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Appetizers, Sides

Mung Bean Cakes (Noktu Puchimgae)

Mung Bean Cakes (Noktu Puchimgae)
Los Angeles Times

My parents were party fanatics. Whenever there was a holiday, the celebration was at our house. A birthday? A promotion? A new car? Any excuse to throw a party, and our doors were wide open. I always thought my mom ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Makes 50 to 60 cakes
  • 4 cups dried peeled mung beans (noktu)
  • 10 to 12 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 pounds green bean sprouts (sukju namul)
  • 1 pound sliced pork loin, cut into thin strips
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) jar cabbage kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Vegetable oil, for cooking

Step 1Soak the dried mung beans in cold water for at least 2 hours.

Step 2Soak the mushrooms in cold water for about 1 hour. Squeeze the liquid from the mushrooms, cut off the stems and discard. Slice the mushrooms and set them aside in a bowl.

Step 3Blanch the bean sprouts briefly in boiling water. Rinse them in cold water immediately. Drain and squeeze the water from the sprouts. Set them aside in a second bowl.

Step 4Place the pork in a third bowl.

Step 5Divide the minced garlic evenly among the bowls of mushrooms, sprouts and pork. Then, add 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to each bowl. Mix.

Step 6Put about 1/3 of the mung beans into a food processor or blender, add 3/4 cup of water and puree. Pour the puree into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining mung beans.

Step 7Add the kimchi, mushrooms, sprouts and pork mixtures into the bowl of mung bean puree. Add the salt and mix thoroughly.

Step 8Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle some oil onto the surface. Spoon the batter into circles about 3 inches in diameter. Cook the cakes in batches until they are golden brown, 2 minutes a side. Serve with dipping sauce.

Note: Be careful when selecting the mung beans. Check to see that the beans are yellow in color and that the package is not too dated. I discovered that some companies dye their beans, so you might want to choose a more expensive brand for the quality. Mung beans, green bean sprouts and prepared kimchi are sold at Korean markets. Serve with Dipping Sauce, if desired. (see related recipe).


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