Known as haemul pajeon in Korea, there are as many variations of these delicious pancakes as there are vegetables and seafood. Ours just happen to include succulent spot shrimp, sweet bell pepper, and coleslaw mix for extra crunch and easy prep. Use whatever you have on hand—aim for about 1½ cups of chopped or shredded vegetables and 1 cup picked crabmeat to make four pancakes.
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar
½ small red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
2 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded
½ cup shredded coleslaw mix or cabbage
1 jalapeño, very thinly sliced
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ pound spot shrimp, cleaned and deveined, halved lengthwise Available In Our Premium Subscription Box
Neutral oil such as grapeseed or sunflower, for frying
Make the Sauce
To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.
Make the Batter
Preheat the oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with paper towels. To make the pancakes, in a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, scallions, carrot, coleslaw mix, and as much of the jalapeño as desired. Add the flour and ¾ cup water and season with a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Fold in the shrimp and let sit for 5 minutes.
Fry the Pancakes and Serve
In a large nonstick skillet, heat a thin layer of neutral oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add ¼ of the batter and spread into an 5-inch pancake that is about ¾-inch thick. Fry until golden and crisp on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Using 1 or 2 spatulas, flip the pancake and cook the other side until golden and cooked through, adding additional oil as needed, 3 to 4 minutes. Slide the pancake onto the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Transfer the sheet to the oven to keep warm and repeat with the remaining batter to make 3 more pancakes, adding oil as needed.
Transfer the pancakes to plates, and serve with the dipping sauce alongside.
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Pair it Up
Nothing beats a refreshing Belgian-style white ale with crispy fried pajeon and Hitachino Nest White Ale from Japan couldn’t be more perfect. For wine lovers, look for a light, fresh albariño to cut the richness.
Level It Up
This batter is a blank canvas. Add thinly sliced sweet potato, zucchini, or leeks or chopped broccoli florets along with the shrimp and see how the flavor and textures change.
Change It Up
Re-crisp leftover pajeon on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet at 350°F for about 10 minutes.
Lighten It Up
Using less oil cuts fat and calories, but be forewarned that the texture will be more custardy and tender than crisp.