Here is one more dish we made in the City Harvest class in addition to japchae (잡채). This is something I make when I'm feeling lazy because there is no need to take out the cuttingboard. Still, it's delicious and it makes me feel good about eating lots of tofu and tuna. I think I'm also proving a point as well as making a sweeping generalization that Koreans can make tasty savory pancakes out of just about everything.
Speaking of tofu, I also like this recipe for leaving tofu to do what it does best, being crumbly, soft and moist. With so many good tofu dishes I grew up with, it's sometimes hard to accept that there are many bad tofu recipes that seem to just force tofu onto people.
Usually, I don't mix in chopped onions because a big reason for this recipe is that it doesn't require a cuttingboard. But since we were cutting lots of onions for japchae in class anyway, I thought we could add some here too.
To make 14-16 tofu-tuna pancakes, about 4 side-dish portions)
1 block (14 oz.) extra-firm or firm tofu
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna, no added salt or low sodium in water
Optional) 1/2 C onion, peeled & small diced (about 1/2 medium-sized onion)
1/2 t salt
a pinch black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 C all-purpose flour (or equal amount of sweet rice flour or mochiko)
1/4 C vegetable oil
Dipping sauce) soy sauce : lemon juice = 1:1
Rinse tofu in cold water. Wrap tofu in paper towel and squeeze out excess water as much as you can.
Add tofu, tuna, chopped onion, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl and combine with a fork to a crumbly mix.
Add flour and mix just until there are no lumps of flour.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat and drizzle 1 T of vegetable oil. Place 1/4 C of the tofu-tuna batter on the pan. Press and shape it into a flat pancake with a fork. When the edges become golden brown, flip to the other side. When both sides become golden brown, the pancake is done. Repeat with the rest of the mix.
Serve hot with dipping sauce of soy sauce and lemon juice.
Using flour will get you the crispy pancake you're looking for, but you can also replace it with sweet rice flour, or mochiko (찹쌀가루 - chap ssal ga ru). You can still get the outside of pancake crispy, but the inside of pancake made with sweet rice flour will be slightly sticky.
참치 (cham chi) tuna
생선 (saeng seon) fish (to eat)
물고기 (mul go gi) fish (alive in water)