Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Traditional Korean Rice Pancakes (Pajeon)

I like Korean culture and their food...

I like to learn Korean cooking too but when I visited South Korea last year, I came home with not even one Korean cookbook. In fact, I was excited dashing into all Korean bookshops but disappointed dragging myself out of the shops without any books. Why??? Simply because the good Korean cookbooks that I can find are all in Korean language and I can't decipher any of these Korean writing at all...

Despite that I couldn't buy any Korean cookbooks from Korea, I actually have two Korean cookbooks in my collection. One is Seoul Kitchen by Debbie Lee which is a great gift from Lena from Frozen wings and other is a Chinese-English bilingual book that I bought from Singapore which is rather Korean-Chinese to me.

I like Debbie's Korean cooking as her food are mostly the modern fusion-Korean kind with easy-to-follow instructions and easily-available ingredients. To certain extent, I think that her cooking is pretty stylish. Best of all, her recipes are usually fail-proof and the few dishes that I made from her recipes are all tasting pretty good.

Amongst the recipes that I have tried from this book, I would love to blog about these traditional Korean rice pancakes (Pajeon) that I have cooked. According to Wikipedia, the Korean word pa means green onions and the Korean word jeon means a specific pancake-like dish. Based its name, pajeon is a savoury pancake-like Korean dish made with a batter of eggs, wheat flour, rice flour plus green onions as its most prominent ingredient. Additional ingredients such as beef, pork, kimchi, and seafood are also mostly used to enhance the variety of this dish.

For this post, I have cooked two versions of these pancakes and made two versions of sauces to eat with these pancakes; the traditional plain meatless pancakes for the seafood-allergy me, the seafood pancakes for my husband and son, the non-spicy ginger soy vinegar for my boy and the spicy pimento-spring onion glaze for me and my husband. Although I can't taste the seafood ones (or unless I want to swollen mouth or fat sexy lips - LOL!), based on the feedback I gathered, I can tell that both pancakes are equally delicious being crispy outside and chewy and munchy inside. Both sauces are must-have to eat with these pancakes.

Like what Debbie mentioned in her book... "One is never enough." - This is totally true!

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My family and I will be having a break from our routine for the next two weeks. We will be flying back to Singapore to visit our relatives and enjoy lots of Singapore food and shopping. I promise that this break will be really short as I will be back soon on 25 Nov 2013 with Italian Almond Tart (a bake-along post) and lots of Cook like a Star, Bill Granger cooking / baking. See ya!

Traditional Korean Rice Pancakes Pajeon
Yippee! ... that I can cook Korean pancakes!
First of all, I did this...
... then this...
... and this.
Not to forget the most essential ingredient of this dish!
The pancakes smell good when I was frying them.
Making two kinds of sauces
These are must-have to eat with these pancakes!
The pancakes are crispy outside and chewy inside.
Traditional Korean seafood Rice Pancakes Pajeon
I like mine the most with the spicy sauce! But, not the seafood ones, of course!

Here are the recipes from the book, Seoul Kitchen by Debbie Lee
(with my modification and notes in blue)

Traditional Rice Pancakes (Pajeon)
 

Makes 8-10 pancakes
195g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 garlic clove, mashed
1 egg
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
360ml ice-cold water (with cubes)
4 tbsp sweet glutinous rice flour (chapsat)
2 leeks, white parts only, julienned
(replaced with white parts of spring onions)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
(I used canola oil)
4 tbsp chopped chives, for garnish
(I didn't do that)

For ginger-soy vinegar:
240ml soy sauce
240ml seasoned rice wine vinegar
(I used white vinegar)
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
(mine is finely shredded)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the self-raising flour, sea salt, garlic powder and white pepper. Add the mashed garlic clove, egg, soy sauce and sesame oil and whisk well.

Add half of the water (without the ice cubes) and whisk well. Add the rice flour and remaining water (discarding the ice cubes) and whisk well. Fold in the leeks with a rubber spatula, then set the batter aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together for the ginger-soy vinegar. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and warm for 1 minute.

With a measuring cup, scoop 1/4 cup of batter at a time and dollop in the pan, making sure to leave at least 2.5 cm all around so that the pancakes don't touch one another. Brown on each side for 3-4 mins, or until cooked.

Transfer the pancakes to a serving plate and garnish with the chopped chives
- I didn't garnish the dish with chives. Serve immediately with the ginger-soy vinegar.

