I grew up eating kotlet, the ubiquitous Iranian potato and meat cutlets that make every picnic (or elementary school lunch) complete. The crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside patties were full of wholesome ingredients but almost decadent enough to feel like I was eating French fries. Almost.
These salty, starchy Korean potato pancakes evoke a similar feeling. And just like kotlet, they pack well for on-the-go lunches or picnics. I serve them with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and vinegar for an extra tang.
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
2 green onions, sliced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1. Coarsely chop the potatoes and put in a food processor. Add the salt and water and process until pureed.
2. Scrape the potato puree into a mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Press down on it gently with a spoon and let stand for 1 minute to allow the starchy liquid to drain into the bowl.
3. Transfer the drained potato puree to another bowl and let the starch in the drained liquid settle to the bottom of the bowl, then pour off the liquid and scrape the starch into the potato puree. Add the green onions and mix.
4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add vegetable oil to the pan and gently drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the potato batter into the pain and spread into 2-inch discs with the back of the spoon. Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until the other sides are crisp and golden, about 3 more minutes, adding more vegetable oil as necessary. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
5. To make the dipping sauce, combine soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Serve the sauce with the warm pancakes.