This post is part of the series: LET’S OM NOM Cooks Edmonton Cooks: Signature Recipes From the City’s Best Chefs. You can see the recipe list here or follow chronologically here.
I go through a Korean phase almost every other month now and one of my favourite Edmonton hotspots is Nongbu Korean Eatery. Their Seafood Pa-Jeon and Cucumber Kimchi thankfully is in Edmonton Cooks, making it easy as ever to get my Korean fix!
- Soy Sauce
- Rice Wine
- White Vinegar
- Sesame Seeds
- Asian chives
- Fish Sauce
- AP Flour
- Rice Flour
- Potato Starch
- Baking Powder
- Green Onions
Lucky 97 or T&T Supermarket.
If green onion pancakes are your jam, then try this dish next time you’re at a Korean restaurant. “Pa” means scallion and the Korean variety is full of them. The batter is traditionally a mix of eggs, wheat flour, and rice flour and can be made with varying ingredients like beef, pork, kimchi, or seafood. For this haemul pajeon (seafood variety), shrimp and squid are dominant.
You can’t have a meal in Korea without side dishes and Nongbu doesn’t leave you hanging. In addition to the pajeon, a cucumber kimchi (oi-sobaki) is there to amp up those beloved flavours. Gochugaru, a coarsely ground red pepper, is one of my favourites and in addition to fish sauce, make a potent marinade.
For pa-jeon dipping sauce: Mix together soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, and fresh ginger. Add gochugaru and sesame seeds if using before serving.
For Cucumber Kimchi (Oi-Sobaki):
Soak cucumber sticks in sea salt water for 20 minutes, drain and pat dry.
Combine Asian chives, onions, carrots, fish sauce, gochugaru, garlic, ginger, and sugar in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
Add fish sauce mixture to cucumbers, cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours. Stir before serving and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
For Seafood Pa-jeon:
Mix AP flour, salt, rice flour, potato starch, and baking powder. Add water and mix until a yogurt-like smooth batter is formed. Strain and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
Heat oil in fry pan. While oil is heating, remove batter from fridge and add in green onions, carrots, shrimp, and squid.
Cover pan with a thick layer of mixture and cook for 2 – 3 minutes per side. Flatten pardon with spatula to help get both sides golden. Once crispy, slide on a plate and serve with dipping sauce and cucumber kimchi.
The recipe says it makes 3 – 4 pancakes but I only got 2 from my pan. Perhaps I layered it too thick but I thought it was just fine. There isn’t a lot of batter but a good pajeon should be thick with fillings and the batter is only there to hold everything together. I don’t have a regular non-stick frypan so I couldn’t get the best crisp but I’d definitely redo this recipe in my larger non-stick pan to make one big gigantic pajeon. I ended up eating the whole recipe for lunch, it was that good!
Because there was no gochugaru in the pajeon, the cucumber kimchi provided a nice layer of heat. The recipe fails to mention one thing: remember to deseed your cucumber and trim the sticks down to a matchstick (alongside the peel). I saved all those bits to make a juice. Don’t waste any of that juice! I followed the recipe accurately and my banchan was quite the kicker. Absolutely loved the crunch this quick kimchi provided. I’d make this cucumber kimchi a thousand times over!