One of my favorite parts of Korean cuisine is banchan. Banchan is small dishes of food served alongside rice during meals. Think of it as a Korean version of tapas or meze. Somes of the dishes that are included in banchan are kimchi, steamed egg and Korean pancakes, called jeon. But specifically, jeon denotes the Korean pancake group as a whole. To be specific, there are panjeon, which are thin pancakes with scallions, kimchijeon, which are pancakes with kimchi, and many more kinds. I love panjeon; and I’ve eaten it enough in K-Town so I sort of knew what the consistency and texture should be. So why not, I made some at home.
Up until now, I’ve only made Chinese pancakes. And Chinese scallion pancakes aren’t really pancakes in the sense that they’re dough based and rolled out thin to be cooked on a pan – similar to how roti is cooked. Korean pancakes on the other hand are made from a batter. They’re cooked how any typical breakfast pancake is cooked, as you can see above. In Pajeon, scallions are the staple ingredient, but you can add many additional ones like shellfish or pork. Specifically, seafood pajeon is called haemul pajeon, which is what I made. In comparison, Korean pancakes are much easier to make and cook than the Chinese kind. If you’ve ever made regular pancakes, it’s really the same process. So give it a try for yourselves! These taste great with a side of soy sauce, chili oil and black vinegar!
- Preheat oven to 200F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together minced garlic, salt, water, eggs and sesame oil.
- Then whisk in flour until smooth.
- Stir in scallions, bell pepper and shrimp.
- In a griddle or non-stick skillet, heat some oil over medium-high heat until hot.
- Scoop out batter (about 2 tablespoons with vegetables and some shrimp ) for one pancake and drop onto pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you can cook a few pancakes at a time.
- Cook about 4 minutes per batch turning only once.
- Drain on paper towels and transfer to a rack in the oven to keep warm.
- Add more oil to the skillet if necessary between batches and cook until all batter is used.
As you drop the batter onto the skillet, make sure the batter layer is even throughout the pancake so it cooks through evenly.
When keeping the pancakes warm in the oven, you should place them on a rack to there is air circulation from the top and bottom. Placing them directly on a pan will cause the bottom of the pancake to become slightly soggy.