Korean Pajeon... Green Onion Pancakes. What do you do when you have a few vegetables in the fridge? Why, Korean-style pancakes of course:). The pancakes are simple to make, and you can have a lovely light meal in a matter of minutes. Plus, the beauty of making these pancakes is that you can make them quite simple, with just some scallions... or you can make them a bit fancier by adding extra vegetables and even some shrimp. However they're made though, it's important to have a dipping sauce. It's the sauce that makes the pancakes shine.
Over the past few weeks I've made these pancakes many times... and even played around with the ingredients. When I first started making these pancakes, I ended up making the pancakes gluten-free... using a GF rice flour blend and adding some egg with a few veggies. One day, I was real adventurous... I pureed some cooked quinoa, added some rice flour, an egg and some veggies, including scallions and chile.
Both versions were delicious, though the cooked quinoa didn't hold together as nicely as the basic flour version I am sharing today. At the time, I made them as big pancakes, and looking back, I should have made them smaller. They would have held together much better. But they were still delicious.
Anyway, maybe one day I'll visit the non-gluten version again and post about it. I've made a few more gluten-free pancakes... since I wrote this... the post has been sitting in my draft folder for some time now. So here's a quick and delicious flour based, egg-free Pageon... and a gluten-free version as well. In time for scallion season.
My garden is full of scallions that are emerging from their winter hibernation:). These pancakes are so versatile... they can take a variety of vegetables, from zucchini, asparagus, carrots, scallions, etc. If you've ever made the Japanese Okonomiyaki pancakes I shared some time ago, you'll find them quite similar. Hope you enjoy...
Note: For the flour based pageon. While I didn't use any baking soda/baking powder, you may want to experiment with adding a tiny bit, especially if you want them a bit fluffier... or you can also experiment with adding an egg. Also, feel free to substitute a bit of the AP flour with some rice flour.
Tip: I like to place the pajeon pancakes in the toaster oven to continue to crisp up and be hot before serving... This helps to cook the pancake further without having a "gummy" interior. I also reheat the leftovers in the toaster oven as well.
You will need:
Pajeon batter: makes about 2(6-8 inch) pancakes
1/2 cup flour
1/2(+/-) cup cold water
1 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar, optional, I omitted
Vegetables: you can use other vegetables if you like, or use just the green onion.
2 green onions
1 small carrot
1 red jalapeno
Soy dipping sauce: this sauce can be adjusted to taste, use more or less vinegar/ sesame oil. Also you can easily double it.
2-3 TBS soy sauce
2-4 tsps rice vinegar
1-2 tsps sesame oil
chopped green onion
1. Cut your green onion/scallion in 3 inch( or so) julienned strips, do the same with the carrot. Slice the red jalapeno into thin rounds.
2. Mix all ingredients together... OR mix just the batter(without the onion, carrot, and chile). Check batter consistency before cooking – batter should just a bit runnier than American pancake batter, so add a bit of water if needed. This way the pajeon can cook quickly and evenly. I cooked a couple of pancakes... with a thicker batter(the one where I poured the batter over the vegetables) and a thinner batter(the one I mixed the batter with the vegetables). Both were ok, though the thinner one cooked quicker.
3. Heat a non stick skillet (8 inch is what I used) over medium heat and coat with a thin layer of oil... 2-3 tsps.
4. Heat a few strips of scallions/carrots in the skillet so they are slightly cooked and crispy and then pour the batter over the vegetables. Add a few strips of vegetables and 3-4 chile rounds on top of the batter.
Alternately, pour batter to fill pan in a thin layer... you will need to use about 1/3-1/2 of your batter to fill an 8-10 inch skillet).
5. Cook for 3-4 minutes until set and golden brown on bottom, pressing the pancake with a flat spatula so it cooks evenly.
6. Turn pancake over with help of spatula or plate and continue cooking 2-3 more minutes, adding more oil around the edges if necessary.
7. Serve hot with soy dipping sauce (just mix all sauce ingredients together). Adjust seasoning to taste.
Making the Gluten Free Korean Pageon: Uses the same method as the flour based pancake batter. This makes a small batch, but you can easily double it.
Note : Use dipping sauce from above and use a GF soy sauce.
Tip: Reheat pancakes in toaster oven to crisp up.
You will need: makes about 2 small( 6 inch) pancakes
1/4 cup rice flour( I used a sweet rice)
1 ex large egg, beaten till foamy
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
pinch of salt
1/2 small zucchini, julienned
1 red jalapeno, thinly sliced, or to taste
1-2 green onion, chives, cut in 2 inch
a bit of oil to fry each pancake in
1. Whisk egg till foamy and add the fish sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and salt. Whisk to completely combine.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet with about 1-2 TBS oil and add half the pancake batter. Cook on medium/low heat till bottom side is golden and crisp, flip over and continue to cook till crisp... or you can place skillet in a preheated hot oven to finish cooking the top. For me it's just easier to flip over.
Note:At this point you can add all the cut up vegetables to the batter mixture and proceed to cook pancakes as mentioned in step 2....
OR: if you want some of the vegetables to be seen more distinctly and get a bit of extra flavor.
You can reserve a few vegetables and mix the rest of the vegetables with the batter. Then heat a bit of oil and add some of the reserved vegetables,in a single layer, on the bottom of the hot skillet, Cook the vegetables slightly( about 1 minute or so) then add some of the pancake batter and cook as mentioned in step 2 ... which is what I ended up doing. Continue with the rest of the batter in the same manner.