Green Onion Pancakes, P’ajon
20 minutes to prepare and cook
- 1 pound small or medium-size thread green onions, white and pale green part only, cut into 7-inch pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ice cold water
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 1 hot red korean pepper, or ¼ red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and finely diced
- Pinch of sil koch’u (hot red pepper threads) or hot red pepper flakes
Vegetable pancakes are a standard offering at the Korean table. This particular favorite is made with lots of whole green onions. It is served as a side dish, an appetizer or a snack. Tender, small thread green onions (sil p’a) are best for this recipe, but regular green onions are acceptable.
Wash the green onions and pat dry with a towel. reserve four pieces for garnish. To make the batter, in a chilled bowl, combine the flour and ice water and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Season with the salt and pepper.
In a large cast-iron or non stick skillet, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Working quickly, add half of the green onions to the skillet and, using a spatula, form them into a rectangular shape, about 7 inches square. Add half of the pepper, red pepper and sil koch’u. Quickly pour half of the batter over the green onions, spreading the mixture evenly between them and maintaining the rectangular shape as much as possible. With the spatula, lightly flatten the green onions. Cook for 1½ minutes, until the pancake edges turn golden brown and crusty. Shake the pan to loosen the pancake. Flip it over and add ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil to the skillet. Using the spatula, flatten and shape the pancake, making it as thin as possible; cook for 2 minutes. Flip again and cook for 1 minute, to restore crispiness. Slide the finished pancake onto a bamboo tray. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Transfer both pancakes to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
To serve, arrange the pancakes on 4 individual plates. Garnish each piece with 1 piece of the reserved green onion. Serve hot as an appetizer or side dish with Vinegar Soy Sauce or Allspice Sauce, or both, in bowls as dipping sauces.