Korean Prawn + Spring Onion Pancake

A few weeks ago Jack and I had a very important discussion – if you could only eat the food of one country for the rest of your life, which would it be? The conversation was a long one and it took us to all corners of 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.

One that we kept coming back to was Korean food. It's full of big, bold flavours that are perfectly balanced and every delicious mouthful is equal parts salty, spicy and tangy. Most dishes come with something on the side, usually pickled or fermented vegetables to add a perfect 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 the dishes we'd come to love in restaurants and at markets. I absolutely love this book because it gives you a really good from-the-ground-up approach to Korean home cooking and you genuinely feel like you're reading a collection of homely, frequently used recipes.

This pancake is one of the first things I made from it and after one bite I practically picked it up and did a waltzed it around the room (or at least I would have done if I wasn't fighting to keep Jack over his side of the plate with my chopsticks.) It's made from a dense batter that 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 that every juicy prawn tastes incredible and the scattering of chilli adds spice without setting your mouth on fire and 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 and it couldn't have been a more delicious way to end to the week.


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