Seafood Rice Pancakes (Haemul Pajeon)

Makes 8-10 pancakes
195g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 garlic clove, mashed
(mine is finely minced)
1 egg
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
360 ml ice-cold water (with cubes)
4 tbsp sweet glutinous rice flour (chapsal)
115g king prawns (or crayfish), peeled and chopped*
(replaced with 50g smoked salmon, thinly sliced and roughed chopped for 2/3 amount of batter)
115g white crabmeat, flaked
(I used the canned pink ones, drained, about 100g for 2/3 amount of batter.)
35g chopped spring onions
4 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
(I used canola oil)
4 tbsp chopped chives, for garnish
(I didn't do that)

For pimento-spring onion glaze:

115g red chilli bean paste (gochujang)
70g finely chopped spring onions, white parts only
120ml soy sauce
120ml seasoned rice wine vinegar
(I used white vinegar)
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp coarse chilli pepper flakes (gochugaru)
(replaced with Japanese pepper flakes)
120ml sesame oil
(reduced to 1 tbsp for half amount)

In a large mixing bowl combine the self-raising flour, sea salt, garlic powder and white pepper. Add the mashed garlic clove, egg, soy sauce and sesame oil and whisk well.

Add half of the water (without the ice cubes), and whisk well. Add the rice flour and remaining water and whisk well. Fold in the prawns (salmon), crabmeat and spring onions with a rubber spatula, then set the batter aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Pimento-Spring Onion Glaze except the sesame oil. Once all the ingredients are mixed well, whisk in the sesame oil. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and warm for 1 minute.

With a measuring cup, scoop 1/3 cup (I used only 1/4 cup) of batter at a time and dollop in the pan, making sure to leave at least 2.5 cm all around so that the pancakes don't touch one another. Brown on each side for 4-5 mins, or until cooked.

Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with the chopped chives - I didn't garnish the dish with chives. Serve immediately with the pimento-spring onion glaze.

Note: I have made 11 pancakes (4 plain ones and 7 seafood ones) using 1 quantity (with 195g self raising flour) of either one of the above recipes. I cooked the 4 plain pancakes first and added 100g crabmeat and 50g smoked salmon to the remaining batter and subsequently cooked 7 seafood pancakes.

*Due to my allergy, I tried to avoid handled raw prawns with my bare hands and choose to replace prawns with smoked salmon instead.

I have made half amount of each ginger-soy vinegar and pimento-spring onion glaze to serve these 11 pancakes and had heaps of ginger-soy vinegar and about 3-4 tbsp of pimento-spring onion glaze as leftover.


Happy Cooking

I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #37: Korean - Feast of Hansik (November 2013) hosted by Grace (Life can be simple).

47 comments:

  1. These savory pancakes look so good! Thank you for sharing them with us tonight!

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  2. Zoe, your korean pancakes look AWESOME!!! can I have one? :)

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  3. Hi Zoe,
    These Korea pancake looks so good!
    The sauce is so special too. Wish I can grab a piece with lotsa sauce from you now :D
    mui

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  4. I can't get over the spicy pimento-spring onion sauce - it looks so delicious..lol ^.^

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  5. Indeed....these snack food look real good. In fact, I would love lots of spring onions in it!

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  6. what a yummy departure dish... i hope you enjoy your deserved break and look forward to more from you when you return

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  7. We like to order pajeon in Korean restaurants too. Looks good! And happy holidays to you Zoe ;)

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  8. These pancakes look delicious Zoe! We love Korean Pajeon too but I haven't tried making it at home yet, thanks so much for this lovely recipe :) Hope you have a fantastic time in Singapore spending with your family:)

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  9. Zoe, I love these pancakes with spring onions and have a nice holidays! (I thought that i wanted to meet you at Mel, hehe!)

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  10. cold sweats. I had problem to post my blog just now, luckily it seems to be fixed by itself after 2 hours. Anyway, I love your korean pancake. We are using the same brand of sesame oil & soy sauce. In my area, I can find Kikkoman soy sauce that is either made in Taiwan or Singapore. I always go for Singapore, hehe.

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  11. So delicious, especially the last photo with the salmon peeking out and the pimento sauce dripping over it. Oh I'm practically drooling!

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  12. Zoe, your traditional Korean Rice Pancake looks great. I wish to try this next time . Thanks! :)

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  13. wow..seafood pancake with spicy sauce, yummy :)

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  14. O
    M
    G
    These look SO delicious! My sister would flip over these!

