Pajeon: Types, Cooking Tips and Healthy Benefits

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Pajeon is a Korean pancake made with a batter of wheat flour, water, and eggs, and usually cooked with scallions. It’s a popular street food in Korea.

Let’s look at everything you need to know about this delicious dish.

What is pajeon

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Get to know Pajeon: The Savory Korean Pancake

Pajeon is a popular Korean dish that translates to “green onion pancake.” It is a type of jeon, which is a Korean-style pancake made with a wheat flour batter. Pajeon stands out from other jeon dishes because it prominently features scallions or green onions in the batter. Pajeon is typically round and fried until crispy on the edges, making it a savory and satisfying snack or meal.

What are the ingredients used in Pajeon?

The ingredients used in Pajeon can vary depending on the kind of Pajeon you prefer. Some common ingredients include:

  • Wheat flour batter
  • Scallions or green onions
  • Seafood such as squid, calamari, or oysters
  • Minced onion
  • Egg
  • Rice
  • Korean pancake mix

Unlike its Chinese version, Pajeon is not typically spicy. However, some people may add spicy ingredients to the mix to give it an extra kick.

What does Pajeon look and taste like?

Pajeon looks similar to a Chinese cong you bing, but the batter is denser and the scallions are more visible. The outer layer of Pajeon is crispier than the typical Chinese pancake, and the inside is soft and chewy. Pajeon smells and tastes savory, and the scallions add a fresh, green flavor to the dish.

Also read: this is how pajeon stacks up against okonomiyaki

How do Koreans enjoy Pajeon?

Koreans enjoy Pajeon as a snack or a main dish, often paired with soju or makgeolli. It is also a common anju, which is a dish that pairs well with alcoholic drinks. Pajeon is effortless to cook at home, and many Koreans prefer to make it themselves.

Can I make Pajeon at home?

Yes! Making Pajeon at home is easy and uses simple ingredients. You can even omit seafood if you’re allergic or prefer a vegetarian version. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade Pajeon:

  • Mix together wheat flour batter, Korean pancake mix, and water until smooth.
  • Add scallions, minced onion, and any other desired ingredients to the batter.
  • Heat a pan with oil and pour in the batter.
  • Fry until crispy on the edges, then flip and fry the other side.
  • Serve hot with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Exploring the Different Types of Pajeon

There are many different varieties of pajeon, each with its own unique ingredients and cooking methods. Some of the most common types include:

  • Haemul Pajeon: This is a seafood pajeon that uses a variety of seafood such as shrimp, squid, and clams.
  • Dongnae Pajeon: This is a type of pajeon that is named after the Dongnae district in Busan city. It is a popular dish in the market and is known for its thin and crispy texture.
  • Buchimgae: This is a type of pajeon that is made with a mixture of flour and eggs. It is a simple dish that is easy to make and is popular among people who want to create a quick and easy meal.
  • Green Onion Pajeon: This is a type of pajeon that is made mainly with green onions. It is a low-calorie dish that is perfect for people who want to eat healthy.
  • Gluten-Free Pajeon: This is a type of pajeon that is made without gluten. It is a great option for people who have gluten allergies or sensitivities.

What are the Essentials for Creating the Perfect Pajeon?

To create the perfect pajeon, you will need the following essentials:

  • Pajeon Batter: This is the main ingredient for creating pajeon. You can use a pre-made Korean pancake mix or create your own batter using flour, eggs, and water.
  • Vegetables: You can use a variety of vegetables such as scallions, onions, zucchini, and carrots to create your pajeon.
  • Soy Sauce: This is an essential ingredient for creating the perfect pajeon dipping sauce.
  • Pressure Cooker: This is an optional tool that can be used to cook the pajeon quickly and easily.

What is the Nutritional Value of Pajeon?

Pajeon is a dish that is high in calories and carbohydrates. However, it is also a dish that is rich in vitamins and minerals. Some of the nutritional benefits of pajeon include:

  • Vitamin C: Pajeon is a great source of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Fiber: Pajeon is a good source of fiber, which can help to improve digestion and promote feelings of fullness.
  • Iron: Pajeon is a good source of iron, which is essential for maintaining healthy blood cells.

What is the Legend Behind Pajeon?

Legend says that during the Imjin War in the Joseon Dynasty, the Dongnaesung Fortress in Busan city was a battleground. When the Korean army was close to defeat, a woman named Naengmyeon threw a pajeon at the enemy, defeating them and saving the honor of the Korean army. In honor of her bravery, the pajeon flourished in the Dongnae district and became a popular dish in Korea.

What’s in the Mix? The Ingredients of Korean Pancake Mix

Korean pancake mix is a versatile mixture that can be used to create different types of pancakes. The basic ingredients of the mix are flour, starch, and baking powder. These ingredients are combined to create a delicate mixture that can be used to make pancakes that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Adding Protein

To make the pancakes more filling and nutritious, you can add protein to the mix. Eggs are a great source of protein and can be added to the mix to create a more substantial pancake. Simply whisk an egg and add it to the mix along with water.

Vegetables and Seafood

Korean pancakes are often made with vegetables and seafood. Potatoes, onions, and sliced vegetables can be added to the mix to create a savory pancake. Seafood such as shrimp, squid, and clams can also be added to the mix to create a seafood pancake.

Round and Thin

Korean pancakes are typically round and thin. To achieve this shape, the mixture is poured onto a hot pan and spread out with a knife. The pancake is then cooked until it is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Serving and Dipping

Korean pancakes are often served as a side dish or appetizer in Korean restaurants. They are typically cut into small pieces and served with a dipping sauce. The most common dipping sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and sliced green onions.

