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Crispy Pajeon (파전), Korean Green Onion Pancake

With a soft, scallion-filled interior and extra crunchy exterior, pajeon (Korean green onion pancake) is a dish you need to try! Simply mix the ingredients for a quick yet satisfying dish. 

Crispy Pajeon (파전), Korean Green Onion Pancake

Pajeon (파전) is a Korean green onion pancake that is both quick and easy to make! The exterior is super crispy and crunchy, and the interior is soft and filled with lots of scallion flavor. In terms of flavor, this is like a Korean-style Chinese spring onion pancake. The key difference between these two dishes is the texture; the Chinese version is like a flaky flatbread, while the Korean version is similar to a crunchy pancake. However, the Korean version is much simpler to make since all you need to do is mix the ingredients and pan-fry! 

This recipe only has six ingredients for the most basic recipe and can be served as a side dish (referred to as banchan in Korean). I have adapted this recipe from Maangchi’s pajeon recipe. The batter traditionally includes Korean soybean paste (doenjang) to salt the batter, but I substituted salt instead for convenience and accessibility. I also changed half of the flour to starch so that the pancake crisps up better. 

Sometimes, crispy pajeon can be difficult to achieve, but it can turn out great with just a few tips!

Tips: 

  1. Use the 1:1 ratio of flour and starch for a crispy pancake. Either potato starch or cornstarch will work.
  2. Use ice-cold water to reduce gluten formation in the batter and make the pancake more tender. 
  3. Spread the pancake out thinly to make sure the pancake cooks through during the short pan-frying time. 
  4. Do not cook the pancake over medium-high/high heat. Scallions can burn very quickly, so medium heat gives you more control. Also, make sure to periodically check the bottom of the pancake to see if it is browning more rapidly in one area and rotate as needed (also prevents burning).  
  5. Let the pancake cool on a rack before serving on a plate so that the pancake slices can retain the crunchiness for longer. (If you eat the pancake fast enough, this will not be an issue.)

Crispy Pajeon (파전), Korean Green Onion Pancake

With a soft, scallion-filled interior and extra crunchy exterior, pajeon (Korean green onion pancake) is a dish you need to try! Simply mix the ingredients for a quick yet satisfying dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: crispy pajeon, korean green onion pancake, korean green onion pancake recipe, korean scallion pancake sauce, spring onion pancake korean
Servings: 1 pancake
Calories: 706kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of green onions 6 large onions
  • 3 tbsp oil

Batter

  • 1/3 cup ap flour 40 grams
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch 40 grams
  • 2/3 cup water 160 mL
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Clean, wash, and drain the green onions. Cut them into 2 inch long pieces.
  • Make batter by mixing the flour, cornstarch/potato starch, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the ice water and mix gently just until the batter is smooth.
  • Heat up a pan over medium heat. Then add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
  • Gently fold the green onions into the pancake batter. Immediately pour into the pan and arrange it into a thin, round shape.
  • Let the pancake cook on the first side until golden brown and crispy, which takes a few minutes. Check periodically to see if the pancake is browning more quickly in one area and rotate as needed.
  • Flip the pancake over and press slightly to help the pancake to crisp up. Add another tablespoon of oil around the edges of the pan. Lift the pan and tilt the pan so that the oil reaches the center of the pancake.
  • Cook this second side until it is also crispy and golden brown again. Again, keep an eye on the browning of the pancake and rotate/move around as needed. (Optional) Flip the pancake and cook for another minute to crisp the first side again. Transfer the pancake to a rack to cool and wipe off excess oil with a clean paper towel.
  • (Optional) Flip the pancake and cook another minute to crisp the first side again. Transfer the pancake to a rack to cool and wipe off excess oil with a clean paper towel.
  • Slice and serve with the sauce while the pancake is still warm.

Notes

  1. Use the 1:1 ratio of flour and starch for a crispy pancake. Either potato starch or cornstarch will work.
  2. Use ice-cold water to reduce gluten formation in the batter and make the pancake more tender.
  3. Spread the pancake out thinly to make sure the pancake cooks through during the short pan-frying time.
  4. Do not cook the pancake over medium-high/high heat. Scallions can burn very quickly, so medium heat gives you more control. Also, make sure to periodically check the bottom of the pancake to see if it is browning more rapidly in one area and rotate as needed (also prevents burning).
  5. Let the pancake cool on a rack before serving on a plate so that the pancake slices can retain the crunchiness for longer. (If you eat the pancake fast enough, this will not be an issue.)

How to Make Crispy Pajeon

Start by cleaning, washing, and draining the green onions. Cut them into 2 inch long pieces.

Sliced Onions

Make the batter by mixing the flour, cornstarch/potato starch, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the ice water and mix gently just until the batter is smooth.

Heat a pan over medium heat. Then add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Gently fold the green onions into the pancake batter. Immediately pour into the pan and arrange it into a round shape.

Crispy Pajeon (파전), Korean Green Onion Pancake Frying 1

Let the pancake cook on the first side until golden brown and crispy, which takes a few minutes. Check periodically to see if the pancake is browning more quickly in one area and rotate as needed.  

Flip the pancake over and press slightly to help the pancake to crisp up. Add another tablespoon of oil around the edges of the pan. Lift the pan and tilt the pan so that the oil reaches the center of the pancake.

Frying 2

Cook this second side until it is also crispy and golden brown again. Again, keep an eye on the browning of the pancake and rotate/move around as needed. (Optional) Flip the pancake and cook for another minute to crisp the first side again. Transfer the pancake to a rack to cool and wipe off excess oil with a clean paper towel.

Crispy Pajeon (파전), Korean Green Onion Pancake Chopstick

Slice and serve with the sauce while the pancake is still warm. (To make the sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients.)

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