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  15. PS-Luckily, we have a good Korean market in town. That sauce looks killer tasty, too!

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  16. I've made the Chinese version of these pancakes, I'll have to give the Korean version a try.

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  17. These look terrific! I love Korean chow, but don't know much about preparing it myself. I really should learn, so I can make great things like this! Good recipe - thanks.

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  18. I love seeing your recipe guides for classic Korean pancake.
    It really inspires me.
    It looks great! Yummy~~~
    I also had kimchi pancake which was good too!

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  19. Zoe, I also love Korean cuisine, as well...just don't get to find a whole lot of recipes for them. I love, your amazing pancakes, especially the seafood filling one, and the spicy pimento spring-onion sauce to accompany it!

    Have a wonderful time with your family in Singapore, and will be looking forward to see your upcoming new post when you return! Hugs,

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  20. I have made Chinese green onion pancakes and they were delicious but now I have to try these. The sauce looks fantastic. Have fun in Singapore. That is one place I'd love to visit!

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  21. A long time ago, I made scallion pancakes and we loved them. These look even better than mine did. I am wondering if I can make it gluten-free.

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  22. Zoe, I love Korean food too! I have tasted these pancakes and they are one of my favourite things to eat when I go Korean. But most of all I love the grilled meats.

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  23. These pancakes sure look really yummy, with that dipping sauce.

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  24. Lovely rice pancake......
    the photographs are stunning too!
    This is similiar with Indonesian-chinese descent rice pance, but instead using the fresh prawn, we used to use the dried ones....
    Eversince my father gor diabetes, i usually made it with fresh proccessed red rice flour.....

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  25. yumm, I like savoury pancakes more than I like the sweet ones, the sauces make it look really mouth watering

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  26. Never tried this before but it sure does look and sounds tasty!!! Would love the visit Singapore!! Cant wait to hopefully see some photos of your trip

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  27. Hi Zoe,
    I can imagine how frustrating it is that the cookbooks we like are not in bilingual language!
    The pancake looks good, perfect for a simple and delicious lunch!

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  28. It's too bad you couldn't find any other Korean cookbooks, Zoe. I too enjoy Korean food but I just never get my "butt" going to make some. I give you so much credit for making up your mind to do and then doing it so beautifully. Kudos to you!

    Enjoy your time away, Zoe and have FUN! We'll "see" you when you return. Thank you so much for sharing...

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  29. hi zoe, now you are making me want to get that book too :) that spicy spring onion sauce sounds like one great stuff to go with the pancakes ! yay, you can cook thai, you can cook korean!!

    have a great holiday!

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  30. Traditional and delicious, these are so exotic :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  31. Hi Zoe! I love Korean cuisine and these pancakes sound amazingly delicious! Have fun in Singapore! :)

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  32. Excellent pajeon recipe! Seafood pajeon is one of the dishes I always order when I visit a Korean restaurant but for some reason I've never made it. Great inspiration and I'll finally try it at home soon. Thanks

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  33. I like your Korean rice pancake, especially with the sauce ^^

    美牙

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  34. Hi Zoe, I love Korean food too. My favourite are Jap Chae noodles and their friend chicken! These pancakes look so good, I was going through your ingredient list and hey I have most of them at home. So I should give it a go, what say? Love your blog, thanks for visiting mine. Cheers, Suchi

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  35. This is one dish that I must order whenever I visit Korean restaurants. I'm into Kpop & drama, & just started Korean lessons. Such fun!

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  36. I can eat lots of eggs and this dish is very enticing,,..

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  37. I have never tried Korean cooking. This could possibly be my first Korean dish.

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  38. I really love Korean pancake. Maybe because of the additional of glutinous rice flour which produced such amazing texture. Yummmm...... Yours look simply tempting.
    Enjoy your evening.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  39. wow, that spicy pimento sauce is making me salivate as I type. Anything with chilli I will try! Think I will like the spicy one too! Yummmmm!

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  40. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (almost) everything Korean! I've never tried these pancakes, although my neighbour from Taiwan has introduced me to a similar green onion pancake which I am addicted to! I'd love to try these-they sound and look awesome! Have a wonderful time in Singapore!! CC

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  41. I too love chinese pancakes but do not know much about this Korean version…looks delicious too!

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  42. Wow. Looks really interesting! I love pancakes. This can be a break from the usual pancakes that i eat. ;)

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  43. my best friend married a lovely korean man and i now get to enjoy these beautiful offerings sometimes. i love this post. yum! x

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