Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Pancakes) Recipe

Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Pancakes) Recipe

You may have ordered haemul pajeon (seafood scallion pancakes) as an appetizer at a Korean restaurant before. The classic anju, or Korean drinking food, is often enjoyed with makgeolli (rice beer) and popular for two very good reasons: its golden, crispy edges and the kicky dipping sauce.

Haemul pajeon are filled with scallions (pa), a variety of seafood (haemul), and dotted with vibrant red chiles (really just for show!). You’ll often find oysters, clams, and shrimp in the mix to give brininess and a chewy bite. While you can certainly use fresh seafood, the trick that makes my Korean seafood pancake recipe a cinch to prepare is that I keep my favorite frozen seafood medley on hand at all times. Available in most supermarkets, these mixes usually include some combination of shrimp, squid, and bay scallops; they’re a fantastic addition to your freezer pantry, allowing you to turn out a last-minute chowder or paella on a whim. The frozen seafood will defrost in the amount of time it takes you to prep the rest of your ingredients; just be sure to pat it dry before chopping and adding to the pancake batter.

In Korea shoppers often rely on the convenience of a pancake mix like this one for making jeon, but you probably already have the dry ingredients called for in my DIY version below. When served, diners usually tear hunks off the large pancakes with their chopsticks, but you can cut them into squares for ease. The big tip here is to use plenty of oil in the frying pan to ensure crispy, golden brown edges—do not be stingy! Complete the meal with a banchan (side dish) of kimchi.

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