This Korean style prawn pancake, which is a very popular street food in Korea, has been my latest discovery and I just can’t get over it! A pure prawn-lover’s delight!
In my quest of searching new & exciting recipes, I come across thousands of mouthwatering dishes across hundreds of fabulous food blogs from various cuisines around the globe and they never fail to fascinate me! I go through a hard time to decide which one to try first!
When I chanced upon this recipe of Korean prawn pancake, thankfully, I didn’t have to think a lot! It instantly topped my recipe to-do list and I made it the very next day as soon as I got my pack of fresh prawns delivered! And thank God I did!
It turned out to be one of the tastiest snacks I tasted recently! This Korean prawn pancake offers the best of both world – a hearty omelet & ample amount of my favorite prawns and honestly this can easily become your go-to brunch recipe!
What is Korean pancake called in Korea?
I came across this wonderful Korean blog called Korean Bapsang run by a Korean-American mom and it hosts an array of amazing Korean recipes! I came to know from her recipe of Seafood Scallion Pancake, that this Korean prawn pancake is called ‘haemul pajeon’ in Korea.
‘Pa’ means ‘scallion’ & ‘jeon’ means ‘pan-fried battered food’ and the most popular variation is made with seafood; hence it is called haemul pajeon as haemul means seafood in Korea. The only seafood we both are fond of is prawn and hence my version is Korean prawn pancake!
I got to know from her blog that savory jeon i.e. savory pancake is Korea’s most loved snack or appetizer! And I am not surprised because after making and tasting this prawn pancake on my own, I have totally fallen for it thanks to its ease of making and incredible taste!
I first came across this fascinating Korean prawn pancake recipe in Marion’s YouTube channel. I was hooked to it from the very first watch! All I needed to make this at home was prawns and since I prefer fresh prawns over frozen ones, I had to wait for my order to be delivered.
This pancake is not anything like your regular sweet breakfast pancake. This savory pancake is dominated by flavors of egg and not flour. This prawn pancake has more dominating eggy texture than cakey texture; plus the extra-chewiness due to rice flour & corn flour (cornstarch) is simply phenomenal!
My better half is extremely fond of eggs in any shape and form; be it boiled, poached, fried or omelet, he always says ‘Yes!’ to eggs! Though I am not as much in love with egg as him, but this prawn pancake seemed extra special! So this easily drew both of our attentions and we were simply ready to dig in!
How I made the Korean prawn pancake batter?
If you are in Korea, I guess you get ready pancake mix for savory pancakes in supermarkets. I am not that fortunate; plus I like to make things from scratch. Same goes for this Korean prawn pancake batter.
After reading few authentic Korean recipes, I decided to make mine with a combination of all-purpose flour, rice flour and cornstarch or corn flour. Each of these ingredient has its own characteristic and their combination makes the pancakes incredibly scrumptious.
All-purpose flour gives body to the pancake and maintains the softness. Rice flour and corn flour add both chewiness and crispiness. In case you have run out of one of these 2 flours – rice & corn, you can substitute one with the other; but all-purpose flour is definitely indispensable.
If you are a seafood lover, then this Korean pancake will be your dream! You don’t have to stick to only prawns! You can use a mix of all your favorite seafood and make an authentic version of Korean seafood pancake at the comfort of your home!
Along with shrimps, you can use squid, mussels, oysters and clams. Just cut each of them into bite size pieces. Also while preparing the seafood mix for the pancake, make sure to dry them as much as possible so that your pancake doesn’t turn out soggy!
One more challenge you may face while making this pancake and that is how to comfortably flip the pancake over without making a mess! Don’t get intimidated! Once you spread the batter in your frying plan, let it cook without any disturbance until the bottom firms up and becomes crispy. Then a wide spatula can make the flipping job as easy as a dream!
This Korean prawn pancake (or seafood pancake in case you are using assorted seafood) is incomplete without generous amount of scallions or green onions! That’s why it is called seafood and scallion pancake too! Don’t even think of skipping it!
The flavor combination of scallions and seafood is mind-bogglingly tempting and I wouldn’t have known unless I tried making this Korean prawn pancake on my own! Just like the seafood mix, dry the scallions after washing them as much as possible and then thinly slice them – both white and green parts.
I had already mentioned that making this pancake is pretty simple with just couple of tips to be kept in mind. Then nothing can stop you from making this popular Korean street food right at your home! So you see, there is no stopping from enjoying world cuisine even without stepping out of your home! Hence stay home and stay safe! Enjoy!
- Prawns – 200 gms, small, peeled & deveined
- All-purpose flour – ¾ cup
- Rice flour – 2 tbsp
- Corn flour/ corn starch – 2 tbsp
- Eggs – 3, large
- Spring onion/scallions – 5, sliced in half lengthways and cut into 2-inch long strips
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable oil for shallow frying (about 3 tablespoon for each pancake)
- Light soy sauce – ¼ cup
- Rice vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Sesame oil – 1 tsp
- White sugar – 1 tsp
- Gochujang – 2 tsp
- Finely chopped spring onion – 2 tbsp
- For spicy dipping sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and keep it ready for serving.
- To make the pancake batter, whisk the eggs with 1 cup of water. Take the all-purpose flour, rice flour & corn flour in a large mixing bowl and add salt to it. Pour in the egg-water mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the chopped spring onions to the batter and mix well to combine.
- Heat a 10-inch frying pan and add about 2-3 tablespoon oil to it to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add half of the prepared batter to the frying pan and try to even it out using a spatula ensuring even distribution of spring onions.
- Now spread half of the prawns over the pancake before the batter sets placing them at uniform distance from each other. Once the bottom of the pancake turns golden & crispy, flip it over. Cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes or until the prawns are cooked and the spring onions are just starting to char.
- Take out the prawn pancake and place it on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat with the remaining batter and prawns to make the second prawn pancake.
- To serve the Korean prawn pancake, cut each into wedges and serve warm with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!