Gluten free mung bean Korean pancake it’s whats for dinner! Lately, I’ve been interested in incorporating more plant protein into our diets. Of course, it’s economical, healthy and better for Mother Earth. However, finding a plant based protein that the kids would get on board with is a whole other challenge. My search led me to mung beans, actually I kind of stumbled onto it while searching bean varieties. Well, I had one of those Duh! moments. TQ used to love Korean pancakes before all of the food allergy diagnoses. I totally forgot about them! Best yet, these can be made easily gluten free. Maybe even MK would like them, its a pancake after all……. (we’ll see!)
Let’s talk mung beans
These little beans pack a nutrition punch! Not only are they high in protein and low in calories, but they offer many B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and fiber. In addition, they are low in fat and cholesterol. Today, I’m using them to make a gluten free Korean savory pancake but they could be really versatile by adding to soup or stews. And as a side note, I did try to sprout them which worked and I ate them on my salad.
What about the pancake
Korean pancakes are very versatile. Pick your favorite filling and everyone can tailor it to their tastes. They cook up with a slightly crispy edge and soft center nestling in the fillings. An Asian based dipping sauce rounds it out completely. So good! Make a big batch and then freeze them for lunches or another quick dinner.
Let get started on our gluten free mung bean Korean pancake
The filling is really up to you! I picked things I had on hand: shrimp, green onion, mild kimchi (kids doesn’t like spicy, but you could make it spicier), baby zucchini – julienned, a couple of napa cabbage leaves shredded. Julienned carrots and/ or peppers work as well, I just didn’t have any. And many Koreans use a little minced pork as well.
A little pre-planning will be necessary to make this dish so you can get the beans prepared. Soak beans over night. Next day, rinse them and discard the liquid. Place them back in the bowl with 1/4 cup of rice and soak 8 hours or so. (I did this in the morning so by the evening the beans and rice were ready for dinner.
Next, prep all of the ingredients that you are using to fill the pancakes. I cut everything small so they would cook fast.
Once the beans are finished soaking, drain the liquid, I did not rinse to keep a little of the rice starch on the beans. Place beans in a heavy duty blender with the egg, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Give it a blend and look to see if more water is needed. I ended up using about a cup (alternatively, Koreans authentically use the kimchi juice along with some water, that wouldn’t fly in my house but I thought I’d mention it). Blend until all of the beans and rice break down – the batter should be like a thin pancake batter, not too thick.
I poured all of the batter into a large bowl with all of my veggies and shrimp. However, if you wanted to customize pancakes for different people/palates you could keep veggies in a separate bowl.*
Time to fry them up!
On a large preheated skillet (medium heat), drizzle a little ghee or veg oil and drop a ladle full of batter onto the pan. They should sizzle around the edges. I cooked them about 3-4 minutes first side, flipped then cooked only about 1-2 minutes on second side. (Making sure shrimp or pork was cooked through)
* If you want to customize each pancake – drop a ladle full of the plain batter onto the pan and drop the veggies or meat over the top. Here, I would cook first side 2-3 minutes (or until it is set, flip) and cook the second side a little longer to cook the ingredients 3-4 min.
Pancakes are slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and make great leftovers (as I told you about – hehehe)
The gluten free mung bean Korean pancakes are a perfectly rounded meal in itself. but, I added a little fresh salad to the plate for some brightness and a tangy Asian dipping sauce. Dinner is served! In conclusion, MK even liked this dinner. The texture of the pancake is one thing that sold her. We will be adding this recipe to rotation during the year. What would you favorite fillings be?