Pancakes are as old as cooking itself. Every culture makes them and I just bet everyone loves them. That’s partly because there are a million different versions. At my house – from fritters and latkes to these Korean Kimchi Pancakes – the best of these versions are all savory with unmistakeable umami.
Umami? What’s umami?
Umami is recognized as the cryptic-sounding fifth taste, after salty, sour, sweet and bitter. It’s that “moreish” sensation that leaves you feeling that you just can’t get enough. I can spout examples of what foods have umami: parmesan, tomatoes, mushrooms, some meats, and anything fermented. But, even so, how many of us can say what umami really tastes like?
For me, umami equates to a savory satisfaction. That hard to describe tingle when something hits your tastebuds just right. Crunchy and chewy at the same time soy-dipped Kimchi Pancakes really satisfy. It isn’t about getting too fancy or too flavorful: the joy of a pancake is that it is made fast and eaten quickly. This recipe is sized for two people but if you’re like me you’ll devour it in a single salty, spicy, sour sitting.
Which is exactly what I’m looking for when I’m cooking for one. Kimchi Pancakes are alone food for me. The kind of thing I slap together to feed myself when Ken is out of town or in this case out on the town (he’s at a wine event hopefully getting some good content for this blog). GREG