Kimchi pancake.

Sometimes Monday is extraordinarily trying, and not for any other reason than that it’s the day after a very busy weekend. It means that getting out of bed is the least of the day’s troubles, and that by the time the work day is over I have little to no interest in doing anything but putting on pajamas and watching back-to-back episodes of Good Eats and whining to Nick about the punishing nature of employment in general.And so, for this Meatless Monday, I offer you the laziest recipe in the history of ever: a pancake that requires no baking powder, no prep work, and no talent. It requires club soda, which might seem sort of annoying if you don’t already have it on hand, but you’ll thank me, because it only takes a half a cup, which means the rest goes into a glass with vodka and lemon, and then isn’t your day instantly so much better? Sometimes I think a day should begin with vodka. I would be so much more awesome at life if I started the day with a cocktail.

If you don’t have kimchi (why do you not have kimchi?!), you can buy it in the refrigerated section of your local market, Asian market, or even Whole Foods. It’s a condiment with a relatively quick expiration date, but it’s versatile, and you can use it in everything from pancakes to soup to rice. Go get some. You’re welcome in advance.

Kimchi pancake

(Serves two as dinner.)

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cabbage kimchi, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup club soda

In a large bowl, place kimchi, eggs, flour, sesame oil, and salt. Stir together until thoroughly combined.

Add soda, and fold in gently. You want to keep as many bubbles as you can here, because bubbles make this light.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. If you’re smarter than I am (which is highly probable), you won’t get lazy and decide to cook just one large pancake, struggling with the inevitable question of how the hell to flip; divide the batter in four, and cook as individual, smaller pancakes. Give them about three minutes per side, cooking until golden and crispy, especially around the edges.

Chop pancakes into bite-size or chop-stickable pieces.

Serve hot, with a sauce of one tablespoon soy sauce, one tablespoon mirin, and one teaspoon of minced fresh ginger. Salad on the side makes it a whole meal, but this is great as lunch, or as an appetizer for a party, now that the partying season is in full swing. If you’re feeling festive, serve with hot sake.