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Eat This Now: Crispy Kimchi and Scallion Pancakes

Corky Pollan is famed author Michael Pollan’s mother. She deserves at least some of the credit for her son’s philosophies on food, and Corky along with her daughters, has just released a new cookbook loaded with plant-based recipes. It’s called Mostly Plants — and it’s completely fantastic. Here she shares a recipe from the book.

We grew up eating Chinese takeout every Sunday night, and one of our staples was scallion pancakes. In updating this typically heavy, greasy classic, we add our go-to flavor booster, kimchi, to our version, and the end result is flaky, crispy perfection. These are wonderful both as an appetizer when entertaining or as a main with a side of greens. — Corky Pollan

Crispy Kimchi and Scallion Pancakes

Makes four to six servings

For the Dipping Sauce

2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
¼ tsp. toasted sesame oil
½ tsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. chopped dried red chile pepper
1 tsp. thinly sliced scallion

1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, dried chile pepper, and scallion with 2 Tbsp. water and stir to combine. Set aside.

For the Pancakes

1 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. rice flour
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 c. cold seltzer
¼ c. kimchi liquid (reserved from draining the kimchi)
1 c. kimchi, drained and chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh medium-spicy red chile pepper (such as Thai bird or cayenne)
3-4 Tbsp. organic canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. In a large bowl, combine the two flours, salt, the egg, seltzer, and kimchi liquid; mix well to incorporate.
3. Add the kimchi, scallion whites, and red chile pepper; stir to combine.
4. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat ½ Tbsp. of the canola oil until shimmering.
5. Ladle about ½ c. of the batter into the pan and cook undisturbed until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
6. Flip the pancake and cook until the second side is golden brown, 2-3 minutes more.
7. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
8. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.
9. Remove the pancakes from the oven and slice into quarters. Garnish with the scallion greens and serve with the dipping sauce.

To purchase Mostly Plants, go to amazon.com.

Photo: Nicole Franzen

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