These Is the Easiest Pajeon Recipe Ever
This basic pajeon recipe comes together so quickly, you’ll be making them again and again. It’s just sliced scallions and an easy batter using pantry staples.
Pajeon are savory Korean scallion pancakes that can be enjoyed any time of day. Taking only minutes to prepare, they’re perfect as a light lunch, appetizer, snack, or side dish.
Pajeon are a staple appetizer or snack in Korea. Pa is the Korean word for “scallion” and jeon means “battered and pan fried.” It's usually served with a soy dipping sauce. It’s best served hot right off the pan, but I also enjoy leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
How to Make Pajeon
There are as many ways to make pajeon as there are Korean cooks. My mom used a store-bought dry batter mix, much like an American pancake mix. I prefer to make it from scratch—it comes together in minutes and the batter can even be made up to 24 hours in advance. Simply keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
This is a quick and easy batter made with all-purpose flour and a bit of rice flour. The rice flour increases the crispiness of the pajeon and gives the interior a chewy texture, similar to mochi.
To the flours, I add seasonings, a small amount of baking powder, an egg, sesame oil, and enough water to make a runny batter. The batter will be thin and easily pourable, allowing it to spread out and cover the scallions on the pan while they cook.
My Method for the Best Pajeon
Some recipes have you add chopped scallions directly into the batter, but I prefer to lay my scallions in the pan first, for a crispier texture and prettier appearance.
After you spread out the long pieces of scallion in the pan, drizzle a thin layer of batter on top, making sure the batter spreads and covers the gaps between them. This will also help the pajeon hold together.
Flip only when golden brown on the bottom. You’ll be left with a pajeon that’s crispy on the outside, chewy inside, and filled with lightly charred scallions. All you need to do is slice, dip, and enjoy!
So Many Variations
Pajeon, made with only scallions, are amazing, but there are so many variations—just look at this list of traditional jeon.
- My mom would make vegetable jeon by adding leftover vegetables from the crisper, like carrots, zucchini, peppers, and even broccoli.
- Kimchijeon uses chopped kimchi. It’s spicy and the most delicious.
- For a heartier pajeon, add chopped shrimp or squid to make haemul (seafood) pajeon.
- Add shredded potatoes for another variation called gamjajeon. It’s delicious for breakfast.
Savory Pancakes Galore!
- Crispy Sweet Potato Pancake Lettuce Wraps
- Mashed Potato Pancakes
- Scallion Pancakes
- Zucchini Walnut Pancakes
- Turnip and Potato Patties
Preheat the oven to 200°F.
Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. You will keep the pajeon warm in the oven on the baking sheet while you cook them in batches.
Make the dipping sauce:
In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, scallion whites, sesame oil, sugar, and sesame seeds. Whisk in the gochugaru if you would like a little heat. Set aside.
Make the batter:
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and baking powder. Add 1 1/2 cups water, egg, and sesame oil, and whisk until evenly combined. The batter should be thin and runny—add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. Allow the batter to rest while you prepare the scallions.
Cut off and discard the root end of the scallions. Cut them in half crosswise, making 3- to 4-inches pieces. Cut the whites and any thicker green parts in half lengthwise. Separate the scallions into 4 even piles.
Cook the pajeon:
Place a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 of the sliced scallions in a single layer into the pan. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter evenly over the scallions, making sure to fill the gaps. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the underside is golden brown and crispy. Scoot a long thin spatula fully under the pajeon and flip. Cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned.
Transfer the pajeon onto the prepared baking sheet and keep warm the oven while you make the remaining pajeon. Add a couple of teaspoons of oil to the pan before each new batch.
Serve the pajeon:
Slice the pajeon into wedges or squares and serve with dipping sauce on the side. Cooked rice and kimchi are delicious accompaniments too!
Allow leftovers to fully cool and refrigerate wrapped in plastic wrap or in zip top bags for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze, separate the pajeon with pieces of parchment paper and store in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. To reheat, place in a nonstick pan over medium heat until warmed through.
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