Haemul Pa Jeon – Seafood and Green Onion Pancake

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I’m really digging the fact that so many Korean dishes come together so quickly. Traditional Korean pancakes use wheat and rice flours, but this version with rice flour and cornstarch (bound together with the help of an egg) worked just fine and was both crispy around the edges with a bit of chew.

I really wanted the focus here on the seafood rather than the pancake itself, so this recipe almost straddles the line between pancake and fritter.This can also be an extremely inexpensive appetizer or meal.  Since the seafood gets chopped up, feel free to purchase broken scallops and smaller, and cheaper, shrimp.  I’m also happy to report that, according to a friend, this easily won the taste test between my gluten-free version and the local Korean market’s.

Seafood and Green Onion Pancake

Yield: 4 servings as an appetizer

Ingredients:

* 1 cup rice flour
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup water
* 3/4 pound any combination of squid, shrimp or scallops, cut into small chunks
* 5 green onions, cut into 1-2-inch pieces
* vegetable oil, for frying
* Korean red pepper threads, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, cornstarch and salt. Add the water and mix until smooth. The batter should be relatively thick. Stir in the seafood and green onions.

In a medium or large skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Spoon some batter onto the skillet, making pancakes of your desired size. Fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes, until crispy and the pancakes begins to turn golden.

Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil when necessary.

Garnish with red pepper threads, if desired, and serve with Soy Sesame Dipping Sauce.

Note: for those of you who eat gluten, here’s the general flour ratio from several cookbooks (they all suggest using some rice flour). Use 1 cup wheat flour, 1/3 cup rice flour and one cup water for the dough. This will likely make a much thinner pancake than the gluten-free version I made (again, I was almost going for a seafood fritter), or you can adjust the water amount down for a thicker pancake.

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