Pan-Fried Dishes and Pancakes

Pan-Fried Dishes and Pancakes

A variety of flavorful, colorful pan-fried dishes (chon or jon) are an important part of Korean cuisine.  Typically, they are served as appetizers and side dishes, although some are substantial enough to be offered as entrees, and others make fine snack food.  Chon include flour-based pancakes of all sizes, made with everything from mung beans to kimchi, as well as pan-fried dishes ranging from meat patties to fish fillets to sliced vegetables cooked in egg.  A dipping sauce customarily accompanies them, either Vinegar Soy Sauce (recipe on page 28 of Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen, by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall) or Allspice Sauce (page 28), sometimes both.

Tips for making and serving pan-fried dishes:

  • Use a 12- to 14-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet.
  • Get organized before you start cooking: have all the necessary utensils and plates on hand, and line up the ingredients by the stovetop in a logical order.  The short cooking time requires that ingredients be at the ready.
  • Chon are best served hot out of the pan, but they can be reheated.
  • Day-old chon can go into any stew recipes (pages 138 to 141 of Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen)

Tips for making and serving pancakes:

  • For crispy pancakes, always make the batter with ice cold water.
  • Mix batters sparingly, just until smooth.
  • Use batters soon after preparing them.
  • When serving pancakes, the first side cooked should be the one that is facing up.