Kimchi Pajeon - Korean Pancake
 

When my husband decided he wanted to change to a vegetarian lifestyle, my mother was stumped. She was concerned, and still is to this day, that there woudn't be enough for him to eat at our family gatherings, or when she came over to drop off food in fear that we were starving. Then we remembered the beloved savory Korean pancake. Success! 

This pancake is not sweet in any way, and is actually great with pretty much any combo of ingredients you'd want to try, like seafood. The base of this dish is in the translation of the name: Pa (green onions) jeon (flour type batter). Mine are thicker and  fluffy - because I use club soda, sorry mom! - with a crispy edge. I usually add tons of garlic and other pungent ingredients to my food, but the sour kimchi takes care of all of that. 

This dish is a staple in my home for friends and family, and the first thing I know I'm going to make if there are vegetarians in the mix. It's hearty, versatile and fluffy on the inside ... just like the man I married!

 
 
 

Kimchi Pajeon

About 6 servings

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups club soda
2 eggs
5 green onions
1 cup sour kimchi
1 teaspoon salt
About 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon gochugaru
½ teaspoon sesame seeds

Steps

  1. Stir the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, gochugaru and sesame seeds together for the dipping sauce. Set aside.
  2. Cut the roots off of the greens onions, then cut into ½ inch pieces.
  3. Rough chop the kimchi into small, bite sized pieces.
  4. Put the flour, salt and eggs into a bowl. Slowly add the club soda, then slowly whisk until the batter is smooth with no flour clumps.
  5. Fold the green onions and kimchi, evenly incorporating into the batter.
  6. On a medium high pan, add about a tablespoon or more of vegetable oil. When the oil is heated and simmering, pour about a ¼ cup of the mixed batter onto the pan, fitting as many as you can without the pancakes touching.
  7. When there are a few bubbles in the middle of the pajeon and the edges are firming up, flip the pancake carefully with a spatula and fork, without splashing hot oil. Cook each side for about 5 minutes, only flipping once. 
  8. Place the finished pancakes on a cooling rack and repeat until the batter is gone. Blot any unwanted oil and serve hot with the dipping sauce.

** Special note: If you're serving to someone with a strict vegetarian diet, make sure your kimchi wasn't made with any seafood like fish sauce**