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Sweet Potato and Kimchi Pancakes

['1 pound sweet potatoes', '1 cup packed kimchi (7 ounces), very thinly sliced', '1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic', '1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh serrano chiles (including seeds; amount depends on heat of kimchi)', '1 cup thinly sliced scallions (from about 2 bunches)', '1 large egg, lightly beaten', '1 teaspoon kosher salt', '3/4 cup all-purpose flour', 'About 1/2 cup corn oil or lard', 'Accompaniment: soy-vinegar dipping sauce', 'Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer']

Peel sweet potatoes and julienne using slicer (about 6 cups).
Stir potato together with remaining ingredients except oil. Let mixture stand at room temperature until wilted and moist, about 5 minutes, then stir again.
Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Filling a 1/3-cup measure halfway full with potato mixture for each pancake and working in batches of 5 or 6, tap out into oil, gently flattening pancakes with a spatula to about 1/4 inch thick. Cook until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip, adding a little more oil if necessary, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Add oil to skillet between batches as needed. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.

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