Food are meant to be shared. I love that idea because everyone get a taste of everything on the table and food becomes a conversation of taste and experiences. From Spanish paella to Italian pizza to Asian pancakes, they all share a common thread of being served in a circular format and designed to be shared. Savory pancakes like this Korean pancake (named PaJeon) is one of my favorite and it is so easy to make.
Similar to Chinese green scallion pancake, "pa" literally means scallion. It is crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle mixed with scallion and any kind of vegetables and meat of your liking. The one I made is mixed with kimchi because i was craving the savory, spicy and sourness all together.
SECRETS TO ACHIEVING THOSE LIGHT AND FLUFFY TEXTURE
1. Using high quality bread flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. I recommend using King Arthur brand because it makes the mixture light and airy.
2. Using cold seltzer water instead of flat will add airiness to the mixture.
3. You want to have a good ratio of filling to pancake mixture - I'd say 60% filling and 40% mixture. Imagine that the mixture is really there to bind the filings together instead of the other way around, so the texture will be less dense.
4. Don't over whisk the pancake mixture too much as it would produce gluten and will become rubbery.
Korean Kimchi Scallion Pancake
30 MINUTES AND COUNTING: Mix 1/2 cup of bread flour and 2 tablespoon of potato starch. Sift the mixture to blend well. Add 1/2 cup of cold seltzer water, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of kimchi juice. Once mixed, set side.
25 MINUTES AND COUNTING: Heat a flat non stick skillet at medium to high heat with a drizzle of vegetable oil and cook 5-6 stalk of scallion (cleaned, cut into 5" length from the green part) and 1/2 cup of kimchi (coarsely chopped) until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle some garlic powder and toss a little. Season to taste. It's okay to be a little under seasoned as the mixture and dipping sauce will add savory flavor as well.
20 MINUTES AND COUNTING: Lower the heat to medium. Slowly pour the pancake mixture onto the vegetables. Remember to watch the proportion of 40% mixture and 60% filling. Alternatively, if you want to make smaller pancake, move all the vegetables on a separate plate and place only 1/4 of the amount back on the skillet. And pour 1/4 of the mixture onto the vegetables. Repeat the steps below until you produce 3-4 small pancakes.
10 MINUTES AND COUNTING: Beat an egg and drizzle over the mixture. Let it sizzle for a few minutes.
When the mixture starts to solidify, use a spatula to lightly turn little side to check if the bottom is turning lightly brown.
5 MINUTES AND COUNTING: When ready, flip the pancake and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes. While it is sizzling, start making the dipping sauce by mixing 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of red pepper flake, a few drops of sesame oil and/or sesame seeds. Adjust to taste.
For best presentation, serve the full plate and slice the pancake in squares or triangles - then dig in and share the love!
FOR THE PANCAKE
1/2 cup of bread flour
1/2 cup of cold seltzer water
2 tablespoons of potato starch
2 tablespoons of kimchi juice
1/2 cup of kimchi, coarsely chopped
5-6 stalks of green scallion, sliced into 5" pieces
1 large egg
FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
3 teaspoons of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
Red chili flake