Enigmatic Korean Pancakes

korean pancake, bindaetteok
Korean Pancakes
Bindaetteok

korean embroidered tablecloth
Mrs. Lee’s Embroidered Tablecloth

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.

Korean.

Pancakes.

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?”

 

bindaetuk, korean pancake, mung bean pancake

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.

dried yellow mung beans
Dried Yellow Mung Beans

Scott Lee Teaches Us How to Make Korean Pancakes Bindaetteok

Scott Lee makes bindaetteok

How to Make Bindaetteok

How to Make Bindaetteok

How to Make Bindaetteok

How to Make 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.

Julienne vegetables:

  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • carrot
  • leek
  • 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.

bindaetteok with dipping sauce

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!

korean pancakes, bindaetteok

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.”

          “???”

Scott Lee, Gina Lee's Bistro

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
310-375-4462

29 thoughts on “Enigmatic Korean Pancakes”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    shari

    1. 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.
      LL

  6. oooh fantastic!!
    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!!!

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