When I was living and working in central Auckland, going to a Korean restaurant was a weekly pilgrimage. Having a Korean sister in law is a huge advantage too because we would stuff our faces silly with tteok (rice cakes) and whatever array of side dishes she'd made while our kids knock themselves out with their crazy antics. The downside of being based in Hampshire means that authentic Asian restaurants are slim pickings indeed. It seems rather silly to trek all the way to London for a meal.
A few months ago, I found this rather awesome Ottogi pancake mix which is essentially a lazy cook's secret weapon. It means that I can prepare an easy, nutritious and pretty darn authentic Korean dish prepared in less than 15 minutes. Toss in plenty of vegetables, shrimp and squid in and you've got yourself a proper meal. There are so many ways you can make it but this is my take. Be careful not to add too much water or else you'll get a soggy and tasteless pancake. For those of you in the U.K, the Ottogi pancake mix can be purchased at most Asian supermarkets. If you can't get to one, it's also available online on Amazon and Wai Yee Hong.
2 cups of Ottogi pancake mix
2/3 cups of water
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 carrot, cut into strips
2-4 tablespoons of oil for frying (replenish for each pancake)
1. Pour the pancake powder and water into a mixing bowl. Mix well until batter is relatively smooth and not lumpy.
2. Add the prawns, spring onions and carrots (or whatever vegetables you're using but make sure they're in small bits so that they can cook quickly).
3. Heat the non stick frying pan and add oil.
4. Once the pan is sufficiently hot, use a ladle to scoop up the mixture and gently pour it on the surface of the pan.
5. Use the back of the ladle to spread out the mixture so it'll cook quicker.
6. Once one side of the pancake has turned brown, gently flip (I use two spatulas, one on either side of the pancake to stop the oil from splattering) the pancake and cook the other side. Make sure you adjust the heat accordingly. Reduce the heat if the pan gets too hot or when the pancake browns too quickly.
7. Once both sides of the pancake are cooked, remove it from the pan and drain it on a piece of kitchen paper towel.
8. Serve with kimchi if you have any.