Kimchi-jeon, or kimchi pancakes, are reimaged here as kimchi waffles. We retain that spicy, slightly sour, and funky kimchi character in a super crisp waffle package. Topped with a gochujang sauce and some seared tofu, this is a taste and texture sensation you will remember.
One of the things that give Korean cuisine such a distinctive character is fermentation. Two of the primary ingredients in this kimchi-jeon/pancake/waffle dish, the kimchi and the gochujang paste, result from the fermentation of vegetables, including cabbage, peppers, and chillis. It can be an acquired taste for some, but this will be a lifetime relationship once acquired.
Waffles are not particularly Korean, and neither is adding parmesan cheese. So best say that the unique tastes of Korea inspire this dish. And the combinations certainly work. The kimchi flavours permeating the crunchy crispy kimchi-jeon/pancakes/waffles are a little unusual but incredibly delicious.
You can find kimchi anywhere though quality does vary. Buy several varieties and sample them. If the kimchi is too intense on its own, it does make a great accompaniment for rice. Good kimchi should have quite a deep, complex flavour, not simply hot and sour.
The gochujang sauce is so intense; it makes a great pairing with the crisp waffles and creamy seared tofu. Gochujang may be a little hard to find. If you can’t find it in the Asian section of your supermarket or at your local Asian market, try Amazon.
Kimchi pancakes (kimchi-jeon) in waffle form. Gochujang sauce
Kim chi waffles
- 1 cup drained and chopped kim chi liquid reserved
- 1/2 cup kim chi liquid
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 40 g melted butter
- 2 eggs lightly whisked
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- silken tofu (the firmer tofu just doesn’t have the same decadent mouthfeel)
- mixed greens salad
- Add melted butter, egg, kim chi liquid, and buttermilk to the flour in a large bowl.
- Gently combine, but don’t over mix.
- Fold in the chopped kim chi and grated parmesan.
- Make waffles as per waffle iron instructions and you experience using the waffle iron.
- Mix all ingredients together until well combined.
- If necessary, add a little water until it reaches the right consistency.
- Cut the tofu into 3cm x 3cm squares, and about 1cm thick.
- Add a little oil to a hotplate or pan, then gently add the tofu. Cook in batches, a few pieces at a time. Be careful, this type of tofu breaks easily.
- Sear until browned and flip, doing the same on the other side.
- Combine all ingredients and store in the refridgerator until ready to serve.
- Carefully place a few pieces of seared tofu with a waffle, drizzling over some gochujang sauce.
- Serve with a green salad and dressing.