From Failure to Fritters.


Remember when I tried to relay my pain from failed kimchi to you via whiny words on yesterday’s post?

Well, after a fairly rough week, I came home and really just wanted some comfort food.  Something sweet, maybe with a side of something salty, and eat it with a sort of non-nutritional carelessness that gives an acknowledging nod to nourishment while flipping it the bird, because tonight I’m eating what I want, dammit.

I opened up the fridge to begin my junk food pillage, when there they were.  Two of the biggest bottles of failure I’d ever laid my eyes on.

Sighing deeply, I grabbed them by their necks and almost chucked them in the trash when I got an idea.  Sure, they suck really bad now, but what if I could make them better somehow?

I put the bottles down on the counter and whipped out my thinking cap.  Within a few minutes I came to my conclusion: I was going to make kimchi latkes, because nothing can go wrong with fried potatoes, regardless of what’s in them.

The general makeup of the recipe was that of potato latkes, so I figured I was allowing two foods from different backgrounds that otherwise would never be.  A sort of culinary Romeo and Juliette, if you will.  Only this story has a more delicious ending.  A FRIED ending.

I was pretty nervous about how they’d turn out, but to my surprise these bad boys were incredible.  They were so crispy on the outside with a creamy center, and had just the right amount of spice from the chopped kimchi.  Not only did I succeed in  finding a use for my failure, I also got a moderately healthy fried dish in return.

Upon further investigation, it seems that kimchi potato latkes are actually a real Korean dish called “kimchi fritters.”  So I may not be the culinary master I thought I was at the beginning of my experiment, but I’m still happy with the result.  Which makes me think, if I can turn such a horrifying mess of a mistake into something so delicious, then surely something can be done with this mess of a week.

After eating my third kimchi “latke”, I realized this week isn’t so bad after all.  And neither is my failure.


Difficulty: Easy

Time: 45 minutes, start to finish

Serves: One


  • One potato, cooked and mashed
  • 3/4 cup chopped kimchi – gently squeeze excess juice from kimchi
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (or finely chopped chicken/tofu or anything to give texture and flavor)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil on frying pan over medium heat
  2. Combine chopped kimchi, mashed potato, flour, brown rice, egg, garlic, and salt and pepper and beat with an electric beater until well-combined.
  3. Spoon batter onto hot pan and flatten so they look like pancakes.  When browned, flip and cook on opposite side until equally browned.
Serve with soy sauce, wasabi mayo, or just eat them plain and by the fistful.

3 thoughts on “From Failure to Fritters.

    • Thanks, Heather! But I can’t take all credit — I have to give it up to my European Jews for creating something so awesome as a POTATO PANCAKE. What could be more perfect? Without that little creation, I’d never have an idea to begin with!

  1. Thank you for this recipe. I have made these half a dozen times now. The recipe is very versatile and forgiving on proportions.

    I serve them with an Asian dipping sauce, consisting of whatever I have of the following:
    -Soy Sauce (low sodium preferred)
    -Vinegar (rice vinegar is best, but anything will do)
    -Sesame Oil
    -Sugar (or honey)
    -Cilantro (if available)-
    -Garlic (fresh is best, but whatever you have)=
    -Ginger (fresh is best)
    -Green onion – must mince. Green parts best.
    -Lime juice (fresh squeezed)
    -Lime zest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s