Quick language lesson: jeon means “pancake” in Korean. This term is associated with a variety of pancakes, from kimchi to kale pancakes. Today’s recipe, Pajeon, stands as the basis for many further layers of the Korean pancake underground; its most popular descendent is Haemul Pajeon, or seafood scallion pancake, which is featured in Paleo Takeout. While the seafood variation is a family favorite, I also appreciate the simplicity and ease of this simple Pajeon.
Speaking of simple and easy, did you guys hear that Melissa Joulwan is releasing a third cookbook, Well Fed Weeknights, on November 1st? She just announced it yesterday, and I’m super excited about it – 128 complete meals (proteins, veggies, fats, and garnishes) ready in 45 minutes. I sent out an email to my newsletter list yesterday morning with more details, which you can read here (it includes a recipe from the book, plus a link to Mel’s free 70-page PDF sampler of the book!).
When selecting green onions, the smaller/thinner the better. If you have access to an Asian market, keep an eye out for the green onions you see above, which are sometimes called Asian green onions or bunching onions – they’re a perfect balance of heft and leafiness.
Pajeon – Korean Scallion Pancake (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet)
2 tbsp tamari
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 spicy red pepper, sliced
1 green onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1 cup water
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp mirin (or 1/2 tsp rice vinegar)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
~25 green onions, trimmed to the length of your skillet (retain the trimmings)
1 red bell pepper, sliced, divided
1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Prepare the dipping sauce; combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside to allow the flavors to marry.
2. Prepare the batter; place the batter ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. You want the consistency of a thin pancake batter; add more water if needed.
3. Warm the coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 30 seconds. Pour about 1/4 of the batter evenly into the pan, then immediately arrange the onions (and trimmings) and half of the bell pepper in the skillet, facing in one direction, evenly spread. Pour the rest of the batter over the green onions. Pan-fry until golden, about 3 minutes, then flip and pan-fry until cooked through, about 2 more minutes.
4. Cool for five minutes, then slice into squares. Enjoy with friends and beer (or cider), garnished with bell pepper slices and sesame seeds, served with the dipping sauce.
*** Avoiding rice flour? Simply replace it with an additional 1/4 cup of tapioca starch.