Dinner Tonight: Korean Scallion Pancake with Shrimp, Bacon, and Kimchi
I'm a huge fan of Korean scallion pancakes—those crispy sheets of egg and flour batter mixed with sautéed scallions. But they are usually just one component of a large feast, and since I don't often have time during the week to bust out some serious banchan, I often neglect this dish.
The obvious way to solve this problem is to dump all kinds of other things into the batter—shrimp, bacon, and kimchi, for instance—but while the flavor may be there, the pancake often looses its crunch thanks to the extras. Plus, then I'm in seafood pancake area, and that prevents the pancake from getting the love it deserves.
But what if the filling and pancake could be cooked separately, and then combined at the end for a simple meal? Nothing sounded as promising as that triumvirate of sweet shrimp, salty bacon, and spicy kimchi. Just about anything would taste good with those three involved.
Scallion pancakes are most often cooked in large skillets, and then sliced into wedges to eat. But I decided to try out individual-sized portions using an 8 1/2-inch non-stick skillet. Some scallions are sautéed briefly in some oil, and then a quarter cup of the egg and flour is poured in. Left to cook for about two minutes until lightly browned on the bottom, it's then easy to flip with a spatula. Another two minutes, and you have a crispy little pancake to function as a base for the shrimp filling. A handful of lettuce adds some green, and a quick sauce helps tie everything together.