One goal that I have had during my stint as an English teacher in Korea is to learn how to cook some Korean dishes. I am not a great chef by any means and even when I lived in the United States, I rarely found the time to cook. I wanted to change that when I came to Korea because I would be living alone and I knew I would have ample time to experiment in the kitchen.
To make my learning more fun, I decided to invite some of my local friends who liked to cook over to my place. I would buy the ingredients and they would show me how to make some tasty local dishes. That seemed like a much more fun way than looking up recipes online and trying them by myself. And it has been a lot of fun. Plus, I have learned a lot of the past few months.
Today, I want to share the first and probably most simple Korean recipe that I have learned. The dish is called pajeon and is a fairly common staple food that can be eaten alone as a meal or as a great accompaniment. For all those who have never heard of pajeon, the best way to describe it is a pancake (Korean-style) with scallions.
So here goes the recipe:
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 large egg
1/2 cup water
2 stalks scallion, diced into rounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
Oil, for pan-frying
Mix all the ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl, stir the batter to blend well. Heat up a pan and coat with some oil. Spoon some batter onto the pan to form a small round pancake. Pan-fry for a few minutes until the bottom turns slightly brown, flip it over and cook the other side until slightly brown. Dish out and repeat the same for the remaining batter. This recipe yields about six pancakes.
As you can see, the recipe is super easy and quick. Prep and cook time total is less than 30 minutes. If you want a tastier, albeit spicier, pancake, try adding a little kimchi juice to the batter as well.
If you have a Korean recipe that you would like to share, feel free to post a comment!
Adam Montgomery is a 25-year old teacher at the Chungdahm Branch on Jeju. He has been teaching in Korea for under a year. When he is not teaching, he enjoys exploring the wonders of Jeju and Korea.