If you have never heard of pajeon, I don’t blame you. It’s a Korean ethnic dish typically known as a green onion pancake, however you can be creative on this recipe and add things like seafood. That’s how my wife and I first had it down in Dallas, Texas when visiting family. That is called Haemul Pajeon. It was a remarkable dish and one that we did not forget when dining at Maht Gaek, one of my brother’s favorite and go to Korean restaurants. So it was my turn to take a spin on making these hearty seafood and green onion pancakes.
Let’s get started on this simple recipe.
Ingredients for the pancakes (Makes 2 large pancakes)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 cup shredded or grated carrot
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 small zucchini, julienned
- 1 whole bunch of green onions, cut into 1 inch sections
- 2 cups of shredded hash browns, thawed
- 12 medium sized shrimp, deveined and shells removed, chopped
- neutral oil
Ingredients for the dipping sauce:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
The great flavor of the pancake while dipped into the sauce is really a thing that shines. So let’s start by making the sauce. To a small bowl, add in all of the sauce ingredients and give it a good stir. Set it to the side until the pancakes are ready.
To make the pancakes, first prepare all of the vegetables. Once prepared, add the flour to a mixing bowl. Toss in the baking powder and corn starch and give that a good stir. Add in the chicken stock or water, along with the egg and salt, and give that a very thorough mix, as if you were making a regular pancake.
Next add in the vegetables, hash browns, and shrimp and give a really nice mix.
Now were ready to make the pancakes.
Get a large skillet our on medium heat. I think mine is like a 14 inch skillet or something along those lines. It’s a big one so get the larger skillet size you have and stick with that. I use a nonstick skillet for this.
Once heated, add in a thin layer of oil, enough to coat the bottom. Let this come up to temperature for a few minutes before ladling in your batter. I find the ladle works best in this situation.
Take about half of the pancake batter (at least in my situation with the larger skillet), or use enough to cover the bottom of the skillet, and get that into the skillet. You should have a nice mixture of carrots, peppers, zucchini, green onions, hash browns, and shrimp in that pancake. Let this cook undisturbed for a few minutes. Gently lift an edge with a spatula and see if it is golden brown yet. Once golden brown, that is when you are going to flip.
Now you have a couple of options here. You could try and flip at once with the spatula and take a risk, or you can do as I did and get a pizza sheet out and slide it onto that, then take the pan and flip it back into the skillet on the uncooked side when ready. I add a bit more oil, not much, into the skillet before returning the pancake to cook on the other side. Once cooking again, keep your heat to a medium heat, and continue cooking until the other side is nice and crispy. Repeat with remaining batter.
Now you are ready to plate. Add the pancake to your pizza pan, or large plate, and slice into pizza like slices, or cut into squares depending on your preference.
The result is nothing like you have had before. The pajeon is a bit crispy, a bit soft and fluffy, and is loaded with an array of awesome vegetables and shrimp. Along with that dipping sauce, you have a winning pair! As much as I miss that Korean restaurant in Dallas, it’s good to know that we can make this simple pancake in our own kitchen. Hope you enjoy!