Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)
Haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) is surprisingly easy to make at home, often paired with sofu or makgeolli (Korean fizzy rice wine) in Korea. Perfect for a rainy, cold day. “Haemul” means seafood, “pa” means scallion and “jeon” is often translated to “pancake.”
Haemul pajeon is a savoury, colourful and textural experience. Each bite should be “crispy chewy” -- crispy from the fried edges and chewy on the inside with bits of delicious seafood. Dip it in the spicy soy dipping sauce and enjoy! This recipe can be made gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour for your gluten-free flour of choice and replacing the soy sauce with tamari.
Watch the haemul pajeon tutorial on our Instagram (story highlights) for more helpful tips from Mama Lee!
Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Pancake)YIELDS: 1 pancake, serves 1-2 people
PREP/COOK TIME: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 scallions, bias cut into 2” pieces
- 5 ounces mixed seafood (shrimp, mussels, scallops, squid, etc.), chopped
- Vegetable oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 of a red pepper, thinly sliced
- 0.5 cup soy sauce
- 0.25 cup water
- 4 scallions, thinly chopped
- 1.5 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2.5 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper)
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Combine soy sauce, scallions, sesame oil, white sugar, sesame oil, gochugaru and toasted sesame seeds in a bowl. Add water to taste (for seasoning, as brands of soy sauce can vary in saltiness).
- Combine the flour, potato starch, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and onion powder in a mixing bowl.
- Add mixed seafood and scallions.
- Mix everything together, slowly adding cold water until batter consistency is slightly thicker than crepe batter. For a crispier pancake, the batter should be thinner than “Canadian-style” pancakes. You can watch Kimchi Korea House's Instagram tutorial to get an idea of the consistency you’re looking for! We suggest starting with 1/2 cup of water and adjusting from there. Add more potato starch if you’ve added too much water.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Before following the next few steps to make a full pancake, we recommend making a small test pancake for seasoning and consistency.
- When oil is hot, pour the batter into the pan and distribute evenly.
- Working quickly, arrange red pepper slices in a circular pattern on the pancake (this will be the “presentation” side).
- Spoon the beaten egg on top of the pancake, distributing evenly.
- Cook until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown (approximately 3-5 minutes). Lower the heat if the bottom is browning too fast.
- Flip the pancake (with resolve – the pancake can sense fear!) and add more oil around the edges of the pancake (this will encourage crispy edges to form)
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown, occasionally pressing down gently on the pancake with a spatula. Move the pan every so often so that the pancake cooks evenly and doesn’t burn in any one spot.
- Cut the pancake and serve (egg and red pepper side up) with dipping sauce.