Seafood Pajeon Korean Pancake

This dish is always a crowd pleaser. It is chock-full of seafood and the crisp texture is addictive. My mom used to make this dish with squid for special occasions when guests came over. I've added scallops in my version to make them extra special. But, feel free to put whatever you like in these pancakes. They even take leftovers well (any vegetables in the fridge can be tossed in).

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 10 min
Prep: 45 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 25 min
 
YIELD: 3 pancakes
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

DIPPING SAUCE:
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chile flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon crushed toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions or scallions, finely diced
BATTER:
  • 1 1/3 cups (300 milliliters) cold water
  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) rice flour
  • 7 tablespoons (55 grams) self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons dwenjang (Korean soybean paste)
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 3 large pinches kosher salt or sea salt
  • 10 jumbo tiger prawns, shelled, deveined, butterflied and dried well on paper towels (6 ounces/170 grams prepped weight)
  • 5 spring onions or scallions, julienned
  • 4 large diver scallops (6 ounces/170 grams), muscles removed, thinly sliced and dried well on paper towels
  • 2 red chiles, cut into long thin strips, with seeds
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 green chile, cut into long thin strips, with seeds
  • Vegetable oil for frying
recipe tools

Directions

For the dipping sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds and spring onions and set aside.

For the batter: In a large bowl, gently whisk together the water, rice flour, self-rising flour, dwenjang, black pepper and salt until smooth. Add the prawns, spring onions, scallops, red chiles, garlic and green chiles and mix to coat well and evenly.

Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, spoon in one-third of the batter and spread out evenly to make a rectangular pancake measuring about 6 by 7 inches (15 by 18 centimeters). Fry until golden brown and crispy on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip over carefully and cook until the other side is golden, another 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Working in batches, make 2 more pancakes, drizzling in more oil as necessary, about 2 to 3 tablespoons per pancake, and adjusting the heat down as needed.

Cut the pancakes into pieces of desired size and transfer to a serving plate. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

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