Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)

Today, I’m sharing with you one of the dishes that scared me at first, thinking that it was hard, but actually, it’s quite fuss-free.

Korean seafood pancakes are quite delightful—they’re slightly crispy but also chewy and soft when you bite into it. The slightly burnt green onions give off a nice smoky flavor as well. This can be served as smaller pancakes, as an appetizer or a snack. Or can be served as bigger pancakes as part of the main event.

Pajeon means scallion pancake (scallion or green onions)—since jeon usually refers to battered fried food.

I put the green onions/leeks on top instead of mixing it along with the rest of the ingredients, similar to the style that they would usually do for “royalty” food—and it quite scared me, thinking that the leeks would fly off, soon as I try to flip the pancake. Thankfully though, it didn’t do that although, during my first try, I made the pancake too thick so that it was quite hard to flip the pancake. I made sure the second time around that my pancakes weren’t too thick and that my leeks weren’t too long.

Hope you enjoy this dish 🙂

Haemul Pajeon (해물파전)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5-7 minutes

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams of mixed seafood of choice, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces (I usually use squid and shrimp, but scallops or other seafood is also good)
  • 2-3 green onions or leeks and sliced to about 5-7 inch pieces, or depending on your preferred pancake diameter, and the size of the pan. If you are using leeks and want bigger pancakes, slice the leek lengthwise as well. If you want small pancakes, chop the green onions finely.
  • 1 cup of carrots, julienned
  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4-6 tablespoons of vegetable oil

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of sugar or ½ packet of stevia sweetener
  • 1 to 2 dashes of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • A pinch of toasted sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, put the seafood, carrots, cornstarch, flour, egg soy sauce, salt, pepper, and cold water. Mix all together until well incorporated.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat some vegetable oil (about 2 tablespoons initially), ensuring that it coats the pan evenly.
  3. If you want to make smaller pancakes, take 2 spoonfuls of the mixture and place them onto the pan and place some green onions or leeks on top (depending on the diameter of the pancake). If you want a bigger pancake for sharing, which is something that I prefer, spread the mixture on the pan until it forms a thin layer (about less than half an inch thick or so). Line up the leeks on top of the pancake, letting it sink a little bit into the mixture.
  4. Let the pancake cook under medium-high heat for about two minutes, not moving the pancake around to let the pancake brown.
  5. After two minutes, flip the pancake over and let the other side cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Flip a final time and let the pancake cook for a full minute.
  7. Transfer to a plate. If you’re serving a big pancake, you can slice it up into bite-size pieces for anyone to pick out later on. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side (mix up all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small dipper bowl).

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