Pajeon are a Korean dish consisting of a pancake made from flour and eggs (the jeon), plus scallions and some other filling. They’re similar, in a way, to scallion pancakes from China. Typically pajeon have meat or seafood in them, but we were happy to stumble across this recipe in the New York Times which substitutes in vegetables instead of any kind of animal product. We adapted the recipe for ourselves and we’re featuring these today because they’re another simple recipe you can make from kitchen staples and a few fresh vegetables, so they’re perfect if you’re still trying to limit your trips out of the house. These are also pretty easy to make, so they’re a quick but filling vegetarian meal that turns vegetables into some great pan-fried savory treats.
To make these, you’ll need:
To make the pancakes, stir together a cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Grate two garlic cloves and slice five scallions into 1-inch pieces, and mix those in as well. Then in the center of the bowl, add in your egg and 9 ounces of seltzer (which should be about 3/4 of the can) and gently stir until you have an even batter.
Now cut both bell peppers into small pieces and peel and grate your carrot.
Mix those into your batter.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large cast iron pan over medium heat, then use a 1/4-cup measure to scoop out portions of batter. Fry three pancakes at a time until they brown on one side, after 2-3 minutes, and turn them over and cook on the other side for few more minutes, until both sides are equally browned. Continue until you’ve fried up all the batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Finally, make a dipping sauce by whisking together 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, a teaspoon of ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of chile oil. You can serve the pajeon, sprinkled with salt on top, with the sauce on the side.
Who doesn’t love savory pancakes? These are stuffed with veggies, so you can feel good about eating them, but let’s not deny that fried batter is always going to be delicious. Paired with a salty and acidic sauce, these are hot and crunchy and really tasty when they’re fresh. Luckily this recipe only involves pan-frying, so it’s as simple as making breakfast pancakes, and aside from some vegetable chopping at the beginning there’s really not a lot of work involved here. Overall these are a great introduction to Korean cooking, and a good vegetarian substitution for a dish that would otherwise have you eating meat.