Gamjajeon: Korean Potato Pancake
Hi internet! It's been a while. I've been (too) busy, but I'm very excited to do some summer hibernation and cook more.
Today's recipe is from Maangchi. You may remember I covered her kimchi and vegetable pancakes on the blog earlier. Let me tell you, I think with all this pancake practice, I am getting a little better at flipping! This particular pancake was almost in mid-air for a split second...
Like the other pancakes I covered, this potato pancake is great for sharing with others. It's very carby, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, the dipping sauce has a kick too. It's also vegan, so that's a bonus I guess. I am actually planning to test pilot some of these Korean pancakes with friends at get-togethers - will report how that goes.
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp vinegar or lime juice (rice vinegar worked well for me; I never tried lime)
-1 chopped scallion
-2 tbsp finely diced onion
-1 tbsp finely diced jalapeno pepper (more if you're spice-tolerant and -enthusiastic)
-1/2 tsp sugar
-8 oz potato (I used Idaho baking potatoes)
-1/4 cup grated onion (grating will be covered later)
-1/4 cup potato starch
-1/4 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil, split (I used vegetable oil, didn't have any grapeseed oil)
First, prepare your dipping sauce by mixing all the listed sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Then, start grating your potato and onion. It took me a couple tries to find the best grating strategy. You want the potato finely grated, but not so finely grated that you end up separating the water from the pulp. You can use a food processor or a manual grater. I was very happy with the results of using this side of my grater for both the potato and the onion:
The grating takes a little bit of time. Add the potato and onion to a medium-sized bowl, along with the potato starch and onion. Mix. The resulting batter is kind of fluffy and somewhat watery.
Heat a 9- to 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tbsp of oil. When it's heated up, add your batter to the pan and spread evenly around the pan so that you end up with a thin pancake.
Let it cook until the bottom side is a nice shade of light brown. This takes a couple minutes and I like to check the pancake underside gently by using the spatula to gently unstick the pancake on different sides. Then the pancake should move around freely when it's ready to be flipped.
Flip the pancake and add 2 more tbsp oil to the pan. Gently lift one side of the pancake and tilt the pan so that the oil goes underneath the pancake.
Let the new underside of the pancake get to a crispy light brown color. The entire cooking time should be around 8-10 minutes.
Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy!
This pancake is delicately crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. You could tear it with your hands, it's kind of satsifying. The sauce is spicy because of the jalapeno pepper. To be honest, the pancake on its own kind of reminds me of something Slavic because of the fried potato-onion combination. Growing up eating Russian food, I think my preference would be to dollop some sour cream on this and eat it with a meat or lox...but the Korean soy sauce is still good and complements the pancake well.
Anyway, thank you for going on this pancake journey with me. I will be back soon,