If you have a crowd to please or simply want a nice brunch, this recipe is for you. Seafood pancakes are popular appetizers at Korean restaurants. Unlike most sweet pancakes served for breakfast, seafood pancakes are savory and nourishing.
I have a vivid memory of these special pancakes that were only available in certain parts of South Korea. They were made of potatoes and buckwheat. These freshly cooked pancakes were served with sour soy sauce and tasted amazing especially after long hiking.
Now that I live in the United States, there is little chance that I can order these savory buckwheat pancakes at restaurants. So, why not make them at home? One day, I decided to put all of my favorite ingredients together in pancake batter: potatoes, buckwheat, seafood, and more vegetables, of course. Cabbages go really well with these pancakes. You can also use red bell peppers on the side for their crunchy texture and appetizing color (see the picture below). I'm quite happy with this recipe and hope you will try it out!
It may surprise you to learn that buckwheat is actually a seed. Buckwheat is rich in protein, fiber, and anti-oxidants. It reduces cholesterol and exhibits a low glycemic index because it is digested slowly. Thanks to its rich fiber, buckwheat feeds the "good" gut bacteria that are beneficial to our health, strengthening our gut barrier. Tight gut barriers confine the microbial components that over-stimulate our immune system despite a lack of real threats, saving our metabolic resources that would be otherwise wasted for mounting unnecessary inflammation. What a great way to increase sustainability in our body! It also means that we can protect our tissues from misjudged immune attacks, keeping them healthy.
Buckwheat is gluten-free, which makes it ideal for delicate desserts. The sweet and nutty flavor of buckwheat is also perfect for pancakes. Buckwheat noodles are also delicious in a summer salad dish. But, if you use buckwheat to make multi-grain bread, which I highly recommend, you will need extra gluten to ensure the rise of the bread.
These days, I often run into people who avoid potatoes like germs. Although potatoes are getting a bad reputation due to their high carbohydrate content, they are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber. If you use potatoes to complement vegetables, you can enjoy potatoes without worrying about spiking your blood glucose levels. That is why I included cabbages in this recipe. As health-beneficial cruciferous vegetables, cabbages are rich in fiber and powerful antioxidants that slow down the growth of cancer cells while reducing the risk of heart disease. Cabbages' bright green color that survives the cooking process is appetizing as well.
Now that you have learned about the wholesomeness of the ingredients, shall we make some potato buckwheat pancakes?
(Image source: Pixabay)
Ingredients for 4-6 servings
Two big Idaho potatoes (ground in a food processor)
One sweet onion (thinly sliced)
One medium carrot (julienned)
Red or jalapeño peppers (chopped; you can also use Kimchi to replace these hot peppers)
A quarter-pound of seafood mixture (chopped squid, chopped octopus, scallops, mussels, and shrimps; you can buy a package of uncooked, snap-frozen seafood mixture at any Asian grocery market.)
Scallions (cut into 2-inch pieces)
Pancake batter for 4 giant or 20 small pancakes: 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup buckwheat flour 1/5 cup cornmeal flour 1/3 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp salt 1 tsp of sugar Freshly ground pepper Ginger powder Garlic (minced)
Half pound of stir-fried cabbages that are seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger (cut into bite-sized pieces)
A red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
Peel and grind 2 potatoes in a food processor. In a big mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients first. Then, add 2/3 cup of cold water, a whipped egg, and ground potatoes to the mixture.
While heating up a non-stick pan coated with enough oil to cover the pan on medium-high, add the other vegetables and drained seafood to the pancake batter. When the pan is hot, spread the pancake batter thinly on the pan. If you do this, you will make a giant pancake, which requires your confidence in flipping it skillfully. I like making giant pancakes just because it is fun. But, if you are concerned, it is perfectly fine to place a scoop of batter on the pan, in turn, to make 4 small pancakes at a time. When you see the edge of the pancakes being cooked, shake the pan to see if you can detach the pancakes from the pan. If they move, it is time to flip them. Once you flip the half-cooked pancakes, cover the pan for a minute. A minute later, remove the cover and check the doneness of a pancake on its thickest part. If they are fully cooked, flip the pancakes again and slide each cooked pancake onto a paper towel on a big plate.
While the pancakes are still hot, serve them with stir-fried cabbages and red bell peppers on a serving plate.
If you are new to savory pancakes, I hope that these potato buckwheat pancakes will serve as a great introduction. Enjoy!