Published on 13 August 2021
Alum Choi, chef-owner of Mumchan, set herself the task of introducing Melbourne to the pleasures of Korean food that lay beyond barbecue and fried chicken. For the past three years, Choi has been fermenting, curing, pickling, and cooking top-tier, additive-free kimchi, banchan (the small sides that accompany Korean meals), and main dishes in Laverton, and recently expanded to the CBD with a takeaway store.
One of her most popular dishes is bindaetteok: fried savoury mung-bean pancakes flavoured with kimchi and combined with either pork or seafood. Mumchan’s version is made from scratch (rather than with a pre-packaged flour mix, which is the norm in many Korean households), down to grinding peeled mung beans, making and aging the kimchi, washing, and seasoning it with salt, sugar, garlic and sesame oil before adding it to the batter.
It’s a dish that’s easy enough to find in Korea, but to replicate at home with this sort of care would require a lot of effort, so many members of the local Korean community gravitate to this dish. The bindaetteok are seldom eaten on their own, and Choi suggests pairing them with seokbakji, moon-radish kimchi (another of Mumchan’s specialities), or chasing them with makgeolli, Korea’s cloudy, lightly sparkling rice brew.
Mumchan, 1b Triholm Ave, Laverton, mumchan.com.
By Jess Ho
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