Happy late new year everyone! I hope that your holidays were relaxing, safe, and joyful. Maybe you found some new delicious food that you’re addicted to. I know I did…
These past two weeks, I have been in Hawaii. For those of you that don’t remember, my grandparents live on Oahu, and so we went up to spend time with them as well as my Uncle’s family. Mentioned a couple times on this blog before, my Aunty Shelli 100% stole the spotlight with her out-of-the-world Korean pancakes (also known as pajeon). Crispy, chewy, and filled with the perfect vegetables, these hand-sized bites were simply unbeatable. I couldn’t stop thinking about them! They definitely tasted like they were hard to make, but after some inquiries, I learned that the pancakes really required one main ingredient: a mix. I kid you not, Korean pancake mix is all you need to make the simply mind blowing pajeon.
A fairly common item, Korean pancake mix can be found in most Asian marketplaces (obviously a Korean marketplace is better, but those are hard to find). If not, you can definitely buy it online. We used and recommend the GomPyo brand (has the light green coloring at the top of the bag), but you should know that most brands will still give you something delicious. If you’d like to try this at home, it’s more than possible, because as the name suggests, Korean pancakes are made in the same way that normal pancakes are. You follow the instructions on the back of the bag to create the mixture, and then throw it onto a pan. It’s that simple. The other neat thing that you can do is throw in whatever meats/vegetables you’d like into the mixture before frying to give your pancakes some other flavors/textures. Green onions, carrots, bell peppers, chives, and even kimchi are all great options, though you should totally put what you like. But then, sometimes it’s just better to keep them light because they would serve as great appetizers or “side dishes”. In our experience, they can get a little soggy after a while (especially when eating for leftovers), so it is probably in your best interest to first attempt to remove most of the liquid from whatever “toppings” you’re throwing in and then also frying for a little longer than you think to get that perfect crispy look. Even if you’re not a big fan of Korean food or pancake like dishes, I’d still totally encourage you to try this out, because 1, it’s pretty hard to mess up, and 2, I bet you’ll have found a new favorite snack or dinner. That golden, fluffy taste is really something special, especially when you realize how incredible savory pancakes can be. In addition, I have also put a sauce recipe below that pairs really well with the pajeon.
Overall, these pancakes were definitely one of the most epic discoveries that my family and I have made in a while. With that tangy sweet sauce, pajeon is hard to beat with its absolutely mouth watering combination of the soft filling, the crunchy outside, and that simple “base” seasoning that really elevates it up to the next level. It’s the perfect food to try during COVID, because you can make a lot of it fairly easily and they taste great for a while after cooking them up. The “Korean Special” is just something that you can’t miss.
Dipping Sauce Recipe: