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
31 thoughts on “Enigmatic Korean Pancakes”
wow, haven’t had these in years.. my grandpa would make these…. kinds looks like a flat frittata…
This looks fantastic! The pictures are great.
Photos are beautiful! The vegetable are cut so perfectly – one can only dream to aspire to such perfection!
These look amazing – I am a big fan of savoury pancakes and love scallion pancakes. Would love to try these.
These pancakes look like a distant cousin of the Italian frittata… delicious!
Oh, my gosh, these look fabulous!!! I think I could live off these beauties~ Have a great weekend, LL!
These look really wonderful – I’d love to try them. Mung beans are some of my favorites, and I love the bold flavors of Korean cooking 🙂 Wonderful pictures.
That was so much fun…your pictures truly do justice and evoke that mouthwatering that preceeds a big bite of one of these yummy things. Eventually I didn’t care what they were made of. I was just happy to see them. Mung beans?? Who knew?? So healthy…I’ll have another please!! But like many Korean dishes it takes a while to prepare. But time just flew by in Lori’s kitchen. What an enjoyable and unforgetable day.
Thank again Gina – can’t wait for our next cooking adventure!
These look absolutely delicious! I have never had anything like it…but WOW!
the photos are gorgeous, but if you have never eaten these beauties, you have no idea how fabulous they taste! an amazing combination of flavors and textures: they are crispy on the outside, tender and bursting with the sweetness of fresh vegetables balanced by the salty, spicy kimchee inside. you can’t imagine that the texture of the batter comes from mung beans! thank you for introducing me to bindaetteok!
Al – please call me when you make them at home!
P.S. And tell me which version you make…chunky or smooth?
What a unique idea! This looks very nice; I would certainly try this pancake. Thanks for the idea!
What a special post Lynn! Thanks for sharing this culinary adventure with us!
This is my favorite panchan to get! I am in LA, I will have to check out your friends place next time I am down in the south bay area~!
Hi Lindsey – make sure to tell Scott & Gina you saw them on Taste With The Eyes.
You’ll love the restaurant!
I am enamored with not only this recipe, but this post! Really lovely introduction to Korean pancakes. I can’t wait to try this at home!
Beautiful post, Lori Lynn. A sweet story in elegant words and images: a pleasure to read.
Thanks so much Simona, I’m so glad you like the story as well as the pancakes!
Beautiful! Thanks for the recipe; I’ve been wanted to make these for a long time!
We’ve got quite a few Korean eateries here and it’s indeed one of my favoured cuisines at the moment. I’ll look for these on the menu next time I’m eating Korean.
I tried the recipe today and it was very good. Thanks.
Hi Janet – great, thanks for letting us know.
Hey there! I want to try to make this recipe ASAP but when I ask at my local coop and/or Whole Foods, they show me green mung beans. One brand is bulk and the other is pre packaged and says “dried and pre-sprouted” (you cannot see any sprouts but they seem crispier and only cook in about 10 minutes in boiling water). You also mention “peeled” mung beans so I’m totally confused as I cannot find peeled, dried mung beans anywhere! Help!! It would be helpful if you could elaborate on where to get the mung beans you use – do they come already peeled and are they yellow looking or green? If I just soak the bulk green mung beans, and then blender them, will the green parts get blended up or do I need to peel those and if so, how does one peel tiny beans?
Thank you so much…I really want to make this recipe but can’t until I understand the bean part!
Hi Shari – I buy dried peeled yellow mung beans at the Asian market, especially at the Korean market. I haven’t seen them anywhere else. I’m not sure any other kind of mung bean will do in this recipe. Good luck.
Found ’em today, thanks! I’m going to try them tomorrow and I’ll let you know how it goes!
Love, love, love Korean pancakes! I am going to try making these! Any tip on which brand of kimchi to get??
Hi K! Thanks for commenting! Our favorite kimchi is Ocinet, I buy it at the Korean market called Market World on Sepulveda in Torrance.
Got these at a crazy lady in Kangaroo island a few years ago and have been trying to find the recipe ever since. I think this is it!!!