Korean Scallion Pancakes with Seafood (Pajeon)
These Korean scallion pancakes with seafood (pajeon) originated from Busan. The mixture of two different types of flour makes these pancakes very crispy. Serve with tangy soy dipping sauce. Delicious!
The month of July in Korea is known for the rainy season. When it rains, these Korean seafood scallion pancakes (haemul pajeon, 파전), also known as green onion pancakes, are the most sought-out food in Korea.
There’s something about the rain and pan-fried food that creates magic. The monsoon climate dwells in the entire Korean peninsula in the summer. It is wet, humid, and somewhat unpleasant.
I remember my mother often heated our floor (we had one of those traditional Korean floors that heats up) in the month of July just to cut off the humidity.
Koreans enjoy greasy savory pancakes when the weather is rainy. It must be something in our body that craves greasy-fatty food when the weather turns bad.
One of the most popular savory pancakes has to be these Korean scallion pancakes with dipping sauce. They are often made with a variety of seafood.
Today I will share the most popular version. It comes from the Donglae (동래) area in Busan (부산), where the pancake is popular among the locals and tourists.
These pancakes are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. I use a mixture of store-bought pan-frying mix with rice flour. The combination makes the pancake batter very crisp and delicious. With a salty and tangy dipping sauce, you will taste the best Korean savory pancakes.
Pair with salty and tangy soy chili dipping sauce. These will give you a great comfort when the weather drags you down. Your daily stress will be washed away as you savor these pancakes.
Soy dipping sauce
Make your dipping sauce first. Just mix all the ingredients named in the recipe below; set aside.
To make the pancake batter, you will need these two types of flour: Korean savory pancake mix and the rice flour.
Combine the pancake mix and rice flour and add ice water. Make sure to use ice water to ensure a crisp texture. The ratio is hard to nail down but as long as it has a consistency of western pancake batter, you are good to go.
Tips: Do not over mix the pancake batter. Doing so will allow the gluten in the flour to develop, and it makes your pancake tougher. Mix until just combined.
How to make Korean scallion pancakes
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over med-low heat, lay your scallions (They are cut to fit in the skillet). Fill the sides with shorter pieces.
Drizzle the pancake batter just to barely cover. Shake a little so the batter can sip thorough the cracks to stabilize the pancakes.
Seafood is optional. If you want to make this pancakes without seafood, you can skip them. But I like mine with seafood, which is the traditional way of enjoying the pajeon.
If using seafood, scatter the seafood mixture. Fresh seafood would be the best but I also use frozen seafood mixtures that have been thawed. They worked great!
Drizzle a slightly beaten egg over the top, and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. When the edges of the pancake seem slightly golden and dry, you will flip this pancake!
Good luck on the flipping!
Let this cook another 3-4 minutes. Drizzle a little more oil around the edges of pancake to create a crisp texture on the crust. The more grease, the crispier the texture!
Did I ever say this is the ultimate healthy food? Nope!
Cut the pancake with a pizza cutter to your desired size and serve when it is hot. Korean pancakes have to be eaten when they are sizzling hot. Enjoy!
More Korean pancakes
Korean Scallion Pancakes with Seafood (Pajeon)
- 3/4 cup Korean pancake mix (buchim garu)
- 1 cup + 2-3 tbsp rice flour
- 3/4 cup ice water
- 3 bunches scallion, cut to fit in the skillet
- 2 handful mixed seafood; shrimp, squid, and mussel, cut into pieces, optional
- 3 egg, slightly beaten
- 4 tbsp oil , for pan-frying
Soy dipping sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
- 1-2 tsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp finely chopped green onion
- 10-inch carbon steel pan or cast iron skillet
- Combine pancake mix and rice flour in a mixing bowl, and add ice water. Mix just until the batter is moistened. Adjust the amount of water to mimic the consistency of western pancake batter.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Place scallions to fit in the skillet. If the skillet is bigger than 9-10 inch, try to make the pancakes only 9 to 10-inch in diameter.
