These pancakes (or fritters if you make them smaller for appetizers) are one of the dishes that my mom makes that I don't ever even attempt because they won't turn out the same. (Apparently I'm not alone.) When I was in college and home on a vacation or break, bin dae tok, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, and pasta alla carbonara (my mom is a fabulous cook) were three dishes I would request as soon as I returned home.
Now that she lives in Silicon Valley for part of the year, I can have her make mung bean pancakes anytime. Tonight, as she was preparing them, I finally wrote down the recipe for posterity (something I've been trying to do more of) and can share it with you. I forgot my camera so please note that the camera phone photos do not do these justice. They are much yummier-looking in person. And they smell amazing as they are cooking.
The mung beans you need for this look like yellow split peas. They are also sold whole and are green, but avoid those. They are available at any Korean market and at Indian markets where they are known as moong dal. These pancakes are very forgiving and as long as you have the base of the pureed mung beans, you can pretty much add anything to it making them vegan or not. Koreans like to make their pancakes "pretty" so there is an art to skillfully arranging sliced carrot flowers and chives atop the "raw" side of the pancake before flipping them over, but you don't have to bother. Just chop up your veggies (leftovers are great in these) and huck them into the batter, then pan fry away!
Here's a bin dae tok flickr set so you can see what they look like. And, there are multiple ways to spell this dish and I'm not pretending this is the right way. I'm a 5th generation Korean-American (not even my grandmother spoke Korean) so there is no one in my family to ask!
Bin Dae Tok
- 1 package of dried split peeled (hulled) mung beans (about 2 cups) soaked over night in 4 cups of water (After soaking, the water should be about half inch above the beans. Drain excess water then puree beans with stick blender or in food processor. They should be chunky and the consistency of thick split pea soup.)
- 1/2 pound of ground pork (raw)
- 1/2 cup of grated carrots (the pre-jullienned kind from the supermarket is great for this)
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped
- vegetable oil for frying
Dipping sauce: Equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar mixed together and garnished with a sprinkling of green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
Combine all above ingredients except for oil. Heat oil in a frying pan and drop batter by the heaping tablespoonful into pan. Fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Serve with a small dish of dipping sauce for each person.
My girls gobble these up (my mom makes some without kimchi for them).