To me, jeon is actually more like a mix between a soft crusted pizza and pancake but it actually translates as a Korean pancake. You can find all sorts of jeon, such as pajeon (green onion), saewoojeon (shrimp pancake) or kimchijeon (kimchi, of course) like the one below. The first time I discovered this dish was when I was in South Korea. There was a random night market festival being held across the street of our building, so my friend and I went to check it out. They had all sorts of dishes, but I must say I gravitated towards a pajeon and was pleasantly surprised at the discovery.
When cooked, the batter is not fluffy like a breakfast pancake. Rather, it’s somewhat bouncy and chewy in texture and more dense. It’s made by mixing a flour-based batter with oil, some water and whatever fillings you desire – seafood, meat, veggies…you name it! The chewiness sometimes comes from a potato starch or rice flour that can be added to the recipe. It is then cooked over a pan with some oil and normally cut into triangles.
It’s meant to be shared like a pizza as a side dish to a main meal or just as a snack. The Kimchijeon I had at this restaurant had onions and pieces of squid mixed in and cooking it with kimchi pieces (and kimchi juice) gives it that brilliant colour. It wasn’t as spicy as I hoped it to be, but nothing a little hot sauce can’t fix. 🙂