Phoebe has been on a tear in the kitchen lately. I would love to say this is due to the fact that she’s watched her parents cook every night for her whole little life, and so now, at 9 1/2, her interest in cooking has finally kicked into high gear, but I think it’s more likely due to something else: Farm Camp. She has spent the last four weeks spraying pigs to keep them cool (did you know they don’t sweat?) harvesting yellow cherry tomatoes (which we then bought at the market for $8 a box), examining microbes in the compost pile, herding sheep, and cleaning and collecting eggs. In other words, we’ve been paying for her to do slave labor.
Not really — there are, of course, other activities like soap-making, hikes around the lake, painting with egg tempera, and cooking with the farm chef — a guy named Dan. I don’t know who this Dan guy is, but he not only sent home a little packet of inspired plant-based recipes after the session ended, but he also sent home a blossoming little cook. Last week, Phoebe invited our 20-year-old neighbor/friend/babysitter for dinner and oversaw the production of a pile of Korean Pancakes for her. And when we were finished she held up the heel of a carrot and asked where we keep the compost pile. I guess I know what our next project is.
Korean Pancakes (or pa jun)
They were so good Andy didn’t even mention the shredded zucchini inside. Chef Dan called for only vegetables, but we added shrimp and cooked up the leftover shreds of veggies into a spicy slaw. (Abby: “Mom, why? There’s already a whole salad inside the pancake!”) This recipe makes about 10-12 medium sized pancakes.
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, scallions (chopped) or red onion (slivered)
1/2 cup cooked shrimp, chopped up in to small pieces
In a large bowl, whisk eggs together until frothy. Add flour and salt and whisk to combine. Add vegetables and shrimp and stir together. Add about 1 cup of icy cold water and whisk until batter has thinned.
Add a few glugs of vegetable oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Pour 1/2 cup portions of batter into pan and cook until crispy on bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 minutes. (I cooked two pancakes at a time.) Keep warm in a 200°F oven until all batter is used up. Serve with dipping sauce.
For Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the following: 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, couple shakes of hot pepper flakes.
Spicy Stir-fry Slaw: If you have any shredded vegetables left, add more oil, a minced garlic clove, and any leftover onions to the pan (medium heat), then smush in a 1/4 teaspoon red curry paste. Add vegetables and shredded greens (kale or chard) and cook another two minutes until everything has wilted.