Made with mung beans and brown rice flour, these savory and gluten-free Korean Mung Bean Pancakes are chewy in the middle and crisp on the edges.
These pancakes, known as nokdu bindaetteok, are a simple and addictive Korean side dish or snack. They use mung beans, which, when soaked, become very easy to process into a paste with a blender or food processor. Often, these pancakes are made without additional flours, relying solely on the solidifying ability of the ground beans. I, however, like to make them with the addition of brown rice flour for added heft and chew. The result is somewhere between a traditional bindaetteok and a jeon, another Korean pancake that is made with flours and not ground mung beans.
For the Pancakes
- ½ cup peeled and split mung beans, soaked in warm water for at least two hours
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon doenjang or brown miso
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup of chopped chives (scallions and leeks are good, too)
- 1 cup of shredded carrot
- a couple Tablespoons oil for pan-frying (any neutral-flavored oil, I used sunflower)
For the Dipping Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) or ½ teaspoon common red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- Rinse your split mung beans and soak for a few hours to tenderize.
- Drain the beans and put in a blender or food processor with the water, doenjang or miso, and sugar and blend until the beans are broken up into little bits (It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth). Then add the brown rice flour and blend again just to combine. Pour the thick, yet slightly runny, mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for about a minute then add 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Using your fingers, put a mound of chives into the pan for each pancake. Top the chives with another pinch of carrots. Finally, using a tablespoon, put 1 Tablespoon of the pancake batter onto the chive and carrot mounds. Swirl the pan gently to redistribute the oil and cook the pancakes until the edges look browned and crisp. Take a peek under one to see how far along they are. When sufficiently brown, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until browned. After they are done, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Repeat the process until you are done with the batter, replenishing the oil in the pan as needed.
- Make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Done! Serve with the pancakes while they are still hot.
- This recipe makes about 20 mini pancakes if you use one Tablespoon of batter for each one.
- Do yourself a favor and buy the peeled, split mung beans rather than unpeeled. It will save you the step of peeling them. Find mung beans in any Korean or Indian market.
- Add anything you want to these pancakes. I’ve made them with chopped kimchi, perilla leaves, mushrooms, and peppers. All are delicious.
- This recipe makes thin, but dense pancakes. If you prefer a lacier and thinner version, add another ¼ cup of water to the recipe.