First try at Korean Seafood Pancake (해물 파전)

A while ago, I saw the pajeon (파전 aka Korean pancake) mix on sale at a supermarket for $2. I’m not sure if I had started cooking then but I bought it but left it in the cupboard for the longest time ever. I’d been wanting to cook it but held off cos of a persistent cough. And then, I chanced upon some frozen octopus at Song Fish Dealer at jem. I was thrilled because I loveee eating Octopus and fondly remember eating it in mixed rice (like a bibimbab) or pajeon when I was in Korea.

Korean seafood pancake
My first attempt at seafood pancake – a little sorry-looking but tasty nonetheless, thanks to the yummy octopus!

Green onions – the core of pajeon. I only realised I didn’t mind eating them when I first tried Pajeon in Korea. It was impossible to remove so I just ate them. And was surprised to find that they tasted alright because pajeon is delicious!!

raw octopus
Octopus

Those suckers somehow remind me of Yayoi Kusama. >.<”

Chopped green onions and a chilli for garnish
Chopped green onions and a chilli for garnish
Seafood pancake batter
Seafood pancake batter

I mixed 100g of batter with 170ml of water, as per the instructions on the packet.

Falling apart in the pan :$
Falling apart in the pan :$
I
I love seafood!
The dipping sauce
The dipping sauce

A riot of colours and flavours but we did not need so much sauce actually. I wasted quite a bit of soy sauce for the dip that was (perhaps) appreciated but not finished.

Ingredients:

MAIN:

  • 100g pancake mix
  • 170ml water
  • 2 baby octopuses
  • 4 prawns
  • Two thirds a packet of green onions (about 7 bunches)
  • Half a chilli for garnish, sliced as thin as you can.

SAUCE:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar (I used a touch of balsamic vinegar as a substitute)
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp seasame oil
  • Half a chilli, chopped into small pieces (optional)
  • 1/8 of an onion (optional but I threw it in cos I’ve seen Korean restaurants do it.)

(You don’t need so much sauce actually!!)

Cook it!:

  1. Heat the pan on high heat and out a generous amount of vegetable oil.
  2. Place green onions on pan and pour half of the batter on it.
  3. Place seafood, chilli on top.
  4. Cover with more batter. Hope and pray everything sticks together.
  5. When you think it’s time (perhaps 3 min or so), flip it over.
  6. Fry until golden brown.

Korean pancake (pajeon) tastes great with Makkeoli, drunk from a golden metal bowl. I have fond memories eating it for supper or dinner at night with a group of friends. When I came back to Singapore, the Korean pancakes found in restaurants were of a crispier variety and had fewer ingredients so I never really cared much for them. Here are two photos from 7 years ago!! >.<”

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After Action Review:

  • I could have used more pancake mix, perhaps 1.5x what I made. That would mean 150g pancake mix and 255ml water.
  • Make less dipping sauce. Again, I was flummoxed on how to quarter the amount required by the recipe I found. KIDS, THIS IS WHY YOU STUDY RATIOS! 😛
  • The green onions were a little hard to slice through. Could have cut them a little shorter as well as dried them more so they wouldn’t cause the pancake to become soggy.
  • The pancake could be crispier on the outside thought I like substantial heft & softness on the inside, chock-full of ingredients.
  • While it doesn’t look pretty, it was devoured quickly by my mum, sister and myself. So I guess, marginal pass la huh.

Costs:

  • Green onions – 70 cents at NTUC, $2.05 at Cold Storage
  • Frozen octopus – $5
  • Chilli – $1.70 for a packet at NTUC
  • Prawns – $4 (my estimation, at $3.29 per 100g)
  • Korean pancake batter – <$3
  • Onion – $1
  • Soy sauce, oil and other condiments – unknown
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