- Drizzle the pancake batter over the scallion to just barely cover. Shake the pan gently so the pancake batter can sip though the bottom of the skillet to stabilize the green onion.
- If using seafood, scatter the seafood pieces on top of scallion, and drizzle 1/3 of the beaten eggs on top.
- Pan-fry the pancake for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Flip to the other side and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add a little more oil if the skillet seems dry. You will want the crust to be deep golden brown in color and crisp. Adjust the heat so that you don't burn the scallions.
- Transfer the pancakes onto a cutting board and cut into big bite size pieces. Serve the pancakes immediately with the soy dipping sauce
- To make the soy dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
The story is about a GREEN frog, not a blue frog. In korean “chung” can mean both, but the folk tale is about a green frog who disobeyed his mother. (http://www.sejongsociety.org/korean_theme/korean_folk_tales/green_frog.html)
Thanks for the clarification, Jack. I guess green frog makes better sense than blue frog.
I’ve read other recipes for green onion pancakes and this is the first one that has more than green onion in it. I know my family would love to eat this one esp. because of the addition of the shrimp. I like the look of the red chili in the pancake, but wondered about the heat level. Is there a kind of red chili that has moderate heat that you can recommend? I guess we can eat around it, huh. Thank you for sharing your recipes and I hope you’re feeling better! ^-^
Hi Sachi, I used chili called lady finger chilies (very common Asian chilies). If you remove the seeds and the membrane, they are not that spicy at all.
Love your stories, love your blog! I’ve been talking about “Holly” to everyone…. you made cooking Korean dishes so easy and manageable. I like to add zucchini and mushrooms to my Pa-Jun. So delicious!
Thanks Adela. You are so sweet.
hi holly! thank you for sharing this. it looks delicious and i’m eager to try this at home tonight!
This brought a smile to my face! I am half Korean, and my mom told me and my brother this story repeatedly as we were growing up! I used to tire of hearing it but I now find myself telling the same story to my own kids! I .make a version of this pancake with thinly sliced and diced zucchini, onions and green onions. YUM!
thanks for sharing this lovely receipe
Where are your turquoise chopsticks from???
Love love love this blog!
what lovely writing and beautiful photographs. yesterday i tried making pajeon for the first time ever as it has been raining in london for days. they were good and got gobbled up by my friends in seconds, but i think not crispy enough, i will try with your recipe next time x
Hi Tom, I think pajeon will taste better in London than anywhere else 🙂
To make crispier texture, the type of flour is one thing but also the right type of skillet you use and the temperature control is another. I use carbon steel skillet which I think it helps to create crisp texture outside. Also be generous with amount of oil you use to fry. Searing the outside crust to deep golden is the key.
thank you holly, they worked even better this time, i think using a little less egg helped the crispiness as well. i’m now looking forward to more rainy days!
Thanks Tom. You have mastered the techniques of making the crisp Korean pancakes! Way to go!
Those look gorgeous. And delicious. I am saving this recipe now! And I will be browsing your website to see what else to cook with it, this is a new cuisine for me!
I made these tonight (coincidentally it’s raining), they were so good! Thanks for this recipe!
Great! I am glad that you liked it.
I tried Korean pancake with all purpose flour and rice flour, loved it. I will try your version too. You have a nice blog. Sure I will come back for more Korean recipes.
Yes, you can add the rice flour if you like the chewy texture. I tried and I prefer without it in the savory pancakes. I just love the crispness that cake flour adds.
Thanks for you sweet comment. Blogging is fun and wish you the best with your brand new blog.
I've tried making pajeon using just all purpose flour but didn't think it tasted as good as the packet flour. I haven't tried it with cake flour though… But I think adding sweet rice flour would give the pajeon some sticky, chewy (jjinduk) texture.
I love your blog a lot! I've started a blog myself and you're a huge inspiration.
Thanks Angel. Hope you be back again soon.
First visit. Haven't had much Korean food, but love the recipes I've read so far. Will be back to read more. Great blog!!
