Savory. Meaty. Comforting. These Korean Beef Patties were a tasty staple in my childhood home. Now, they can be yours.
Growing up, my Korean grandmother liked to pan fry little beef patties dipped in egg wash. Filling and tasty, these were a comforting staple at dinnertime that were tucked into lunch boxes the next day.
In our family, we called them Donguerang Ddeng, which roughly translates to, “little round things.” As a child, that made perfect sense. They were round and they were little.
As an adult, I tried to google the recipe. But in the vast world that is the internet, I couldn’t find a recipe for the childhood classic that we ate on a semi-regular basis. The closest approximation was a recipe for Wanja-jeon, an unfamiliar and strange sounding name. Shockingly, Wanja-jeon turned out to be the exact recipe that I was looking for!
I asked my Halmoni and mom if they’d heard of Wanja-jeon. Nope, they hadn’t. Then I asked my Korean friends, had they heard of Wanja-jeon? Nope, they hadn’t either. All of them called this Korean classic by the same name: Donguerang Ddeng aka Little Round Things.
The preparation is very Korean, as Koreans love pan fried foods of all kinds. (Think Kimchi Pancake or Saengsun Jun.) Dusted in flour and dipped in egg wash, Korean Beef Patties are so easy to make en masse. While it may seem like a lot of work (all that dredging and frying), these little patties last for days and days.
Make these once and the leftovers will become a filling staple that don’t ever seem to run out. Like the miraculous flour and olive oil of Elijah lore, they will last longer than you think. Plus, they pack up like a dream in lunchboxes. You’ll find yourself reaching for these protein-packed beauties at mealtime, snacktime, and all those times in between.
Technically, Donguerang Ddeng or Korean Beef Patties are not a main course dish. They are considered ban chan, one of the many side dishes that accompany rice at mealtime. All to say, this is not a show-stopping dish like Jap Chae or Galbi Jjim. This is a side dish. Eaten with a bowl of rice and kimchi, Donguerang Ddeng exemplifies the kind of food Koreans eat in the privacy of their homes.
If you ask Koreans about their favourite childhood food, they may very well say Donguerang Ddeng. Comforting and filling, these Korean Beef Patties are a familiar staple that always tasted good!
I developed this recipe for Bessie Box, a meat subscription company based in Alberta. Their mission is simple: deliver premium protein without the premium markup, directly from local farmers to your table. I love their sustainability practices (pasture raised beef, no antibiotics, no hormones, non-GMO feed) and belief that food brings people together. Find the recipe for Korean Beef Patties here.