Well, mung bean’ed at any rate For the opening of my parent’s new business we had to prepare a whole lot of food, and this particular food was made in great quantity.
Made with a base of pureed mung beans, it’s called ‘bin-dae-dduk’, it is another of those foods which appear at most feast day tables in Korea, and for very good reason! It’s one of my favourite dishes and I think I can speak without bias to say that my mother’s recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted!
Topped with a little thinly sliced thai red chilli, their crisp brown exterior hides a world of delights inside their crispy shell
250g dried mung beans with skin removed *
250g pork mince **
250g bean shoots
135g kimchi, all liquid squeezed out and roughly chopped ***
1 bunch of spring onion, well rinsed
100g dried fernbrake (called ‘gosari’ in Korean), boiled to rehydrate then drained
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
10 thai red chillis (the small ones about 1 inch long), seeds removed and thinly sliced
1 cup water
* Trust me when I say this is an important thing – if you don’t then you’ll have skins from the beans floating around in the mixture which are difficult to blend, chewy and generally icky.
** To make a vegan version, you can replace the pork mince with ‘dry’ tofu, an extremely firm tofu that has had almost all the liquid squeezed out. Just mince it by mashing it with a potato masher.
*** Kimchi can be bought in small containers from any Korean grocery store, but failing that you could always try and make it yourself
1. Soak the dried mung beans overnight, the next morning they should be soft enough to squish between your fingers without too much force. If you haven’t gotten skinned mung beans, then after the soaking you’ll need to lightly rub the beans to remove the skins and manually remove them from the water.
2. Use a food processor or stick blender to process the mung beans with 1 cup of water, blend till completely smooth otherwise you’ll have chunks of raw mung bean in the pancakes and it’ll be strange.
This is the processed mung bean, see how smooth the mixture is?
3. Put the blended mung beans aside, and put on a pot of water to boil. Blanch the bean shoots to slightly cook them, but don’t leave them in any longer than about 2 minutes – you want them to be kinda floppy, but still retain a little bit of crunch when you bite into them. Refresh them in cold water and strain all water from them.
4. Cut the spring onions (scallions) into 2-inch lengths and put them aside, then lightly fry the rehydrated bracken fern in a tsp of oil till fragrant. In a large bowl, mix the chopped spring onion, bcracken fern, pork mince, kimchi, ginger and garlic till well combined.
Aww, the lovely mix of flavours and textures!
5. Pour the mung bean puree into the pork mince and mix till everything is once again well combined.
Look at the consistancy of this mix – thick, not too watery, when you scoop it up with a soup ladle and pour it back it should be ‘gloopy’ (yeah, I’m all about the technical terms here!)
6. Heat up a frying pan or griddle over a low-medium heat and make sure it is extremely well oiled, then pour the mixture into small pancakes, about one soup ladle scoop per pancake. Place a few thin slices of chilli on top of each pancake – it is mostly decorative, but also provides some warmth when the little pancakes are being consumed
These are a little over 1/2 an inch high, when you flip them over you should lightly press down with a spatula to help flatten and even them out.
7. Fry till the underside is firm, crunchy and golden, then flip and fry the other side till it’s also crunchy and golden.
See the oil bubbling around the pancake? I guess they really should be called fritters as they should be fried in about 3mm oil to make sure the sides of these thick pancakes is cooked also.
8. Leave them to drain on some paper kitchen towels. These can be fried and lightly refried before serving, but they do need to be served warm otherwise they are a bit tough.
By the time me and mom had finished, this wooden basket was piled high with these crispy little bundles of joy
Thanks to the kimchi, these don’t require any dipping sauce, but you can make a simple one of vinegar and soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio with a 1/2 tsp of dried chilli powder mixed in.
[tags]korean food, fritters, mung bean[/tags]