Really nice story. And a great pancake. Although I totally like the breakfast pancakes with maple syrup, savory pancakes are more interesting to me. A nice way to use veggies. Thanks for this.
This is my first
time I visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially
its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not
the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work.
My daughter used to love the story called, "The contrary Mary" and, to some degree, it was great for children to come up with creative ideas to be contrary I think. I never heard of the version of frog jumping into stream. That is even more sad.
What a fantastic post! Lovely story… and those pancakes look divine! And simple too. I think I'll have to try it some day 🙂
Oh I heard a version of this when I was growing up! The difference was that instead of the mother's death, she told him not to jump into the stream and that's exactly what he did, thus leading to his death. The funny thing is, my dad told me this story because I started doing what the boy frog did. It wasn't necessarily my fault at the time though, because I was joking around saying it was "opposite day". But after that day I never played "opposite day" again…
I am glad that you liked it. Thanks Renee.
I made these last night and they were easy + delicious! Thanks for the recipe and the story. I love your blog!
Ha ha, we all were the blue frog in some degree.
Actually rice flour is to get a chewy texture not crisp. If you want crispier but doesn't have cake flour, add about 2-3 tablespoon of cornstarch to plain flour with a tiny pinch baking powder.The baking powder will leaven the batter slightly and help create the crisp texture
Thanks Holly! Sorry for the late response. You are right, when I make them with the rice flour the pancake is slightly chewy. I think I will try your cake flour suggestion!
Thank you for sharing the recipe and the story. I love green onion pancakes, and your recipe looks so simple and delicious!
yum yum yum! i love pa jun!
and i vaguely remember this story. maybe because my brother and i were like blue when we were little kids. 🙂 i think it's time to tell my kids!
love your website and photos!
I have a recipe for scallion pancakes that calls for a little rice flour and more regular flour. The rice flour is supposed to make it crispy. I think it works but do you think I can put more rice flour in than the regular flour and still have it come out?
Thanks for stopping by Nami. Hope to communicate with you often through our blogs.
This looks and sounds delicious!
I cannot believe I haven't stumbled your blog before too! Thank you for stopping by my blog. I need to look around when I blog hop. =P
Your green onion pancakes look so delicious – your photos are gorgeous and I love how you put step by step photos (large and nice) in the post too. So fun to follow you cook. Nice to meet you!
Lyndsey, this pancakes will tastes good whether it rains or shines. Hope you get to try soon.
I loved this post, thanks for sharing a little Korean tradition with us. I like your food for thought of the day! I work in an elementary school and I see first hand the children that don't listen. 🙂
I have been wanting to make a crispy Korean pancake, now you just reminded me to try it! It looks great for breakfast in my eyes. Too bad I didn't have it yesterday it rained here. 🙂
There is a small section on the navy base with kimchee(not good), and some Shin Ramen….thats about it!! I need some kimchee jigae out here and ttuk bo sam and…my favorite kimchee moomalangi. My mom has attempted to try and send some from America, still waiting to receive it!!!
you are AWESOME! i loveeeee these pancakes 😀
Yes surely, the moment i try and make it as tasty and beautiful as you did will surely be the first one to inform you.
Thanks Bloggy. Hope you can give it a try. It is quite appetizing especially on the rainy days.
You are so sweet. My daughter actually gave me a hug after she heard the story.
The story and the recipe both are too good, the monsoons will be here in a month or two and I will surely make this and eat them, while blue cries nearby.
Thank you Leah. What a beautiful place you live in. Can you find Korean groceries there?
So so amazing! Thanks for sharing this!
I remember reading that story from the korean folk books my mom got for me when i was younger. And…I love korean pancake!! so so much…my halmunee made these sooo yummy for me as a child. And now my mom. I shall make them for my little one soon!! I love your blog and all the korean food on here….makes me miss korean food so bad (i live in sicily)
Aww, what a sad story. I want to give my parents a hug and make them pancakes now!