Calamari & Scallion Jeon
by Brenda Kong
Have you heard of Jeon? If you hang out at as many Korean bars as I used to or have lost yourself in "K-Dramas" you'll usually see them. They're wonderfully simple yet delicious, savory pancakes brimming with veggies and/or meats. Typically eaten during cold winter months with rice wine, it's ultimately 'beer food'. I love how the pancakes are crispy on the outside but on the inside they're soft, moist and fluffy. Pajeon, or scallion pancakes are the most typical but, in my opinion, they're even better with seafood such as shrimp or calamari. The batter is a simple mixture of water and flour but I like to make mine with wheat flour; this time, I added flax seed meal for a fantastic nutty flavor. The consistency of the batter should be thin like a crepe batter; keeping the pancakes thin ensures the "crispy to fluffy" ratio is perfect. My dipping sauce is a spicy soy but if you don't like spice, just leave out the gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), it won't hurt my feelings any!
INGREDIENTS (Makes 3 - 8 inch Jeons):
- 8oz Calamari, cleaned and cut into strips
- 1 ½ cups Scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces, cut roots in half
- 1 cup Carrots, thin matchstick sizes
- Coconut Oil or oil of choice
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tbsp. Flax Seed Meal
- ½ cup Rice Flour
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 ¼ cups Cold Water, may not use it all or may need more
Spicy Soy Dip:
- 4 tbsp. Reduced Sodium Soy
- 2 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Raw Honey
- 1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1/8 cup Warm Water
- 2-3 tbsp. Gochujang (optional)
- Sesame Seeds
- Mix sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Add dry batter ingredients together and whisk to combine before adding water. Add about a cup of water to start then check the consistency. It should be runny like crepe batter, add more as needed. Should take about 1 ¼ cups. If too much water is added, add a few teaspoons of whole wheat flour until consistency is perfect.
- Place skillet over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil.
- Add carrots, calamari and scallions to pan, tossing quickly and arranging them in a single layer.
- Pour about ½ cup batter over veggies and seafood to cover, making sure to get all the veggies on the sides.
- Cover with lid for 4-5 mins.
- You should see the top is mostly dry, check to see if bottom is brown, if so, flip pancake over and cook for another 3-4 mins on the other side.
- Remove pancake to plate and placed in warm oven to keep warm or cut and serve immediately with soy dipping sauce.
- Wipe out skillet and repeat process.
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