Ethnic food week

Two items: yesterday’s morning name (piperade), a Basque dish in the colors of the flag of the Basque country; and a recipe from the April 2016 issue of bon appétit magazine, Matzo-Kimchi Pancakes, or, as I like to think of it, in my crudely punning way, the Seoul of Passover (the first day of Passover is a couple of days away).

Piperade. From Wikipedia:

Piperade (Gascon and thus French) or Piperrada (Basque and thus Spanish), from piper (pepper in Gascon and in Basque [ultimately from Latin piper ‘pepper’]) is a typical Basque dish prepared with onion, green peppers, and tomatoes sautéd and flavoured with red Espelette pepper. The colours coincidentally reflect the colours of the Basque flag (red, green and white). It may be served as a main course or as a side dish. Typical additions include egg, garlic or meats such as ham.

Prepared so as to keep the three colors distinct:


It’s often made in a much stewier version, with a red sauce predominating visually.

The Flag of the Basque Country:


Green, white, and red are also the colors of the Italian and Mexican flags (as an extra, the Mexican flag has the thrilling eagle and snake on it). In my Columbus OH household, dishes that were predominately green, white, and red in color — there are a great many — were known as “Italian flag food”, but they could equally have been labeled “Mexican flag food” or “Basque flag food”.

The Seoul of Passover. From the magazine’s website, a photo (by Alex Lau) and a recipe (by Lily Freedman).


The recipe (‘When matzo meets kimchi pancakes: a love story”) is very simple, building primarily on two ingredients: the matzos (used here to serve as a neutral starch for the pancakes) and a jar of kim chi (for its juice and for the pickled vegetables):

for two servings:
1 sheet matzo, crushed into very fine pieces
3 tablespoons kimchi juice
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped drained kimchi
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

Mix matzo and kimchi juice in a small bowl and let sit 8 minutes. Pour off excess liquid and mix in scallions, kimchi, onion, potato starch, salt, and sugar.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half of batter to skillet and flatten into a thin pancake; cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with another 1 Tbsp. oil and remaining batter.

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