Farmer Adam Tedeschi puts in a plug for napa cabbage and scapes, designating them “delicious, underrated spring vegetables.” Try them together in this Korean-inspired pancake, a light breakfast or super-quick seasonal supper.
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup cold water
• 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 cups finely shredded napa cabbage
• 1/2 to 1 cup shredded scapes (or use scallions if scapes are out of season)
• 1 serrano chile, shredded (optional)
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
• 3 tablespoons neutral oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Beat the egg in a medium bowl. Whisk in the salt and approximately 2/3 of the water. Whisk in the flour and, when that is mostly incorporated, the remaining water. Stir in the cabbage, scapes, chile, and cilantro.
Use a large heavy-bottomed frying pan. Heat the pan over medium heat for a minute, and then add about half the oil, swirling carefully to coat the pan. (If you don’t have a pan over ten inches in diameter, divide the batter to make two pancakes, which may require a touch more oil overall.)
Scrape the batter into the hot pan, spreading it evenly. Fry over medium heat until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown and crispy. (Use a spatula to peek when it begins to smell like it is cooking.)
Run your spatula around the edges of the pancake, lifting it a bit. Shake the pan smartly to make sure the pancake is entirely disengaged. You may exercise your inner daredevil and flip the pancake in the air—always exhilarating to pull off. Or you may slide the thing onto an appropriately sized plate and then flip it from that into the pan—still not without risk. Or slide it onto a cutting board, cut it into quarters, and use a spatula to upend each quarter back into the pan. Either of the two latter paths gives you opportunity to apply the other half of the oil to the momentarily empty pan. The air flip means that you have to dribble the oil around the edges of the pancake, and as long as your pan is good and hot, that works fine.
In any case, once side two is sizzling, use the spatula to press down gently all over.
Combine the soy sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
Slide the pancake onto a serving platter, and serve hot or warm, accompanied by the sauce.
Serves 2. -PM