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.
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
Cut into squares using pizza cutter or knife.