I was a little rusty coming back from a month long break in the US, so when I went to my first cooking lesson in May, I forgot my camera. As a result, I don’t have any photos of the delicious meal of Korean seafood pancake (chijimi), cold cabbage roll with boiled pork and shiso leaves, and the custard filled dessert spring roll to show you. I am, however, going to give you the recipe for the seafood pancake because it’s simply too easy and too delicious to not share.
The recipe uses tempura flour, but in a pinch you can substitute regular flour and add some salt to it, but keep in mind the texture will suffer a little.
Ingredients (makes two pancakes):
Squid 80g, sliced into 2cm strips
Scallops 80g, cut into 7mm cubs
2 tsp Japanese cooking wine
green onions 40g, cut into 4cm strips
Chinese chive 40g, cut into 4cm strips
Carrot 40g, cut into 4cm thin strips
Kimchi 60g, blot dry and cut into 2cm squares
One dried red chili pepper, seeds removed and cut into thin rings
Tempura flour 100g
Four medium shell-on shrimps
One medium egg
2tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1. Combine cut squid and scallop pieces, mix in the cooking wine and let stand
2. Divide all the cut vegetables in two equal portions
3. Peel the shrimps and using food processor or kitchen knife, finely chop into a paste.
4. Beat egg, add 100ml water, soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil. Divide into two equal portions.
5. Using a pair of chopsticks or whisk, mix half the egg mixture into half the shrimp paste until combined. Add 50g of tempura flour and whisk until no clumps are left. (Do not over-mix, otherwise gluten will form, making the pancake too chewy.)
6. Add half the seafood mixture and half the vegetable mixture into the batter. (Do not mix the other half of the ingredients until ready to cook, otherwise batter will become watery from moisture in the vegetables).
7. Coat the bottom of a COLD frying pan with 1 tbsp of sesame oil, drop the batter with vegetable and seafood onto the COLD oil and using the back of a spoon, pat into a round (about 9 inch in diameter). If the oil and pan are hot when you pour the batter in, the surface will get burned before it's cooked. Make sure you cool and clean the frying pan before making the secone pancake.
8. Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden, loosening the edge with a spatula occasionally, but otherwise try not to touch the pancake too much. (If you prefer your pancakes to be a little crispy, like me, you may cook the first side until it smells like it’s almost burnt).
9. Flip the pancake and press down with spatula lightly. Cook for 2-3 minutes until desired doneness.
10. Repeat steps 5 through 9 for the second pancake.
While pancakes are cooking, make the dipping sauce:
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
½ tsp Chinese chili pepper
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp garlic paste
½ tsp white sesame, lightly toasted
½ tsp sesame oil
1 green onion, approximately 4g, diced
Mix all the ingredients except for the green onions. Add the green onions right before serving so sauce doesn’t become watery.
This is an extremely flexible recipe and any seafood will do (I used two types of shrimps). It also takes not time to whip up so I’ve made it at home twice already (once after an all-day hiking trip). Incidentally, we went to a Korean restaurant the day after my first attempt, and for comparison ordered the chijimi. Don’t mean to boast, but I thought mine was so much better, crispy dark golden crust and loaded with goodies. My in-laws agreed.
Other than the cooking lessons, I also went for two bread courses. The first lesson was these cute little buns with rum raisins and sugar sprinkled on top.
I was expecting them to be the hard-crusted type, but they turned out quite soft, with lots of butter in it. Jason surprised me by saying that he liked them, despite the softness.
Next was Green Tea bread, with sweetened red beans in it.
If you think it’s green now, you should’ve seen the raw dough (which I accidentally dropped on the floor, heehee), but surprisingly you still couldn’t taste too much tea in it. My in-laws say it tastes more like a cake, and Jason refused to comment because he said he could taste the floor in it! You know what dude? I drop stuff on the floor all the time and then feed them to you! (Actually, Libby eats whatever I drop on the floor before I have a chance to pick it up.)