Green Onion and Shrimp Jeon (Korean Pancakes)

jeon-korean-pancakes

poor-jan-di
Poor Jan-di

In Boys over Flowers, poor Jan-di gets pelted with eggs, screams “Do more!” and gets dusted with flour. These rich bullies don’t get that normal people aren’t impressed with their wastefulness!

Instead of throwing eggs and flour at people, use them to make Korean pancakes! Korean pancakes are savory, not sweet, and you can put all kinds of things in them, like vegetables and seafood. Served with a dipping sauce, they were a hit with both kids and grown ups at our house, plus I hear they freeze well if I ever plan that far ahead.

Green Onion and Shrimp Jeon (Korean Pancakes)

Recipe from my friend Gloria 🙂

For the pancakes

  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 rice flour or corn starch (I used rice flour)
  • pinch of baking powder
  • good pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, roughly chopped
  • cooking oil

Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. Add beaten eggs and enough water to make a batter (start with 1 cup for a thicker batter up to 1 1/2 cups for a thinner batter – the thinner ones will be crispier!). Stir in the green onions and shrimp.

Heat a pan with a couple tablespoons of cooking oil. Cook the pancakes in batches (I made fairly large ones, a couple ladles of batter per pancake) for 3-4 minutes each side until golden and a little crispy. Cut into wedges and serve warm with dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Mix and serve with pancakes!

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 10: BOYS OVER FLOWERS

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Shinwa High’s Lunch Sandwiches

BOF sandwiches arial

This simple sandwich can be found in several episodes of “Boys Over Flowers” as part of the fancy lunch buffet in the Shinwa High School Cafeteria.

Shinwa High School Open-faced Sandwiches

BOF little sandwiches

  • 1 Baguette
  • Mayonnaise, or your favorite spread
  • Cheddar Cheese AND/OR Yellow & Orange Sweet Peppers
  • Leafy Green
  • Genoa Salami OR Pepperoni

Preheat your oven to 350ÂşF. Slice the baguette at a slight diagonal into 1/2″ thick pieces. Arrange the pieces on a baking tray & spread the tops with mayo. If you’re using cheddar, place thin slices of the cheese on top of the bread. Bake for about 5-6 minutes or until lightly crispy. Remove from the oven & let cool just a little.

If you’re using sweet peppers (which I highly recommend) slice off the tops & cut down the middle. Remove the seeds & flatten the pepper halves. Place 1 half on top of each slice of bread & then top that with a piece of leafy green. Place a folded over pepperoni or genoa salami on top of each sandwich, securing it all with little wooden picks.

BOF sandwiches closeup
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 10: Boys Over Flowers

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Raspberry Soup

BOF soup

“Butler Lee, this soup is awesome!” Says Gu Jun Pyo, minutes before his older sister pushes his face into it for being his usual jerky self. Yes, it’s a good thing it was cold soup. (“Boys Over Flowers” episode 7)

BOF soup on face 2 shot

Raspberry Soup

  • 4 Cups Fresh Raspberries + a couple set aside for garnish
  • 1/2 Cup + 1/4 Cup Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar + more to taste
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt + a little more for garnish
  • Pinch of Salt
  • A Few Leaves Fresh Mint
  • Small Amount of Milk (for garnish)

In a blender or food processor, pulse the raspberries, 1/2 cup of cranberry juice, & 1/2 cup of sugar until the raspberries are broken down & blended but the seeds are still intact. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl & pour the raspberry mixture in. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the mixture around to help with the staining process. Once much of the mixture has strained through & you’ve got a thicker mess of seeds & pulp, pour the 1/4 cup of cranberry juice into the strainer & stir again to help get as much of the raspberry mixture out, leaving the seeds behind.

Rinse out the blender or food processor & then pour the strained contents of the bowl into it. Add the cup of yogurt & blend until thoroughly combined. If you’d like to add a little more sugar to taste, do so now. Throw away the seeds from the strainer & then rinse it out. To serve, hold the strainer over the serving bowl & pour your desired quantity of soup through the strainer & into the bowl (pouring through the strainer helps to diminish the bubbles).

To add garnish, cut 1 raspberry in half per bowl of soup (I used kitchen scissors for this) & float the 2 halves, cut sides down, in the center of the soup with 2 small, fresh mint leaves. Spoon a little bit of yogurt into a small bowl & stir in some milk, a little at a time, until you have a smooth, pipe-able consistency. Scoop this mixture into a baggie & snip off a corner to make a small opening. Pipe a design onto the surface of the soup; swirls or dashes or dots, etc., optionally using a toothpick to add details (I made a ring of dashes & gently dragged a toothpick through them to create the heart/leaf effect). Serve the soup, enjoy, and dunk your obnoxious brother’s face in it!

BOF soup w cup

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 10: Boys Over Flowers

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Boys Over Flowers

BOF Collage

Diana and Carrie discuss the k-drama Boys Over Flowers! We rant a little then talk pretty boys, love triangles, how rich people don’t eat, chocolate heads, giant tuna, and kimchi choreography.

Recipes

Referenced

Intro Music Clip: “Almost Paradise” by T-MAX from the “Boys Over Flowers” soundtrack
Outro Music Clip: “Because I’m Stupid” by SS501 from the “Boys Over Flowers” soundtrack

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Sesame Halva

halva arial 3

In the Arabian Nights, sweetmeats are mentioned many times and simply refer to confections made with sugar or honey. Halva, or halwa, a common dessert in the Middle East and surrounding regions, often made from nut butters, is mentioned in at least a few stories in regards to sweetmeats. I went through a few trials of making this very simple tahini (sesame paste) version and found the recipe below to work best for me (watching this video from ureviews helped a bunch!).

