The Versatile Shortcut My Mom Always Keeps Stocked in Her Freezer — And Now I Do, Too
Ring-ding-a ling! Dong-gue-rang-ddeng!
The Korean name alone of the pan-fried meat and veggie fritters that my mom and grandmother used to fry up when I was a kid is enough to bring me joy. “Donguerang ddeng” translates to “little round thing,” but the onomatopoeia of it sounds like a delightful little bell, heralding the tastiness to come.
Donguerang ddeng, also known as wanja jeon, are a beloved banchan year-round and a sought-after fritter commonly seen on the Chuseok table in autumn. They can be quite time-consuming to make at home, not dissimilar to dumplings. Ideally, I’d spend the day finely chopping an assortment of vegetables, draining the moisture from a block of tofu before crumbling it, and folding both into a package of ground meat. Seasoning this mixture is always a bit of a gamble — usually I pan fry a small amount to taste before adjusting accordingly. If all goes well, then I can shape into small round patties (dong-gue-rang-ddeng!), which I’ll dip into flour and then beaten egg before pan-frying each individual piece. All in all, hours of work!
Enter: Bibigo Dotom Pork & Vegetable Mini Patty. I was first introduced to this product by my mom when I last visited her. She casually asked me if she should make us jeon for lunch (to which of course I replied, “Yes!!”) and slyly took out this Bibigo bag from her freezer. “This,” she whispered conspiratorially, “is why I’ve started to make jeon all the time.”
She’s a big fan of Bibigo products because they are impeccably seasoned and can really help her cut down on meal prep time.
What’s So Great About Bibigo Dotom Pork & Vegetable Mini Patty?
These Bibigo mini patties are made with the ideal ratio of minced pork, tofu, and vegetables (which include onion, carrot, cabbage, leek, chive, onion, and garlic — quite the ingredient list!). They’re fully cooked, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of preparing and serving raw meat. Plus, the patties are perfectly sized for one delicious, very juicy bite.
There are about 18 patties per bag (but mine came with 19, score!), which is perfect for feeding four to six people. I’ll usually fry up the whole bag in one go and save any leftovers in the fridge; they reheat wonderfully in the microwave. They come in a resealable bag, so you can easily just grab as many as you need for your meal. One bag is all I need to make appetizers for a party, or to have on hand over the course of several dinners.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Bibigo Dotom Pork & Vegetable Mini Patty?
Or take it a step further to make jeon! I tossed all the patties at once in a mixing bowl with flour, then individually dipped them in beaten egg before frying in a pan on both sides with a bit of oil over medium heat. This jeon was the first thing to go at my Chuseok dinner last month.
This kind of jeon can also be enjoyed year-round. It’s perfect for rainy fall days because the pitter patter of rain is reminiscent of the sound of frying fritters. Pair the egg-fried patties with a bowl of cold makgeolli as you watch the rain bead down your windows.
The cutely sized patties would also be perfect for tiny sliders topped with cheese, on skewers for easy grilling, or tossed into soups or stews (how about a kimchi jjigae?) like a delicious meat dumpling!
Buy: Bibigo Dotom Pork & Vegetable Mini Patty, $10.99 for 16 ounces at Weee!
What freezer shortcuts do you stock up on for the holidays — and beyond? Tell us in the comments below.