Gina Lee tells her Korean Pancakes story:
“She was a fabulous cook. When Scott and I were first married she would often bring Korean dishes over to our house, including these wonderful savory pancakes. I would ask her: What is this? It’s so delicious. I’m good at figuring out the ingredients in a dish. What’s in the batter? Is it egg, or corn meal? I’m Italian, I thought about polenta…What makes it yellow?
But my mother-in-law would just smile.
I gave up trying to figure it out and just enjoyed them over the years. Fast forward, my husband made Korean pancakes at home as a test for our restaurant menu. And it was then I finally learned the secret. Mung beans? Mung beans and water. Really?”
Mung beans soaked in water then pureed in a blender produce an awesome mind-boggling pale yellow pancake batter. No wonder my friend Gina was baffled for all those years. Kimchi juice adds a rich golden hue and the unique seasoning.
Scott Lee Teaches Us How to Make Korean Pancakes Bindaetteok
Rinse (dried, peeled) mung beans. Soak them in water for approximately 6 hours. Ladle beans into a blender with some of the soaking water and blend to a smooth consistency similar to pancake batter.
- yellow squash
- mung bean sprout
- and tiny broccoli florets too
Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a non-stick sauté pan, add the vegetables and cook until lightly caramelized. Then add sliced cabbage kimchi and some of the kimchi liquid. Cook the kimchi another minute or so. Spread the vegetables evenly around the pan and ladle the mung bean batter over the vegetables. Tip the pan to spread out the batter. Cook until the bottom starts to brown. Add a bit more oil to the side of the pan and using a spatula, loosen the pancake. Flip the pancake and brown the other side.
We enjoyed our bindaetteok with a side of kimchi and a dipping sauce made with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar. After Scott demonstrated making several pancakes, Gina and I took our turns practicing and perfecting bindaetteok. I’m especially grateful to Scott and Gina for the cooking lesson and the stories…what a fun and delicious way to spend the afternoon!
Later in the week when I was on my way to work, I took a detour to the Korean Market World located on Sepulveda Boulevard in search of Scott’s recommended brand of kimchi, my cell phone rang. It was my own mother who has recently retired in Las Vegas.
“Hi Ma, I think I’m part Korean.”
“No Dear… your ancestry is English, German, Russian, and Romanian.”
“I know Ma, but nothing else can explain this kimchi emergency. And I’m addicted to bindaetteok.”
My dear friends Scott & Gina Lee are the proprietors of Gina Lee’s Bistro in Redondo Beach, California. Their wildly popular neighborhood restaurant has been serving exceptional Cal-Asian cuisine nightly, Tuesday through Sunday, since 1996.
Gina Lee’s Bistro
211 Palos Verdes Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA