INGREDIENTS (for 8 servings)
Seafood (shrimp, squid, oysters, mussels, etc.)
Crispy Korean Pancake Mix (부침가루)
Crispy Frying Mix (튀김가루)
Korean Red Chili Pepper
Korean Zucchini (optional but highly recommended)
Pajeon, a food that reeks of Korean history and geography, first entertained the king’s palate in the 1600s. The dish hailed from Busan, a city by the sea, and was presented to the king as a gift. Compared to most other traditional delicacies, Pajeon entered the Korean culinary world rather late; Koreans had not eaten fried food until that point. Despite its relative “young” age, Pajeon embodies the vibrance and beauty of Korean culture like many forgotten Palace delicacies.
While I can’t tell you the exact directions to preparing Pajeon because it’s all about “feel,” what I do want to share is that the Korean pancake mix to crispy frying mix ratio should be 2 to 1. Most restaurants, particularly in the U.S., sell crispy but not fluffy Pajeon. I sincerely grow disappointed and disheartened at the sight of misrepresented and ill-prepared Korean food. Thus, practice, taste, see, and put thought into the dish. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bland or overseasoned Pajeon that’s either too thick or too hollow.
Have fun, Masterchefs!