Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 for lunch
Side

Ingredients

Hoecake with Kimchi, Scallions & Nori
  • yellow cornmeal,1,cup,,fine-corn-meal
  • salt,1/2,teaspoon,plus more to taste,
  • maple syrup,2 1/2,teaspoons,,coombs-family-farm-organic-dark-maple-syrup
  • lard,2,tablespoons,,
  • canola oil,1,tablespoon,,
  • coarsely chopped kimchi,1/3,cup,,
  • thinly chopped scallions,2,tablespoons,green parts only,
  • sesame seeds,1/2,teaspoon,toasted,brown-sesame-seeds
  • toasted nori,3 or 4,2 1/2 by 3 inch sheets,cut widthwise into matchsticks or torn into confetti size bits,eden-nori
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Hoecake with Kimchi, Scallions & Nori

A hoecake batter is a sludge formed from cornmeal, salt, boiling water, and lard; when fried in a greased, sizzling-hot pan, it develops a crunchy 14-karat-golden crust. Hoecakes are denser than pancakes and both lighter and crunchier than hot-water cornbread. Once a staple of slaves’ diets in the American South, they’re still served with collard greens to sop up the cooking liquid—or potlikker—left behind. Nashville pastry chef Lisa Donovan taught me how to make them. I snuck maple syrup into her base and decided to pour it all into my skillet in one go. In texture and flavor, the exterior of this large hoecake has all the perks of cornflakes; plus, its interior offers a soft cushion for my teeth to land on. It needed no improvement. Or so I thought, until I tried adding Korean kimchi— along with some toasted nori—on top. This may sound a little kooky and busy. You’re just going to have to trust me and give it a try. And keep this in mind: Flipping a single, large fritter is no easy task. If things get messy, you’ll be grateful for those garnishes. — From Stir, Sizzle, Bake: Recipes for Your Cast Iron Skillet by Charlotte Druckman. Buy this book from Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon. 

Reprinted from Stir, Sizzle, Bake: Recipes for Your Cast-Iron Skillet. Copyright © 2016 by CHARLOTTE DRUCKMAN. Photographs copyright © 2016 by AUBRIE PICK. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Written By Charlotte Druckman | Jun 18, 2019

Ingredients

Hoecake with Kimchi, Scallions & Nori
  • yellow cornmeal,1,cup,,fine-corn-meal
  • salt,1/2,teaspoon,plus more to taste,
  • maple syrup,2 1/2,teaspoons,,coombs-family-farm-organic-dark-maple-syrup
  • lard,2,tablespoons,,
  • canola oil,1,tablespoon,,
  • coarsely chopped kimchi,1/3,cup,,
  • thinly chopped scallions,2,tablespoons,green parts only,
  • sesame seeds,1/2,teaspoon,toasted,brown-sesame-seeds
  • toasted nori,3 or 4,2 1/2 by 3 inch sheets,cut widthwise into matchsticks or torn into confetti size bits,eden-nori
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Step one

Preheat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, gradually raising the heat from low to medium-high, so it gets very hot. Meanwhile, make the batter: In a small saucepan, bring 11⁄3 cups water to a boil over high heat. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal and salt. Add 2⁄3 cup of the boiling water to the cornmeal and stir to combine. Continue stirring and slowly add 2 tablespoons more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the maple syrup and stir to combine. The batter should be thin enough to slowly pour but also thick enough to spread with a spatula. If the batter is too thick to pour, add more boiling water as needed, 2 teaspoons at a time, and stir to combine.

Step two

Melt the lard in the hot skillet, tilting to coat, then remove the pan from the heat and pour off the fat into a small heatproof bowl. Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the melted lard to the batter and stir to combine. Reserve the remaining melted lard.

Step three

Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the reserved melted lard and the canola oil to the pan and tilt to coat. Pour the batter into the pan. Quickly spread and even out the batter with a spatula or knife, leaving some room around the edges of the skillet for flipping. As the batter cooks, gently jiggle the pan from time to time to prevent sticking. As the edges start to solidify and toast, gently slide your spatula beneath the hoecake and begin to loosen it from the skillet. As frying proceeds, slide the spatula closer to the center of the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the edges are crisp and nicely browned and the rest of the hoecake looks set. If your hoecake is completely loosened from the base of the skillet and slides when you nudge it with your spatula or gently shake the pan, flipping should be no big deal. 

Step four

Cook for about 6 minutes more, until the second side is golden brown; the interior of the cake should be soft. Turn off the heat and garnish the hoecake, in the pan, with the kimchi, scallions, sesame seeds, and salt to taste. Top it off with the nori and serve hot.