Savory vegetable pancakes
Savory pancakes are one of the greatest foods on earth - the proof is in how many different cuisines have their own versions of savory pancakes. They are incredibly versatile and usually you can throw them together with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.
These savory vegetable pancakes are a vague fusion of Korean yachaejeon and Jewish potato latkes. I was inspired to make a vegetable pancake from this tiktok and because I had a lot of vegetable scraps I wanted to use up. However, I knew I wanted to add eggs to help bind them and add more protein.
Savory pancakes also serve as a perfect vehicle for your favorite dipping sauces! If you want to make latkes, try Jake Cohen's recipe. If you want to make yachaejeon, try Maangchi's recipe. If you want to blend the two, read on!
Here's how to make savory vegetable pancakes:
-1) Preheat your oven to the "keep warm" setting or lowest temperature setting.
1) Slice and grate your veggies. For more tender vegetables (bell pepper, onion, scallions) do a julienne or matchstick. For less tender vegetables (carrots, potatoes, broccoli), grate them and then squeeze out residual moisture with a kitchen towel. I like to do a mix of grated and sliced vegetables for textural contrast. Season the vegetables with salt and your favorite chili flake - I used gochugaru. (Hint: if you are too lazy to grate your own potatoes, buy pre-shredded hashbrowns.) You'll want about 2-3 cups of vegetables.
2) Make the batter. Beat 3 eggs and season with a generous pinch of salt and a generous pinch of onion powder. Add 100g flour or matzo meal. Then, add water until it's a loose batter consistency - think a little runnier than cake batter, similar to a sweet pancake. It should be easily pourable. It will likely be just under 100ml or 100g of water. (You can either do this in a separate bowl or add these ingredients to the vegetables.)
3) Heat neutral oil in a nonstick skillet. Mix the vegetables into the batter if you made the batter in a separate bowl. Once the oil is hot, add a scoop of vegetable batter to the pan and pat it out into a pancake shape. Let it cook until it's crispy on the bottom, then flip to cook the other side. It should only take about 2 minutes per side. If you're doing small pancakes, you can probably cook a few at a time, but don't over-crowd the pan.
4) Once each pancake is cooked, set it on a baking sheet lined with a rack or paper towel inside the warm oven until they are all cooked.
5) Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, sour cream, or Mexican crema! I used the classic bibimbap sauce from My Korean Kitchen.
MIX IT UP
Savory pancakes are endlessly adaptable. Switch up the seasonings, vegetables, and dipping sauce for any flavor profile!
Idea 1: use dried dill instead of red pepper flakes with the vegetables and top with Top the Tater or ranch.
Idea 2: use chipotle powder and cumin instead of red pepper flakes and top with Mexican crema, Marie Sharp's hot sauce, and fresh cilantro.