If there’s one recipe I’m most proud of having learned from my mother, it’s definitely her Korean Mungbean Pancakes (Bindaetteok). My mom is one of the best cooks I know because when she cooks for people, she is so incredibly selfless and her food is genuinely made with love. If someone were to ask me what her best dish is, it’s her Bindaetteok, hands down.
Bindaetteok is a savory pancake made from dried mung beans, which are soaked in water then blended and mixed with vegetables and ground pork. This dish dates back to the late 1600s and originates from the northern part of Korea, which is where my mother’s side of the family comes from (pre-war) and are traditionally made on a full moon.
I think everytime my mom makes these pancakes, it brings back fond memories of her childhood. My mother grew up in Seoul with 6 siblings and 3 boy cousins who lived next door and she used to tell me how she remembers making these pancakes outside on a large iron skillet over an open fire, where she and her sisters and mother would always make a huge batch of Bindaetteok. They even had to grind the beans by hand using a stone grinder. And because during her childhood meat was expensive and hard to come by, they would make these pancakes with just vegetables and fry them in lard.
Until this day, my mom still only makes these pancakes on a full moon day and in celebration of the lunar new year tomorrow, I would like to share this very special dish with you that is very close to my family and to my heart.
INGREDIENTS (approx. 5 dozen pancakes)
42 ounces dried mung beans (1.2 kg)
cold water for soaking mung beans
2 lb. good quality ground pork (900 g)
1 medium size head of Napa cabbage thinly chopped (800 g)
3 cups fresh mung bean sprouts (100 g)
3-4 scallions bunches sliced diagnolly (100 g)
1 large white onion sliced thinly (I used 2 small ones)
4 garlic cloves minced
1 inch ginger piece grated (2.5 cm)
2 tsp salt (11.5 g)
4 tbsp sesame oil (55 g)
freshly cracked black pepper
extra salt for batter mixture
vegetable oil for frying
For Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce (150 g)
1.5 tbsp rice wine vinegar (25 g)
2 tbsp mirin (30 g)
freshly cracked black pepper
chopped scallions for garnch
a dash of Korean dry crushed red pepper (optional)
- Pour the dry mung beans in a large colander and rinse in cold water for a few minutes.
- Place the mung beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water until the beans are fully immersed in water with at least 1 inch of water above the beans. Cover and soak them overnight at room temperature.
- Thinly chop the head of Napa cabbage and place in a large pot along with all of the fresh mung bean sprouts. Fill the pot with cold water until at least 1/2 of the vegetables are immersed in water. Boil for 3-4 minutes.
- Drain the cooked Napa cabbage and mung bean sprouts and rinse with cold water. Squeeze all excess water out of the vegetables and place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the ground pork, thinly sliced white onions, sliced scallions, minced garlic, grated ginger, salt, sesame oil and freshly cracked black pepper. Mix well with your hands.
- Let the pork-vegetable mixture marinate overnight or for at least 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
- To prepare the pancake batter, do not drain your soaked mung beans. Place 5 cups of the water soaked mung beans (just scoop generously from the middle of the bowl) in a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute or unil the mixture is smooth.
- Place the batter in a large mixing bowl and add 2 cups of the meat filling along with 1 tsp salt. Mix well.
- Turn your frying pan on high and add a generous amount of vegetable oil. When your pan is piping hot, pour approx. 1/4 cup of your pancake batter into the pan for each pancake. I was able to fit 3 pancakes at one time.
- Take a spoon and smooth out the pancake batter to make a nice circular and even shape.
- Once the bottom of the pancakes are golden brown, flip over and cook the other side until golden brown. I like to add a little bit more vegetable oil after I flip my pancakes to ensure each side is nice and crispy.
- Place the pancakes on a large plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- Mix the ingredients for your dipping sauce in a bowl and serve with the hot pancakes.
- You can store these pancakes in the freezer if well packed for up to 3 months.