Chuseok is Korean Thanksgiving. During Chuseok, Koreans families head back to their hometowns in Korea. It creates a mini-exodus every year – especially in Seoul. The major highways get extremely congested – creating traffic nightmares. Trust me, I get stuck in 5+ hours traffic congestions, almost every year. Everyone is an rush to rendezvous with their extended families and spent time together as one.
During Chuseok, families will typically hold a memorial service for their ancestors. This has been done for thousands of years in Korea (and is not tied to religion, belief, etc.) It is a sign of reverence and a way to honor those who have come before you. One part of this ceremony is setting up a large table with specially prepared foods (shown below). Note the positioning of each food. Typically, rice and soup are placed in the north. Fruits and vegetables are placed south of the table. And in the west or middle, meat dishes are served. This changes by region. For example, in my family, we place food by each horizontal row (i.e. the first horizontal row is reserved for rice and soup, last row for fruits and vegetables.)Thus, a large part of Chuseok is preparing food as a family. At my grandmother’s place, I am usually put in charge of the Chuseok jeon (Korean pancakes). This year, I wanted to share our family recipe with you (our neighbors!). That way, I can also do a practice round before the actual holiday. My grandma tells me every year that it could look “prettier”. Sigh – somethings never change 😉
Yield 2-3 people
The Pasanjeok and the Dongtaejeon are among the popular types of Korean pancakes made during Korean Thansgiving.
- Bell pepper - 1/4 of a whole (use a red and yellow)
- Green onion - 4-5 stalks
- Oyster mushrooms - handful
- Shiitake mushrooms - 4
- Skirt steak - 150 grams
- Toothpicks - 10-15
- Korean pancake mix - 1/2 cup (all-purpose flour ok too)
- Soy sauce - 3 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 1.5 Tablespoons
- Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Sesame seeds - 1 Tablespoon
- Black pepper - few shakes
- Eggs - 3
- Salt -few shakes
- Frozen Pollock Fillet - 200 grams (cod filet is also good)
- Salt - few shakes
- Black pepper - few shakes
- Korean pancake mix - 1/2 cup (all purpose flour ok too)
- Soy sauce - 2 tablespoon
- Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
- Sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Make the beef marinade by mixing the listed ingredients. Save a 1/3 of the sauce in a separate bowl - we will use it later
- Place the remaining 2/3 of the sauce in a mixing bowl. Cut skirt steak into a finger's length and place them into the marinade in the mixing bowl.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Quickly blanche the Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms for 30 seconds. Give them a quick rinse in cold water. Squeeze out the water from each mushroom. Set Oyster mushroom aside. We will marinate the Shiitake mushrooms.
- Pour the remaining 1/3 marinade over the Shiitake mushrooms. Set Shiitake mushrooms aside. Then place a frying pan on medium-high heat and quickly sear the beef pieces (no need to cook completely through).
- Cut bell peppers and spring onion into finger's length. Then cut the marinated Shiitake Mushrooms into similar length.
- Then place each one of the ingredients onto the toothpick. You can use more-or-less of any specific ingredients - but try to get a nice balance in color.
- Then set aside each completed pancake for the egg-wash (skip to step 3, when ready to cook)
- Rinse the frozen filet thaw in water. Then set in a bowl and let them dethaw in room temperature.
- Use paper towels to pat-down the filet pieces and soak up any excess water.
- Salt and pepper both sides of each piece.
- Then cut the fillet into thinner, small bite-sized pieces (cut the filet at an angle). Go to next step.
- Put Korean pancake batter (or all-pupose flour!) into a plastic bag. Then place each pancake pieces into the bag and shake it around. Take out each one and make sure to tap-off any extra flour left.
- Crack three eggs and whisk in a large mixing bowl. Season the egg mixture with a few shakes of salt. Then place each flour-battered pancake (pasanjeok or dongtaejeon) into the egg wash.
- Place a frying pan on low-heat. Put in plenty of vegetable oil. Once it is hot, place each battered piece into the frying pan. Fry on both sides (a few minutes on each side) until a golden color. Adjust heat as necessary. Dip into soy-sauce and enjoy!
- Before you dip the pancakes into the egg wash, give a few gentle taps to get rid off excess flour. A lighter coating tastes much better.
- Get your frying pan hot and then reduce to a low heat. Cook on a low-heat (or medium-low heat, depending on your stove top). You don't want to burn the egg coating.
- See video below for more details