Korean Pajeon (“pah-juhn”).
This dish, considered more a snack food or starter, is not only easy but a staple growing up in any Korean household. And once you’ve mastered the recipe, it will probably become a staple in your household.
The recipe calls for “Chinese chives” (Gao Choi in Chinese, Puchu in Korean). Chinese chives are stronger in taste than the chives you may be used to on your baked potatoes. The leaves of Chinese chives are flat and cook very quickly. Be sure to use within 3 days as they are particularly fragile little fuckers.
This past summer we planted our own Chinese chives in our vegetable garden, and so this recipe was used and somewhat abused. Though nobody in particular complained.
~ If you can’t find the chives, no worries. You can always substitute them with thinly sliced bell peppers or grated carrots or diced zucchini or any veggie really, so I can shut up. Mixed seafood works incredibly well too.
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INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER:
2 cups flour
1½ cups cold water
3 teaspoons potato (or corn starch if that’s what’s handy)
Salt / pepper
1 bunch Chinese chives
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1. Wash and pat-dry your Chinese chives (or other ingredients if you’re not going the chives route). Then chop into 1-2 inch pieces and set aside.
2. Whisk together your flour, water, eggs, starch and salt/pepper in a large mixing bowl until smooth. The consistency should be just a little thicker than regular pancake batter. The added starch should help, but if you need to go ahead and add a little flour or water to get to the right consistency.
3. Set your frying pan or skillet over a medium flame then add two tablespoons of oil when you think the the pan is sufficiently heated.
4. Add your chopped Chinese chives to the batter mix.
5. Using a soup ladle, pour in enough of the batter to just cover the surface of the pan.
~ The thinner the pancake, the crispier it will be. The perfect bite is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Try not to have too heavy a hand when pouring the batter into the pan.
6. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, checking after 5 minutes to see if the bottom has browned. Once browned, flip with a spatula.
~ This recipe should yield two pancakes and most likely your second pancake will turn out better looking than your first. Practice makes perfect.
8. Slice up your pancakes into bite-sized or pizza-sliced pieces, whatever size you’re in the mood to put into your mouth. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!
If you’d like the perfect dipping sauce to go with this, you can find it here.
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