Korean Prawn + Spring Onion Pancake

A few weeks ago Jack and I had a discussion – if you could only eat the food of one country for the rest of your life, which would it be? The conversation took us all over the world; spicy Indian dhal with warm roti, platters of Japanese sushi and bowls of soothing ramen, homely British food like roast lamb or smoked haddock, Vietnamese bao buns, the fresh lime and coriander flavours of Mexican dishes and, of course, proper Italian pizza with a crisp but chewy crust.

We kept coming back to Korean food. The big, bold flavours are perfectly balanced and every delicious mouthful is salty, spicy and tangy. Most dishes come with something on the side, usually pickled or fermented vegetables to add a vinegar sourness, which means you get loads of different textures in one meal. I'm all about textures; crunchy nuts, crispy chicken skin, soft egg yolk, slippery noodles – I'll take as many as I can get.

So we got our hands on Our Korean Kitchen by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo and decided to get stuck in making Korean food at home. I love this book because it gives you a good from-the-ground-up approach to Korean home cooking and I genuinely felt like I was reading a collection of homely, frequently used recipes.

This pancake is one of the first things I made and after one bite I knew it was love. The dense batter clings on to every bit of prawny-garlicky flavour and keeps the spring onions (and there are a lot of them) in place. Marinading the prawns in a sesame-garlic mixture first means they taste incredible and the scattering of chilli adds spice without stomping out all the other flavours.

We enjoyed this on a Friday evening, stood at the kitchen counter with a few cold Silent Pool gin and tonics... what a delicious way to end to the week!


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