said...

Wow! Beautiful pictures! I am going to have to try those pancakes!

 
At October 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous Caroline in San Francisco said...

Thanks for the great photos of Korea! One forgets there is so much more to Korea than Seoul. Your photos make me want to go back there. 

 
At October 20, 2011 at 1:06 PM , Anonymous Erica Sommermann said...

Tong-Young DOES look delightful--I would love to visit!  So many beautiful sights and interesting things to learn there.  Thank you for sharing with us about your home!  I went to Korea for the first time this summer, but unfortunately it was very brief and I only had time to see a few sights in/near Seoul.  Glad you had a good trip! ^_^

 And the Cabbage-jeon look so yummy!  I am also glad you are back, because I love seeing your pictures and reading your posts!

 
At October 20, 2011 at 2:29 PM , Anonymous tofuturkey said...

I'm so happy you're back! You're one of my favorite blogs to read; it was really nice seeing the photos of Korea. 

 
At October 20, 2011 at 5:30 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

@58e14e488ed421208f21fdf7f6ab0d75
Good to hear from you, too. I have been thinking about you, too.
Yes, I had a great time with my mother. Most of all I was so happy to see my children spending time with her. You are so right. There is nothing that can be more valuable or replaceable than your family.
How are you doing there? Having a good time?

 
At October 20, 2011 at 5:33 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

Thank you for your sweet comment. I am glad that my blog makes someone to feel as comfortable as their own mother's instruction in the kitchen. Hope to communicate with you more.

 
At October 21, 2011 at 2:19 AM , Anonymous LucyL said...

I'm soooo happy to see you back! Have missed reading your blog, I log on every few days to see if there are updates! Your home town looks lovely, thanks for sharing the photos!

 
At October 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Rachel said...

Hi Holly

Good to hear that you are back to blogging again. Love those pictures of your hometown. They are beautiful. And the cabbage pancake looks pretty and easy to make too. Thanks for sharing, Holly!!

Rachel

 
At October 25, 2011 at 11:46 PM , Anonymous Jasmine Ng said...

I am so happy you're back to blogging! Have missed your posts! By the way, I've been using your Kimchi recipe and everyone who's tried it, loves it. The only thing I've changed is to up the amount of garlic. Thanks for the great recipes! 

 
At October 25, 2011 at 11:48 PM , Anonymous Jasmine Ng said...

I'm so glad you're back to blogging, have really missed your posts! By the way, have been making using your Kimchi recipe and evryone who has tried it, loves it! The only change I've made is to up the amount of garlic. Thank you so much for sharing.

 
At December 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM , Anonymous Sea said...

you have a beautiful hometown, i would love to visit it one day.

 
At April 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM , Anonymous Hannah said...

Hi Holly,
I recently found your blog, and I have to say, I was really excited to find out that you're from Tongyoung! My mom's actually from there, and after having moved to/living in the States for 20+ years, she moved back to Korea with my dad to a nearby city (Sacheon).  I've had the opportunity to visit TongYoung several times, and it's a beautiful town with rich tradition.  Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the awesome recipes and photos that bring back memories -- will be continuing to follow!

 
At April 26, 2012 at 1:01 AM , Anonymous CCoffee Goh said...

Love ur blog and just wondering if you can translate the signboard to Korean-English and the meaning ... cos i am so keen to know

 

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