Kimchi Pajeon 파전

What would I do with some leftover kimchi from the momofuku bo ssam I made? (Oh my friggen god! Not that mofo-fuk-u bo ssam again I hear you scream.)

Sorry, I promise this will be the last time I mention that dish, ever again. I swear! Anyway, the five days old kimchi was sitting in the fridge looking at me and beg to differ. Kimchi, leftover ssam sauce, wilting shallots (scallions), and one very lazy me, my lunch has suddenly became a very delicious kimchi pajeon that takes no longer than 15 minutes to make.

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Pajeon is sometimes referred to as a Korean version of pancake or pizza, just like Japanese have their own Okonomiyaki. The pancake is made mostly of flour and eggs, with shallots (scallions). Then one may add different ingredients to it; kimchi, meat, seafood along with vegetables for instance. Kimchi pajeon is one of the most common and popular dish you will find at any Korean restaurant. I absolutely love Kimchi Pajeon, the soft orange-tint pancake is pan fried until golden brown with crispy edges and packs quite a heat punch with crunchy spicy kimchi embedded inside.

I followed David Lebovitz’s recipe and modified accordingly by adding kimchi to it. I made the pancake with two different kinds of kimchi, the napa cabbage (w0mbak) kimchi and the radish kimchi. (Note to self, my next project is to make my own kimchi.) This is my first attempt to make the Kimchi Pajeon, the pancake itself is tasty but not as perfect as I’d hoped for. There are still so much more to learn to make that soft pancake with crispy edges. I’ve heard mung bean flour is the secret ingredient; all thanks to Simon, who definitely knows his Korean food like the back of his hand. Cold water is also very important for that crispy edges. And I love my food hot and spicy, extra kimchi and ssam sauce never go astray. You can get the ssam sauce recipe here.

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Kimchi Pajeon - Korean kimchi pancake (makes 2)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup kimchi juice
1 cup cold water (that's what make the pancake crispy)
1 egg
1 cup of napa kimchi, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of radish kimchi, roughly chopped
1 bunch shallots, cut into 5cm strips

Method

1. Add flour, cold water, egg into mixing bowl, stir until all well mixed together. It should be a thick pancake mixture consistency.

2. Add kimchi juice, shallots, napa kimchi and radish kimchi and mix well until well combined. The mixture should be thick, if too watery, add one tablespoon of flour at a time until the right thick consistency.

3. Heat vegetable oil on a non-stick frying pan. Pour half of the batter into the pan, tilt the pan in circular movement until all batter is evenly spread over the pan. Pan fry the pancake on medium heat until bubbles appear on the top surface and the batter is not runny anymore.

4. Transfer the pancake to a chopping board, fried side down. Then flip it over back to the frying pan and continue to fry the other side until golden brown and crisp.

5. Cut into slices like a pizza, and serve it with extra kimchi and ssam sauce.

On a site note, A Table For Two is currently on-the-spot at The Daring Kitchen website. You can read a little short interview about me and Amelie. And there is also a little mention about ATFT on an article regarding tweeting at the dining table by Melissa. An interesting read, thanks Mel!