Let’s Cook! Korean Seafood and Scallion Pancakes

September 23, 2012

As Dedicated Readers know, I have quite a fondness for Korean cuisine, and have shared a few Korean (or Korean-inspired) recipes here over the years…

Seafood and Scallion Pancakes (Pajeon)

and with the South Korea booth making a return appearance at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year (yeah!), I thought I’d share another… and it gives me an excuse to cook and eat some Korean food!

South Korea Kiosk at Epcot

The Korean food has been a big hit since this location was introduced to the Festival in 2010. This was actually a bit of a surprise to me, as I was afraid so many guests would be reluctant to try a cuisine that I think is mostly unknown to the majority of Americans. But I think the food items were so good that word of mouth soon had long lines at the kiosk almost constantly. I’m glad that Disney guest have taken to this introduction to a type of food I really enjoy… but I hate that I now have to wait in those large lines to get my taste!

Korean Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw

The two savory items featured the first couple of years were Lettuce Wraps with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw (which has been the most popular recipe I’ve shared on the blog) and Barbecue Short Rib (aka Kalbi) with Rice and Kimchi.

Barbeque Short Rib with Rice and Kimchi (Kalbi)

The 2012 version of the booth still has the pork dish, but the beef ribs are being replaced with a Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce. Koreans seem to be quite fond of savory pancakes (called Pajeon or Pa Jon), and it’s something I’ve been wanting to try out a recipe for for quite a while, so inspired by the upcoming addition to the Food & Wine kiosk, I pulled out my Korean cookbooks and settled on a dish from the Kimchi Chronicles book.

The Kimchi Chronicles Cookbook

The Kimchi Chronicles is a PBS series starring Marja and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman, and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness also along for the ride while actress Heather Graham also makes a few apperances). The series chronicles Marja discovering her culinary roots in Korea (she is the daughter of a US serviceman and a Korean woman who was adopted and raised by a family in the United States). Her husband Jean-Georges is one of the most famous chefs and restauranteurs around, and adds his knowledge and his own spin the the traditional recipes. I can recommend both the show and the cookbook to those interested in the foods of Korea. You can check out the Kimchi Chronicles at their website.

After that long preamble I’m getting hungry, so Let’s Cook!

Korean Seafood and Scallion Pancakes


Pancake Parts

For the Pancakes:

2 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/4 Cup Rice Flour (available in Asian markets, or check the “health food” area of you local market)

2 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt

2 1/4 Cups Cold Water

8 oz Containers of Oysters, drained

1/3 Lb (give or take) Medium or Large Raw Shrimp

1/2 Cup Scallion (aka Green Onion) Pieces (cut into about 1.5″ long pieces)

Vegetable Oil for frying

For the Scallion Dipping Sauce:

Saucy Goodies

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Sesame Oil

2 Tbl Rice Vinegar

2 Tbl Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Powder, available at Asian markets. This is good stuff – I use it a lot in all types of cooking, it’s worth finding.)

6 Scallions, thinly sliced


Start by making the dipping sauce – simply whisk all the ingredients together and set aside. You can make this a day or two ahead and stick in the ‘fridge if you’d like (it probably even gets better…).

For the pancakes start by shelling and deveining the shrimp and cutting them up: if medium size just halve, if large split lengthwise and then cut in half.

Whisk the AP and rice flours along with the salt together in a medium to large bowl (the rice flour adds a bit of extra crispiness to the pancake when cooked).

Whisk in the water until the batter is smooth.

Batter up!

Add the seafood and scallion pieces…

See food?

and stir to mix well.

Ready to cook!

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add about a cup of the batter (try to get an even amount of the goodies in each pancake) to the hot skillet.

Cook until browned and crispy on one side, about 2 to 4 minutes depending on the heat, the thickness of the pancake, etc. Carefully flip over to cook the second side.

Gettin’ crispy!

After the second side is done (another 2 – 3 minutes), remove to a paper towel lined plate and start on the next pancake, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

Seafood and Scallion Pajeon, Scallion Dipping Sauce and Soju… Oh My!

Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Show me the oyster!

Some notes:

I found the large (1 cup of batter) size pancake a bit hard to turn (of course if you have to break it into pieces to turn it’s not a big deal). Try it for the first one, and if you have the same issue, just make smaller ones. Like “regular” pancakes it may take one or two to get it right… the first ones are for the chef… 😉

You can certainly vary the seafood used, if you’re not fond of oysters you can sub more shrimp, or add scallop pieces (but I really like the oceany, almost meaty, flavor the oysters add to this – mussels would be nice too). All scallions can be used for a strictly veggie-version (and the all-scallion pancake seems to be a popular and very traditional dish in Korea).

The scallion dipping sauce is a nice thing to add to your repertoire – it can be used with pot-stickers and even just simple cooked/roasted chicken.

The original version of the recipe is, of course, available in the cookbook, but is also on the Kimchi Chronicles website.

This is sure worth giving a try! I liked it a lot and will be making it again! If you whip it up be sure to let everyone know what you think in the comments!

The Food & Wine Festival at Epcot is now less than a week away! We’ll soon see how the pancake at the South Korea kiosk is!

Now, as always, back to the kitchen!

2 Responses to “Let’s Cook! Korean Seafood and Scallion Pancakes”

  1. sani panini Says:

    Everything looks delicious!!


  2. […] Afterwards I recalled that I had seen a recipe by big-time chef Jean-George Vongerichten for a kimchi-topped wiener in the Kimchi Chronicles book, so I pulled that tome off the shelf and headed to the kitchen (for more on the Kimchi Chronicles, check out the post “Let’s Cook! Korean Seafood and Scallion Pancakes”). […]


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