2012 Food & Wine South Korea: Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce

Since its debut in 2010, I’ve been excited for the offerings at South Korea at Food & Wine.

The lettuce wrap has been offered since the beginning, but I only felt, while beautiful in presentation, was only okay in flavor. I always anticipated more from its kimchi slaw. I still have yet to try it since that first time in 2010, but it’s always appeared the same.

Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw, South Korea 2010
$2.75 (2010 price), $3.00 (2011 price)
, $3.25 (2012 price)

This year’s new menu offers a Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce.

It replaces last year’s delicious Boolgogi BBQ Beef with Steamed Rice and Kimchi ($4.25) and 2010’s Barbecue Short Rib with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi ($4.25). You can read more about last years offering, including some of the wines, here.

The kimchi sauce was spicy, but was reminiscent of a diluted sriracha. The mung bean gave the pancakes a slightly sweet flavor which countered the heat nicely.

The pancakes had a lot of well-prepared shrimp inside, and I was very happy that they weren’t overcooked. The serving size was also fair for the $3.00 price tag.

While I’m happy that there is a less expensive seafood offering this year, I would have liked to have seen a beef option in addition to the pork and shrimp (and yes, I know many would have like to have seen this dish nix the shrimp for a vegetarian option!). I picked around the shrimp to find a piece for Matt to try, and he thought it was pretty good. It’s a dish I may or may not order again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s replaced next year. I will say it’s worth a try as something new, though.

If you’ve tried the Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce, let us know what you thought! Did you try the Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw this year? How did it compare to 2010’s or 2011’s?


6 responses to “2012 Food & Wine South Korea: Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce

  1. I’m looking forward to trying this booth again this year. I know in 2010 my friend liked the lettuce wrap even though I found the pork to be rather tasteless (or would it be taste free?). Last year maybe we had a bad batch as we didn’t really enjoy the wrap or the beef. Although, my palate was super sensitive to spicy last year so I had a lot of trouble with anything hot even though I used to love spicy foods.

  2. I wasn’t too crazy about the wrap primarily because the kimchi slaw was bland to me. The kimichi sauce on the pancake wasn’t too over the top on the spice level, but there was a kick. I would also have liked a bit more on the pancake as I liked the extra moisture it provided (not saying the pancake was dry, but I like sauces!). Worth a try if you’re interested in the new stuff!

  3. I liked it. It wasn’t a favorite but it was good. That said, I was the only one of the four of us who enjoyed it. This is not for a picky eater. I am adventurous in that respect 🙂

  4. It’s definitely not for a picky eater, especially since “Mung Bean” doesn’t exactly sound very tasty! 😉 I’ve had mung bean, I’ve had shrimp, and I’ve had real kimchi… Let’s put them together in a pancake! 🙂

  5. We tried the mung bean pancake on Friday the 19th (thanks for the recommendation BTW). It was pretty good actually, I agree that the lettuce wrap was pretty mundane last year (we haven’t given it a go yet this year). The shrimp were plentiful and not over cooked, the pancake was surprisingly sweet, and the sauce was tasty (agree again that I’d ask for more sauce next time!).

  6. The pancake is a really nice addition to the festival this year, and was pleasantly surprised by it!