Pajeon is a traditional Korean pancake which is served as appetizer. It is a savory pancake which eats with a soy sauce & rice vinegar dipping sauce.
Tonight I have made the Korean Pancakes for the first time using a pack of Korean Pancake mix I bought recently in Zurich. It turned out great! I made a vegetable version without any seafood as I had been out the whole day and have to make something relatively simple but nice for dinner. Secondly, I wanted to try out to make sure I can make it successfully for the first time. I have been thinking if I should blog this as I did not make these pancakes completely from scratch, but they turned out so delicious that I thought good things should spread out more.
Meanwhile, I may have made a mistake by adding 2 eggs to the mix but they still turned out no problem, probably because the water I added was adjusted with a few tbsp more, I think as long as I can get the right consistency, it should be fine.
Normally when I visit the Korean restaurants, I actually do not fancy Pajeon too much as there are many other dishes for me to try and I need to save my stomach for my other favorite dishes. But tonight, I made this as a main dish, I could really enjoy Pajeon more properly. My hubby and I were both amazed how this vegetable dish could taste so fantastic that we didn’t feel we miss the meat tonight and he said we must repeat this again and try other variations.
1 clove freshly minced garlic (I think the garlic made a difference especially for a all vegetable pancake)
1 50g chinese chives – cut into 5cm pieces and only use the green parts
1 carrot – grated
1 zucchini -grated
3 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar (I used the Japanese ones which is used for sushi)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chopped green onion (optional)
Korean Chili Sauce (Optional)
Prepare the vegetables as described above.
Prepare the batter in a large mixing bowl by whisking the above ingredients until you get everything dissolved and a thick consistency mixture.
Heat up a non-stick pan at medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil to the pan.
Instead of mixing all fillings into the batter, use a separate medium sized bowl, pour 2 spoonfuls of batter into the bowl and then add handful of carrots, zucchini and chives into the batter and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the pan, shake gently to get the pancake flattened out evenly on the pan.
Let it cook for about 3-4 mins and then flip to the other side and cook for another 3-4 mins. The cooked pancakes should be a bit crispy on the outside. (if you have 2 pans, you can panfry 2 pancakes simultaneously)
Turn the pancake to a big plate and cut into pieces with a pizza cutter.
Serve immediately with the dipping sauce. You can prepare one spicy and one non-spicy dipping sauce for kids.
I have found the following versions which I may try out in the future:
This is my first Christmas and New Year time in Holland, and I am extremely lucky as it has not been this cold (lowest -10°C) for years since 1997 and that I can witness the great sceneries of ice crystals on the leaves and grass. frozen canals, people go ice-skating on the canals. I had a very nice walk in a Nationaal Park called De Weeribben with my family.
Hopefully by end the week, I can get my own ice-skates and experience skating on the canals (but with inevitable falling of course!)
Today, the outside temperature was -8 °C already and will even go further to -10°C for New Year’s Eve tomorrow. This week I can have so many traditional and comforting Dutch food from my in-laws: Boerenkool (Farmer’s cabbage) stampot, Rode Bieten (own grown red beets), Pannekoek, Opa’s Oliebollen on New Year’s Eve and now tonight we had Erwtensoep which is only prepared in winter. If you travel to Holland, you will see a lot of restaurants or small cafes will have Erwtensoep signs outside their places. I did have tried several of them in the past but they are never as good as my in-law’s, they are mostly too thick for me and luckily the whole family here do not like too thick soup too.
Cooking & Preparation time: 3-4 hours
300g green split peas (wash and rinse) (Fig. 1)
300g pork hock or spareribs (cut into large pieces)
150g Dutch “sauerkraut bacon” or pork belly, it’s fresh not salted nor smoked preferably with rind (cut into pieces)
1 pack Honig erwtensoep soup powder, optional if you can find it in a Dutch grocery shop (Fig. 1)
Seasonings: salt, pepper,
Mixed spices: coriander, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, chili. In Holland, there are many prepared packed herbs & spices, this is one for use in meat. You can add pinches of the above instead of the prepared one.
A handful of small pieces Dried or fresh chives (bieslook in Dutch)
In a large pan, bring water to boil and then add the pork hock & pork belly into the pan and let them cook for about 2 hours at medium heat. Skim off the floating scum.
After 2 hours, add in the rinsed peas, chopped onion, leeks and chicken bouillon, let it simmer for over an hour.
After the 3 hours, take the pork out of the pan, remove rind and bones, and cut it in small pieces. Return the meat to the pan.
Dissolve the Erwtensoep soup powder in cold water and then add into the pan, keep stirring until mixed. Would be nice if you can find one in your surrounding. It’s very popular these days as it really enhances the flavor of the soup and thicken the soup nicely.
Wash the maggi plant, cut and chop the leaves.
Cut the smoked sausage into slices.
10 minutes before serving add the smoked sausage and the maggi plant and chives into the soup. Taste and season with salt, pepper and the mixed spices as described above (we have a mixed spice here in Holland specially for meat otherwise if you use the above mentioned spices it will be okay too).
When it is ready, serve in soup bowls.
The traditional way is to serve on side with rye bread (pumpernickel), with slices of katenspek (Fig. 2 , it’s a type of Dutch smoked bacon) or Dutch cheese, I like Cumin Cheese personally.