Korea has a huge pancake culture. Street vendors everywhere are frying up all kinds of pancakes- scallion, potato, seafood and meat.
There are two kinds of Panjeon pancakes; the sticky more glutinous kind which appeared to be v popular in Seoul and the crispy variety which I prefer. My recipe is for the latter version.Haemul refers to seafood and you can prepare this recipe without any fish.
In the spring a fragrant root called Turup is sliced and added to this pancake giving it a unique flavour. You can omit the fish stock and use vegetable stock. You can replace the clams with mussels, oysters and if you are vegetarian use small oyster mushrooms and bean sprouts. Miso paste comes in a white and yellow/brown option. The latter is stronger as it is fermented longer. You can use either for this recipe.
Stock (1 cup)
2 lightly smashed garlic cloves
half a small onion peeled
2 3 inch anchovy fillets or tinned bamboo shoots for vegetarians
1/2 tsp Thai fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tsp yellow miso paste
12 small clams in their shells, scrubbed clean
3 cups water
Dry ingredients for 2 6-7 inch pancakes
11/4 cups maida or all purpose flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1/2 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp soy sauce
salt to taste
cold water as required
2 eggs whisked
6 baby/tender/spring Garlic chives about 5 inches long with garlic cloves at the end
6 Onion chives about 5-6 inches long
3 bulbs of scallions slice into rings, finely
1/2 cup oyster mushrooms wiped cleaned and coarsely shredded you can use enoki and white mushrooms as well and 2 tbsp sprouted mung beans
Combine 2 tbsp sesame oil and 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Korean dipping sauce (make the previous night)
1 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup Sesame oil
1 teaspoon white Sesame seeds, roasted
2 cloves Garlic thinly sliced
1 inch ginger peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper quartered
1 yellow bell pepper quartered
2 Thai red chillies Finley chopped (or to taste)
2 tsp yellow Miso paste (optional)
1-1.5 tbsp Rice wine Vinegar
1-1/5 tsp Honey
Combine all the ingredients. Taste for sweet, spicy and salty and adjust to your taste by adding more salt, honey or vinegar. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight for flavors to develop.
Serve the sauce cold with hot pancakes.
Heat 3 cups water with the garlic, onions and anchovy over high heat. When it reaches a boiling point add the clams and switch off flame.
Remove the clams in less than 1 minute.
Cool them.Discard any that are not open.
Restart the flame on medium under the stock.
Open and remove clams. Return some of the shells to the stock and cook until reduce to one cup. Drain and cool stock completely.
Wash the clams and remove any dirt and membranes. Squeeze dry and reserve.
Combine cooled stock and all the dry ingredients for the pancake to form a batter. The batter should be thick but easily spreadable so add more cold water a 1/4 cup at a time as required. You want a consistency like a pancake batter rather than a crepe batter. Let sit 10 minutes.
Wash tender garlic shoots and remove roots. Snip off any parts that are yellowed.
Use an 7-8 inch non stick skillet. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and sesame oil mix and heat on a low flame.
When oil is warm but not smoking pour 1 cup of batter into skillet and quickly swirl to spread.keep the heat on low so the pancake can cook slowly otherwise the otherside burns and the inside remains undercooked.
As the bottom cooks lay all the green vegetables and mushrooms over the pancake and gently press into the wet batter. Lay the chives lengthwise, scatter the scallions, mushrooms or sprouted beans about and finally the clams if you are using them.
When the bottom is crispy and tcompletely cooked drizzle half the whisked egg over the uncooked side of the pancake facing you. Then drizzle a teaspoon of sesame and vegetable oil over the egg.
Then slowly turn the pancake over using a wide spatula. Allow the wet side of the pancake to cook fully until golden brown. I often use another skillet and just turn the pancake over into the greased pan -this reduces spillage.
Drain pancake over paper towels, pat dry and sliced into 6 pieces. Serve with the accompanying dipping sauce