Black Starch

Some Korean pancake mixes contain black starch, which is made from black rice. This ingredient gives the pancakes a unique color and flavor. Black starch is also believed to have health benefits, including improving digestion and reducing inflammation.

Get Your Pajeon Crispy and Delicious with These Cooking Tips

  • Use Korean pancake mix for the best results
  • Add sparkling water instead of regular water to make the batter light and crispy
  • Mix the batter well and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to let the ingredients settle
  • Depending on the type of pajeon you’re making, adjust the batter consistency by adding more or less water
  • For seafood pajeon, add a bit of seafood broth to the batter for extra flavour

Cooking the Pajeon

  • Heat the pan on high and then turn it to low before adding the oil to ensure the right temperature
  • Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula
  • When the oil is hot, add the batter and spread it evenly to fill any gaps
  • Add scallions, onions, kimchi, or any other vegetables or seafood you want to include
  • Fry until the bottom turns golden brown and lightly charred, then flip and fry the other side
  • Use a spatula to press down on the pajeon to ensure it cooks evenly
  • Once cooked, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil

Serving and Storing Pajeon

  • Serve the pajeon hot with dipping sauce on the side
  • Pajeon is best enjoyed fresh, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a few days
  • To reheat, place in the oven or toaster oven to ensure it stays crispy
  • If you want to prepare pajeon in advance, cook it separately and then refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Add a bit of sour tasting juice to the dipping sauce for a distinct flavour
  • Depending on the quality of ingredients and how well you follow the cooking tips, the crispy level of your pajeon may vary
  • Having an electric stove versus a gas stove can also affect the cooking time and temperature, so adjust accordingly
  • If you want to ensure your pajeon stays crispy, place ice cubes in the container before storing instead of frying it again. The steam from the ice cubes will keep the pajeon crispy.

Enhance the Flavors with Pajeon Dipping Sauce

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily adjustable to suit your taste. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, simply add more sugar. If you like it spicier, add more chili flakes. And if you want to enhance the flavors even further, try adding some chopped onions or kimchi.

Storing and Serving

Once you’ve mixed your sauce, set it aside until you’re ready to serve your pajeon. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, so feel free to make it in advance. When you’re ready to serve, simply pour the sauce into a small bowl and place it alongside your pajeon.

Nutritional Information

This sauce is not only tasty, but it’s also relatively healthy. Here’s the nutritional information for one serving (based on the above recipe):

  • Calories: 50
  • Total Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 1000mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 2g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 1%
  • Iron: 1%

Enjoy!

Now that you know how to make the perfect pajeon dipping sauce, it’s time to enjoy it! This sauce is not only great with pajeon, but it also goes well with other Korean pancakes (jeon), dumplings, and rice. So go ahead and give it a try- your taste buds will thank you!

How to Serve and Store Pajeon: Achieving the Perfect Golden Crunch

Before serving your pajeon, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and dipping sauce ready. You can either make your own tangy Korean dipping sauce or use a store-bought one. To make a simple sauce, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chopped scallions in a saucepan and heat until the scallions are tender.

Cooking Steps

To achieve a delicately crunchy and golden pajeon, follow these simple steps:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine Korean pancake mix and water to make a batter.
  • Add in julienned carrots, scallions, and corn to the batter and mix well.
  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add oil.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes until the bottom turns golden brown.
  • Flip the pajeon and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the other side is also golden brown.

Is Pajeon a Healthy Dish?

Pajeon is known for being a healthy food option due to the ingredients used in the dish. Here are some of the health benefits of pajeon:

  • Scallions: Scallions are a star ingredient in pajeon. They are rich in vitamins A and C and contain antioxidants that can help boost the immune system.
  • Flour: Flour is a good source of carbohydrates and provides energy to the body.
  • Onions: Onions contribute to the savory taste of pajeon and are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a low-calorie condiment that enhances the flavor of pajeon.
  • Salt: Salt is used to enhance the taste of the dish, but it should be used in moderation.
  • Sesame oil: Sesame oil is a healthy oil that is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Garlic: Garlic is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help boost the immune system.

The Dipping Sauce

Pajeon is commonly paired with a dipping sauce made of honey, vinegar, cider, sesame oil, garlic, and gochugaru (optional). The sauce enhances the flavor of the dish and adds a bit of spiciness to it. Gochugaru is a type of red pepper that is commonly used in Korean cuisine. It is sprinkled on top of the dipping sauce to add spiciness to the dish.

The Best Way to Enjoy Pajeon

Pajeon is best enjoyed as a main dish or as a snack paired with soju or makgeolli. Anju, which means food that pairs well with alcohol, is commonly served with pajeon. Koreans enjoy pajeon as a snack while drinking with friends or family.

The Difference Between Pajeon and Cong Bing

Pajeon is a Korean pancake that translates to “green onion pancake” in English. It is known for its crispy outer layer and chewy, soft center. The visible scallions in pajeon make it easy to recognize. Cong Bing, on the other hand, is a Chinese pancake that is dense and savory. It looks and smells similar to pajeon, but the taste and texture are different.

The Final Verdict

Pajeon is a healthy dish that is enjoyed by many Koreans. The ingredients used in the dish are generally healthy, and the dipping sauce can be adjusted to suit personal taste preferences. Pajeon stands out from other types of pancakes due to its crispy outer layer and soft, chewy center. It is a dish that is best enjoyed with friends and family while drinking soju or makgeolli.

Conclusion

Pajeon is a Korean pancake made with a batter of wheat flour, eggs, and either scallions or other vegetables, and fried in oil. It’s a delicious and savory snack or meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

So, don’t be afraid to try it and enjoy the deliciousness that is pajeon!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.