Sesame Halva

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Tahini
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/4-1/3 Cup Chopped Nuts such as Pistachio or Almond (optional)

Line a small loaf pan with parchment paper & spray with non-stick spray. Make sure your tahini is stirred/shaken up well & then pour 1 cup of it into a small pot & warm up on low heat. Stir in the pinch of salt & vanilla. If using nuts, stir them into the tahini or sprinkle a layer on the bottom of your paper-lined pan.

In a second small pot, over medium heat, heat the sugar & water until the sugar is melted (swirling, not stirring) & the temperature reads 255-260ÂşF on a candy thermometer (hard ball stage). Scrape the tahini into the sugar pot & stir until thoroughly combined & then quickly pour into the prepared pan. Spread evenly & sit on the counter to cool. Cover with foil & place in the fridge overnight. Cut off slices to serve.

halva sliced
halva pieces
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 9: Arabian Nights

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Labneh

labneh flat bread

Though not specifically mentioned in the Arabian Nights, I imagine labneh–a common and tasty yogurt cheese–could be found on the feast tables amid the fruits, breads, and dainty meats.

Labneh

  • 1 Container Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2-1 tsp. Salt
  • Fresh or Dried Herbs (optional)
  • Olive Oil (optional)

Sprinkle the salt into the container of yogurt & stir to combine. Place a mesh strainer over a small bowl & drape a cheese cloth or flour sack cloth over the strainer. Scoop all of the yogurt into the cloth & twist it up & give it a squeeze to get the preliminary liquid (whey) out. You can save the whey in a jar in the fridge & use it as a substitute for water in cooking, or you can throw it out. Place the bowl, strainer, cloth, & yogurt setup in the fridge & let sit for a day or two, occasionally squeezing the cloth to help get the whey out. The longer you keep the yogurt in the fridge, the more solidified it will get.

Remove the yogurt mixture from the fridge & use it as a spread or dip, stir in some chopped, fresh herbs, or roll the mixture into small balls & then roll the balls in fresh or dried herbs (I use za’atar, a Middle Eastern mix). If you make it into little balls, place them in a glass jar or other container & cover them with olive oil. Serve with toast or flat bread, an appetizer platter, or however you’d like!

labneh balls closeup
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 9: Arabian Nights

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Sharbat

sharbat closeup

Sharbat is extremely simple to make. In the Arabian Nights it’s described as flower water with ice (or snow) plus sugar sprinkled on top. Alternately, it can be made by making a syrup with the flower water, and then pouring a little bit of that into a glass and adding water and ice.

Simple Sharbat

  • 1/2 Cup Willow Blossom Water or Sweet Prier
  • 1 Cup Snow or Shaved Ice or Several Ice Cubes
  • 1 tsp. Baker’s Sugar (fine granulated sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp. Mint Water (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Grenadine (optional, for color)

Combine the ingredients in a medium to small glass & enjoy! If you’d like to use a large glass, simply double the ingredients or use 1/2 cup flavored water + 1/2 cup plain water.

Sharbat Syrup

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Flavor Water such as Rose or Orange Blossom (or 2 tsp. Rose + 2 tsp. Orange Blossom)
  • Sprinkling of Lemon Juice

Heat the sugar & water in a small pot over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat to low & stir in the flavored water & sprinkling of lemon juice. Simmer for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat & pour into a clean jar. Allow to cool before securing the lid. Store in your pantry or cupboard.

To make sharbat, pour a little bit of the syrup into a glass (about 1-2 Tbsp. or more depending on glass size) & then pour in some water & plop in the ice. Serve with a long spoon to stir it all up. You can also simply add a little syrup to the simple sharbat recipe above.

sharbat light pink Sharbat arial pink
Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 9: Arabian Nights

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Minty Split Pea Soup

minty-split-pea-soup

In The Prince and the Large and Lonely Tortoise the Tortoise, in her lovely human form, attends the feast and pours rice swollen in butter over her hair, which turns into pearls, and a thick green soup which turns into emeralds.

This reminded me of a Middle Eastern soup I’ve made several times, this elegant soup with split peas and mint. I feel that it’s pretty representative of the region, with the ubiquitous lentils and very common mint. It’s perfect for this wintery weather, but you could make it with fresh peas come spring.

Minty Split Pea Soup

From Artichoke to Za’atar: Modern Middle Eastern Cooking by Greg Malouf and Lucy Malouf

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small head butter lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint
  • salt & white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups split peas
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
  • salt & white pepper
  • whipped yogurt and chopped mint for garnish

In a soup pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chopped butter lettuce and saute until wilted. Add mint, a generous pinch salt, and a sprinkle white pepper, and stir well.

Add split peas and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until split peas are soft. Add mint, and cook another 3 or 4 minutes.

Puree in a blender (hold a tea towel over the top so it doesn’t explode) and pour back into the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning (add more salt) if necessary.

Serve hot with a dollop of whipped yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped mint.

Listen to the episode! Fiction Kitchen Episode 9: ARABIAN NIGHTS

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Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights B&N

Diana and Carrie discuss the Arabian Nights, including Scherezade’s awesomeness, hedonism vs. moderation, random guests, bedouin hospitality and some light shape shifting.

Recipes

Referenced

Intro Music Clip: “Zeina” by Mohamed Abdel Wahab
Outro Music Clip: “Arabian Nights” from “Aladdin,” by Alan Menkin

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