January 26, 2011

Korean Vegetable Pancakes

{ crispy, savory vegetable pancakes }
Korean pancakes (pa-jeon) are a popular appetizer or side dish in Korean culture.  It's hearty and filling enough to be a meal in itself.  Pa-jeon is absolutely amazing when eaten piping hot straight off the stove.  So wonderfully savory and delicious.   It's usually served with a dipping sauce consisting of soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.  You can find many variations of the pancake - most common are scallion, kimchi, or seafood.   Seafood pancake (called hae-mul pa-jeon) is my absolute favorite; it consists of squid, clams, shrimp, and scallions.

I normally use a prepared pancake mix bought from the Korean market .  But I didn't have any on hand.


Nor did I have any seafood.  So I decided to make vegetable pancakes using flour.  If you have some fresh veggies, flour, water, and egg available, this is a simple meal to make. 

I have screwed these up horribly many times before and have learned from my mistakes.  So here are a few tips:
  1. Don't make the pancakes too thick.  Otherwise, they're bound to be soggy.
  2. Don't be stingy with the oil.  In the past, I tried using as little oil as possible to keep them from being greasy and it would be a flop (literally).  You don't want to go overboard with the oil, either; these are not meant to be deep-fried.  Just be sure to use enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
{ vegetables sliced thin and ready to go in the batter }

{ mix, mix, mix }

{ fry in the pan }

{ and voila! }

So how good are they?  I think this says it all. 


Korean Vegetable Pancakes
{ Makes about four 8-inch pancakes }

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups ice cold water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for pan frying (approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons for each pancake)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned (or grated)
1 green pepper, cut into thin slices
1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
1 bunch of scallions, sliced

Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, egg, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water until a smooth batter is formed.  If batter is still thick, add a little more water (you want it to be the consistency of pancake batter).  Stir in the potatoes, carrots, peppers, and scallions.
  2. Place an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Let it heat for 15-20 seconds, and then coat bottom with vegetable oil.  Ladle in about a quarter of the batter and spread it out evenly into a circle.  Cook for 5 minutes until edges start browning.  Then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  When completed, transfer the pancake on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain oil (if necessary) and then place on serving plate.
  3. Repeat steps 1 to 3 with remaining batter.
  4. When pancakes are all finished, cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.  
Dipping sauce (I use this sauce for pajeon and dumplings):

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice or white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of roasted sesame seeds
Pinch of chopped scallion
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.  Sprinkle in sesame seeds, chopped scallion, and if desired, pinch of red pepper.

11 comments:

  1. wow rachel, you're making all my fave korean foods... i didn't know it was this easy to make the pancakes! my mom has made it in the past with some kind of pre-made flour mixture from the chinese supermarket. can't believe all we needed was flour and egg... =P

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  2. I love the photos of your little boy enjoying these pancakes! Priceless!

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  3. @Lillian - The already made Korean pancake mix is great, too! It consists of diff't flours (wheat and rice), corn starch, and salt. I had some in the pantry but I realized it was expired. Ugh. So I used flour and egg instead which works just fine.

    @Christina - Thank you! It makes a mother incredibly happy to see her children enjoy the food she prepares.

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  4. They look really delicious, full of colors and flavor :)

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  5. Your son is too cute! And he loved your pajeon! Looks delicious. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  6. Can't wait to try these out! My kids are going to love this!

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  7. These look and sound so mouthwatering. I love the photos of your son, so adorable!

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  8. Thanks for sharing and I love Korean food and was little scared to make it at home. will def. try all these.

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  9. I love those joyous photos at the end of this blog post. I made these for the first time last night and looking at your photos, I went overboard with the vegetables! But they were tasty - thanks.

    I substituted the potato for sweet potato because that's what I had and it worked well.

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  11. Would it be okay to an amount of chili powder to make it spicy? Am so eager to cook one with a bit chili. I've tried the recipe and bang!!! my kids love it so much. Such a huge leap for them as they are picky when it comes to vegies. Thanks for sharing such recipe, my wife was so happy i cooked something the kids love with vegies. ��

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