A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Korean Pancake

Over the past year, I've been trying to perfect my own home version of pajeon, the big pancakes one often sees on appetizer menus at Korean restaurants. Some versions have green onions; some have kimchi; some have squid and shrimp.

I bought some Korean pancake mix at the Hyundai Market, hoping that would make things just right. It's a powder -- just add water. I worked my way through the small bag, trying various mixtures and additions, but the resulting pancakes never fluffed up properly.

I also struggled to find the right pan. The pancakes were too big to flip neatly; I'd always make a huge mess of orange batter.

So I switched things up quite a bit, drawing from the Dutch baby method to come up with this recipe. It's eggier than some versions, and it contains only wheat flour, no rice flour. I often make it for a solo dinner.

When I made a version of this out in Arizona, I left out the kimchi, because we were using Russell's amazing homemade kimchi as a condiment. And I used Dad's tender carrots, so I cut them in bigger slices. The nice big pan made it quite thin and fast-cooking. It was part of a lovely family meal: Will made spicy pork and we ate it with Dad's lettuces, some rice, and more things I can't remember. The reason I can't remember is probably that it was preceded by Manhattans made by Russell using his homemade maraschino cherries.

Eva's Korean Pancake

Beat lightly:
2 eggs

Add and mix:
dash sesame oil
2 pinches salt
1/2 cup white flour
some kimchi juice from the jar
enough water to make a thin batter

Toss batter with:
1 carrot, peeled and grated or julienned
2-3 green onions, cut into 1- or 2-inch lengths
some solids from the kimchi jar

Preheat oven to 425.

Heat peanut oil on medium-high in a nonstick, oven-safe pan or a cast iron skillet. Tong the batter-coated vegetables out of the bowl into the pan, distributing them evenly. Pour the rest of the batter over the top. Turn heat down to medium and cook, without stirring, for a few minutes. Transfer to oven and cook for 12-20 minutes, until lightly browned in patches.

Serve with thin dipping sauce made from:

spoonful of sambal
wine or rice vinegar
soy sauce
sesame oil

Cut into squares using pizza cutter or knife.


Kris said...

It was delicious as well as beautiful and impressive.

Eva said...

I bet you could use part whole wheat flour or part rice flour. Also, you could put anything in there: grated ginger, leftover pork or chicken, some kind of Asian cabbage, cilantro -- whatever.