2.5 months in Seoul, South Korea
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Kimchi Buchimgae Recipe
I recently discovered that the place that I am staying at, Cherryville Livingtel, has a pretty well-stocked kitchen. In addition to free rice and kimchi, the kitchen also has condiments, spices, oils, and BUCHIM GARU!

Buchim garu is somewhat like pancake mix... "Buchim" means to stick together, and garu means "powder". Basically, you combine the flour powder with water and some type of julienned vegetable (such as potato or Korean zucchini) or seafood mix to make a "buchimgae", or savory pancake.

Kimchi buchimgae, 김치 부침개, is my favorite type-- it's hot, crispy, and delicious! Also great with soju..

Here's how to make it:

Combine buchim-garu powder and cold water in this ratio: add ALMOST (not quite) twice as much water as buchim powder. Knowing this ratio is useful so that you can make however many buchimgaes that you'd like.. as little as two or as many as thirty!

Now mix this until the flour has dissolved and you are left with a white batter. If the batter looks not watery enough, remember that the kimchi that you put in will add some liquid to the batter.

Now, you add the kimchi. Make sure that it is cut into small to medium pieces. Keep adding pieces until it looks spicy enough! Personally, I like adding a lot of kimchi. However, make sure you don't add so much that there isn't enough batter to coat the kimchi pieces, or else you won't be able to make a pancake. Also, if you'd like, you can add a couple spoonfuls of kimchi juice.. this makes the batter more flavorful!

Heat a non-stick frying pan on low to medium heat. When it is hot, add vegetable oil, coating the bottom of the pan. Spoon out some batter onto the hot oiled frying pan and use a wooden spoon to spread the batter out evenly and thinly. THIN is key--the buchimgaes will taste best when they are thin, crispy, and thoroughly cooked.

Make sure the heat is on medium-low so that your buchimgaes don't burn. After about 2 minutes, depending on the size of the buchimgae, one side should be done. Flip the buchimgae over so that the other side can cook. Add oil as needed so that the batter doesn't stick to the pan. Wait a minute or two so that this side can cook, and then transfer onto a plate, preferrably on top of a paper towel (I have to use the toilet paper rolls in the kitchen since napkins and paper towels don't exist in Korea!) so that the oil can drain out and the buchimgaes stay crispy.

Now continue making until your batter runs out! These taste best off right off the frying pan, hot and crispy. If you have leftovers, save them in the refrigerator, and you can refry them when you want to eat them later. Also, if you make a biiiig buchimgae pancake, use a knife to cut it into triangles, pizza style.

I can make this for FREE! Haha, there were two freaking full UNopened big bags of buchimgaru.. nobody uses them. Probably because you have to add oil to the pan to fry them, and oil is fattening. The only things that I see girls doing in the kitchen is peeling cucumbers, making a mixture of seaweed and water, and boiling cabbage leaves..diet diet!


posted by Jane @ 4:31 AM  
  • At 2:46 AM, Blogger Molly said…

    Hi Jane,

    Try this: Add medium size prawns, finely sliced onions and scallions to buchimgae and fry like fritters. Dont forget your green cha. Bon Appetit!


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Name: Jane
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