Originating from the city of Busan in south-east Korea where it is eaten warm as a snack, haemul pajeon is a seafood and spring onion pancake. You can also use beef, pork and kimchi as an alternative to seafood.
- 185 g (1¼ cups) plain flour
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 spring onions, halved lengthwise, cut into 6 cm lengths
- vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
- 150 g green prawns, scallops or mixture of both, roughly chopped
- 12 oysters, mussels or mixture of both
- black or white sesame seeds, to sprinkle
- Korean red chilli threads (see Note), to serve
- 60 ml (¼ cup) soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Korean chilli paste (gochujang) (see Note)
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make dipping sauce, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and chilli paste until sugar has dissolved. Add spring onion and sesame seeds, and stir to combine. Set aside until needed.
Preheat oven to 100°C. Whisk together flour, eggs, 250 ml (1 cup) cold water and a generous pinch of salt until smooth. Add onions and stir to coat in batter.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches of 3, drop 2 tbsp batter (without onion) into the pan and top each with 2 or 3 battered onions, 3 or 4 pieces of prawn and 1 oyster. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cook, turning halfway and pressing gently with a spatula, for 2 minutes or until golden around the edges and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and transfer to oven to keep warm. Repeat three more times with remaining batter, onions and seafood to make 12 pancakes, adding more oil to the pan, if neccessary.
Sprinkle with chilli threads and serve with sauce.
• Korean red chilli threads are about 5cm long and have a hot, smoky, fresh-grass flavour. Substitute thinly sliced dried red chillies.
• Korean chilli paste is made from fermented soybeans, glutinous rice powder and red chilli powder. Available from Asian food shops.
Photography by Anson Smart.
As seen in Feast magazine, November 2011, Issue 3.