Once upon a time there lived a young frog boy named “Blue”.
They called him “Blue” because he was a very unusual blue frog.
Blue lived with his mother in a small cottage near a little stream deep in the mountain of South Korea.
His mother loved him very much and did the best she could to teach him, so that he could grow up to be well mannered and respectful. But alas! Blue was not the most obedient boy you can imagine. In fact he was quite rebellious and often showed the contrary behaviors.
If his mother asked him to clean the mess in his room, he would make even bigger mess. When she asked him to not to go to the dangerous part of village where the snake lives, he would head down there right away. Blue thought he was so courageous and smart.
All of his misbehavior made his mother worried. Very worried that she got ill.
The doctor came to help but didn’t know how to cure. Blue’s mother felt that she would die soon leaving her young son behind. She tried to explain the situation to Blue but he wasn’t willing to listen.
She realized that her son wouldn’t change his contrary behaviors, so she decided to ask him contrary to what she desired.
She wanted to be buried on the hillside but knowing her son, he would do exactly the opposite way; if she asked him to bury her on the hill, Blue would bury her on the side of the stream. So she asked him the opposite way, “Son, when I die…, please, bury my body near the stream. NOT on the HILL…”
A few days later his mother died.
Upon his mother’s death, Blue finally realized that he had been foolish, and regretted for being so disobedient.
So, for the first time in his life, he decided to obey his mother’s wish. He buried her near the stream!
Then, the rain came down on the next day. The water in the stream overflowed and washed his mother’s grave away. Blue couldn’t help but crying as he watched his mother’s grave floating away from him. It was just too late for him to take it back.
Since that day, whenever it rains in Korea, you can hear the frog’s loud crying noise near any streams.
This is a one of the Korean folk tales that I told my kids as a bedtime story when they were young.
My daughter cried when she first heard it. She was 5 years old. This story helped her to understand the importance of being trust worthy.
So what does this story has to do with green onion pancakes?
Well, when there’s rain, Koreans like to eat this types of savory pancakes and talk about the blue frog.
This is the story that I heard from my mother, and she heard it from her mother, and so on…
This is a very easy to make savory pancakes with only a few ingredients.
The recipe will give quite nice crisp texture to the bite which we all love.
I used small shrimps but any seafood will work fine, or omit if you prefer it as vegan.
Mix cake flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
You can use plain flour but cake flour will create the crispier texture.
Add ice cold water to the flour mix and stir.
Add one egg and whisk until combined. Do not over whisk.
The batter should be thin like breakfast pancake batter.
Add green onion, red chili, and shrimp.
Toss to wet all the ingredients.
Heat generous amount of oil in the skillet over medium heat, spread about 1/4 cups of batter and let it sear for 3-4 minutes.
Flip it over. Do you see the golden crust? It is quite crisp. Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes to the other side.
Flip again to see what the other side looks like. Nicely browned!
You might need to adjust the heat level from medium to med-low.
Make dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients.
Serve your pancakes hot with this dipping sauce.
… a little food for thought of the day.
Green Onion Pancakes, and the story of a blue frog
- 200 g 7oz small shrimps, peeled and cleaned
- 1 bunch green onion cut into 2" long slices
- 1-2 red chilies thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- pinches of kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoon or more ice water
- 1 egg
- 2-4 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoon Korean chili flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds crushed with fingers
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add water and egg, and whisk until just combined. The consistency of batter should be like breakfast batter. Add more water if batter seems too stiff.
- Add the green onions and shrimps to the bowl, toss well to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add 1/4 cupful of batter to the skillet and spread out thinly. Sear the pancakes 3-4 minutes until the edges seems to form a crust, flip to the other side.
- Add more oil if the skillet seems dry. You should see the golden brown crust. Sear the other side of pancakes for another 3 minutes until golden as well.
- You might need to adjust the heat to med-low in order not to burn the pancakes.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce.