Monday, May 30, 2011

Cooking Jun with Yu Jin

For those of us that don’t speak Korean, jun are pancakes. Korean pancakes. Not the kind of pancakes your mom makes for breakfast on a Saturday morning. They are hearty, dinner pancakes. Yu Jin is my new friend. She is working on a post graduate project with her professor from the University of Seoul setting up an exchange of students between the University of Zambia and the University of Seoul. Yu Jin is on the hunt for a man. She has traveled and has a master’s degree. Now she is ready to start a family. It seems in many societies the definition of a good wife or mother is a woman that is an excellent cook and who loves to do it. Turns out that Yu Jin loves to cook and my friends and I love to learn. We are hunting for a man for her, but in the meantime we will be learning her seductive, Korean ways to make good house wives and house husbands.

Yu Jin, master chef.
A dinner get-together had already been in the works, so we decided to make it a learning experience with Yu Jin as the teacher (she volunteered, I think. Otherwise she just acquiesced). Yu Jin’s hunt for a husband has spread far and wide. Some friends were on the train from Dar es Salam, coming back to Lusaka after holiday. They met a nice Korean boy who was studying at the University of Zambia. Amanda got his phone number because he was somehow a bit like Yu Jin. Amanda passed his number along the day she left the country so that we could call him up and introduce them. So, we called him while making plans for dinner. He came over. He was a nice boy. But he was far, far too young and not hot enough to justify her becoming a cougar. So the search continues while we all improve upon our Betty and Bobby homemaker skills.

Public Service Cooking Announcement: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling spicy food items, especially chilies. Gentlemen this is especially important for you, wash all chili oils off your hands before going to the bathroom. It is very difficult to carry on a conversation and entertain properly when your nether regions are on fire. Sorry to say it is a hysterical situation, but very painful and one that seems to not have any real resolution. Maybe milk or yoghurt? Which makes it that much funnier.

Ok on to the cooking.


2 white onions

1 small bunch green onions or scallions

1 small package mushrooms

1 can of tuna (or any seafood: squid, shrimp, etc.)

2 eggs


~ 2 cups of flour


Kim Chi

Cooking oil


Thinly slice the white onions and mushrooms. Slice the white ends of the scallions and then chop the stocks into bigger (2 inch) pieces.

In a large mixing bowl add about a cup of flour, 2 eggs, a teaspoon of salt and about a ½ cup of water. Mix. Keep adding water bit by bit until it is about the consistency ofslightly runny pancake batter your mom makes. Add in the onions, scallions, and tuna. Mix, coating all the veggies in the batter.

Keep adding a bit of water if you can’t mix well. Add in the mushrooms and mix. If you want them a bit spicy add in some kim chi sauce and cut up the kim chi veggies to bite size to add in as well. Mix.
Heat a frying pan and add some oil. Scoop about a ½ of your batter mixture into a hot pan adding a bit of extra batter to cover some of the veggies. Once golden brown on one side flip the cakes over and press down with a spatula. Carry on like this until the batter is finished.

Serve with chili sauce (recipie to follow) or soy sauce flavored with a little bit of chili powder, paprika and crushed red pepper (like a ¼ to ½ tsp each).

Chili Sauce

There prepackaged chili or paprika paste (we couldn’t determine what it was exactly but the package and texture are below)

Add 3 teaspoons of the past to a bowl. Add about a tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar. Mix well and add vinegar and sugar to taste. Dip your pancakes in this delecious sauce and enjoy.

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