Kimchi Latkes – Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah starts on Monday, and boy am I ready! I might be too old to get gifts anymore, and I know that the blue and silver tinsel around my house has nothing on a fully decked out Christmas tree, but latkes…yeah, I got latkes. Standard latkes, Moroccan Latkes, and…now…
Kimchi Latkes
(because, really, who doesn’t need more fermented cabbage in his or her life?)

Ingredients:
3 potatoes, grated
1 onion, grated
1/4 cup kimchi, chopped
1 – 1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup cilantro and 1 serrano chili, diced
sour cream
gochujang*
sesame oil or sesame chili oil
vegetable oil in which to fry
*gochujang is a Korean hot sauce that is made with chili, rice, and fermented soybeans. It is slightly spicy, but also nutty, earthy, and a little sweet. You could always use Sriracha or Sambal Olek in place of this, but you won’t get the same complexity or subtlety of flavor that you get with the gochujang. You can get it in upscale grocery stores or Asian grocery stores.

 1) Combine the potatoes, onions, cilantro, and serrano pepper in a bowl.

 2) Put the mixture into a paper towel, and squeeze the moisture. This is a VERY important step, or your pancakes will be mushy and not crisp properly.

 3) Take the kimchi (which I like to cut with kitchen shears)

 and blot it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. It doesn’t have to be super dry here, just not sopping wet.
That’s what she said

 4) Add the kimchi, eggs, and 

 flour to the potato mixture. 

 5) Combine with a fork or your hands until a thick mortar is formed. 

 Add more flour if necessary. You need the flour to work with the eggs to bind the pancakes.

 6) Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat.

 7) Drop a small lump of latke mixture into the pan – it should sizzle when it hits the oil. Mash the latke down with a fork to make it thin, so it has enough time to cook on the inside. Thick latkes = raw potatoes.

 8) When the latke is golden brown on one side (about 2 minutes) flip it, and cook it until it is crispy on the other side. Then remove it from the pan, and place it on a paper towel-covered plate to drain.

 9) In the meanwhile, combine the sour cream, gochujang, and sesame oil. I like to use a 1.5:1 ratio of sour cream to gochujang with just a splash of sesame oil, but you do what tastes good to you.

 When it is all combined, the sauce should be a lovely orange-y color.

 10) Serve.

These are really pretty outstanding. Somewhere between a traditional Pajeon and a classic latke, these are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – like the hash browns of your dreams. The kimchi becomes soft in texture and mild in taste when it is cooked, removing the overt fishiness kimchi can have, but leaving behind a pleasantly salty, tangy taste. The cilantro is herbal,and the diced serrano adds heat to the potatoes and sweet onions. These latkes are perfect on their own, but the dipping sauce really takes it over the top. The cool sour cream and nutty, deep sesame oil play well off each other. The gochujang adds heat and a bit of funky umami flavor. This would be delicious with sliced flank steak or maple salmon
Of course, it also goes great with that well known party game “Spin the Korean Dreidel.” Happy Hanukkah!

Comments

  1. I will convert if you make these for me.

  2. Will we get these at the party??

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Justin-Haha, we can trade these latkes for some of your awesome burgers!
    @Sarah-sorry we didn't do these! Hopefully the regular latkes made up for it?

  4. Julie Evelyn Kim says:

    Hi Sarah! Stumbled upon your blog from PBFingers! I HAD to comment on this post because it made me feel home-sick & all warm inside …I'm Korean and I LOVE this DISH!!! 😀
    As I was scrolling down, reading I was like its KIMCHI JUHN (kimchi pancakes) !!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! lol.

    Will be returning here! 😀

  5. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Julie-Thank you so much! I love kimchi so much, and am glad that you approve of the dish! Please come back and read often 🙂

  6. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat says:

    These look awesome- love your blog! Thanks for featuring my Mexican Latkes on the Bites blog!

  7. Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage says:

    This sounds fab! A friend just posted this on Facebook…wow! Now Following!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage
    http://www.shabbyfrenchcottage.com

  8. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Mikey – thank you so much! So glad you like the recipe!

  9. How inspiring. love it! As a Bud-Jew who has recently been inspired by The Kim Chi Chronicles, I will give these a try. You can never go wrong with potatoe latkes. Many thanks!

  10. Happy Chanukka! This is great – combine the traditional holiday "Leviva" with korean traditional "eat with everything" dish – sounds wonderful – you inspire me to try Felafel with Kimchi in a Pita with Tehina..mmm..Hard to get Kimchi in Israel, though.. Thanks for the post, loved it!

  11. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Anon-many thanks to you for reading!
    @Hanna-that sounds fantastic!! I hope it turns out so well!

Trackbacks

  1. […] post today isn’t my usual rambling diatribe on steak tartare or Asian Hanukkah food. That’s because I have been otherwise […]

  2. […] My mom who has taken me to an infinite number of bakeries, treated me to luxurious lunches, and taught me the fine art of latke making. […]

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