Today’s recipe is a green onion (scallion) pancake with seafood. You may remember I made a green onion pancake (pajeon) video a long time ago which used foraged green onions. But when making pajeon, most Koreans use this kind of green onion, and the most popular kind of pajeon is made with seafood.
The pan fried green onion in this pancake is both soft and crispy, and with all this savory seafood the taste is fantastic. That’s why it’s one of the most popular dishes at Korean restaurants, and especially Korean BBQ restaurants, because it’s a fun thing to order with a lot of friends. When you’re all together waiting for your BBQ, you can get one of these and share it. Just order one, or else your stomach will be too full when the BBQ comes. When we eat it together, everyone helps each other to get a piece. So one person holds the pancake down with their chopsticks while a second person tears off a bit with their own chopsticks. Then the favor is returned and the second person holds the pajeon down while the first person gets their bite. We should always help each other out, right?
Some tips when making these pancakes:
- For a vegetarian version, skip the seafood and egg and use vegetable stock.
- The batter should be runny, because thick batter will clump when you cook it and your pancake won’t turn out well.
- While cooking, press down and poke the pancake to make some gaps in between the green onions. You should see some steam coming up through the gaps, that means the green onions are being cooked nicely.
- This pancake is too heavy to toss up and flip, so don’t try it! You’ll need a big spatula to turn it over.
- Be sure to make the dipping sauce, that’s the best way to enjoy it!
It can be a simple meal for 2 people, and Koreans often pair it with soju or makgeoli. And if you want to eat one all by yourself, why not?
Let’s have haemul-pajeon!
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus a pinch of salt
- a pinch of ground black pepper
- ¾ cup stock (anchovy kelp stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock), or water
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 green onions, roots and tops trimmed to 8 to 9 inches long (to fit your skillet)
- 4 to 5 ounces (½ cup) seafood (peeled and deveined shrimp, squid, clams), chopped
- 1 large egg, beaten in a small bowl
- 1 fresh red pepper, sliced
For dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon gochu-garu (Korean hot pepper flakes)
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Get the dipping sauce ready:
- Put soy sauce, vinegar, gochu-garu, green onion, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
- Set it aside for now, we’ll mix it later when we serve it.
Prepare pancake ingredients:
- Combine the chopped seafood, pinch of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper in a small bowl. Mix it well and set aside.
- Combine flour, potato starch, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¾ cup stock (or water) in a large enough to accommodate the green onions. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
Make green onion pancake:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and swirl to coat evenly.
- Add the green onions to the batter to coat them. Using tongs or your hand, place them side by side in the skillet, alternating white end to green end, so they form a neat rectangle.
- Add the seafood to the leftover batter in the bowl. Using your hands or tongs, spread the battered seafood on top of the battered scallions, scraping out any excess batter remaining in the bowl.
- Add the sliced red pepper and pour the beaten egg over top of the pancake in the skillet.
- Quickly wash your hands!
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 6 minutes, until the bottom is light brown and crispy.
- Turn the pancake over with a large spatula. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil around the edges of the skillet. Lift one edge of the pancake with your spatula and tilt the skillet so that the oil flows underneath the pancake. Cook for another 3 minutes until nicely browned and crisp.
- Turn the pancake over again. Turn up the heat to medium high heat and cook for 1 minute, until the bottom turns crunchy.
- Transfer to a large plate, with the egg and seafood side up. Serve right away with the dipping sauce.
How to eat:
- Mix the dipping sauce with a spoon. You can cut up the large pancake into several pieces before eating. Take 1 piece to a small individual plate and drizzle some dipping sauce with the spoon and eat. If you don’t want to precut the pancake, you can use your chopsticks to tear off a chunk of batter with a green onion and seafood, and then eat it with the dipping sauce. I prefer the second way because I love to eat the whole cooked green onion.
This story originally appeared on Maangchi