Have you ever tried Hae-mul Pajeon? No? Well you should, I always get an order (or 2) when I have Korean BBQ and it’s always AMAZING. Normally at a restaurant you get 1 or 2 pajeon but they’re really big and are enough for 2-3 people. I made mine a bit smaller and ended up with a mountain of pajeon…nothing I wasn’t prepared to tackle, though. (Hae-mul means seafood, and pajeon means scallion pancake)
So these are sort of like Chinese scallion pancakes but a bit eggier and lighter. I would recommend getting fresh seafood (you can totally tell the difference), but you don’t have to. When I was gathering ingredients, my seafood shop was closed, but I really wanted to make these pancakes…so I had to go with what my grocery story had: cocktail shrimp (yay!)…but canned clams and canned smoked “fancy” oysters…it hurt to type those last two.
(don’t be fooled by the picture – the scallions and shrimp make everything look better)
I thought the pancakes tasted fine – there were a few mouthfuls that had a lot of canned ingredients and those tasted a bit…tinny…but between all the other ingredients, the spicy dipping sauce, and the kimchi, the overall taste was fine…it’s too bad my digestive tract paid the price the next day. But don’t let that dissuade you from trying these pancakes – with fresher ingredients, they would’ve been perfect.
(Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my pajeon and store bought pajeon)
I thought mine turned out pretty well, I just should have fried them more. I also read online that it’s better to cook the green onions a little bit before you put them in your pancakes – I thought my raw green onions worked fine, but it’s something to consider. Oh, and the batter base is store-bought!
At first I thought using store bought was cheating…but after surveying my Korean friends, apparently this is just how you do it. I got mine at our local H-mart. I also bought my kimchi instead of making it.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish, it gets served at almost every meal. It’s basically really spicy fermented cabbage…and some other stuff. You can make it at home but it takes a few days, you end up with a pretty big batch of kimchi, and I just don’t eat that much kimchi. If you’re still interested in whipping up a batch yourself, I found these instructions from Maangchi that look legit.
2.75 out of 5 stackies (losing points for my poor execution but making some up for usually being delicious):