Realizing that I’ve been using the oven almost exclusively lately, turning to other kitchen appliances seems to be in order. I hear that stove tops get heavy use in other kitchens so I’m dusting off the skillets and cooking with (gasp) fire instead of hot air.
Gamja jeon are savory skillet-crisped pancakes made with grated potatoes. In this version, diced peppers and pyogo (shiitake) mushrooms are added to the potato batter for added flavor and texture. A vinegar soy sauce dip, cho ganjang, is typically served with the lightly seasoned pancakes.
recipe adapted from Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall’s Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen
A Worldly Epicurean’s Delight: Korean hosted by PJ
감자전 – Gamja Jeon
Korean Potato Pancakes
makes 4 to 6 servings, about 12 to 16 pancakes
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 hot red Korean pepper OR 1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 hot green Korean pepper OR 1/4 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
4 pyogo (shiitake) mushrooms, finely diced
2 scallions, white and pale green parts only, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Crack the egg into a large bowl and beat lightly. Add the cornstarch and mix until thick and smooth.
- Add the red and green peppers, mushrooms, scallions, and garlic and mix well.
- Using a box grater or food processor, grate the peeled potatoes. Add the grated potatoes to the peppers and mushrooms. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fold together all of the ingredients only until evenly distributed.
- In a cast iron or nonstick skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat just until a wisp of smoke appears.
- Use a spoon to drop mounds of batter on the skillet, about four at a time. Gently flatten each mound into rounds about 3 to 4 inches wide. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter and oil.
- Serve the potato pancakes as a side dish or appetizer with a bowl of cho ganjang (vinegar soy sauce dip, recipe follows) .
초간장 – Cho Ganjang
Vinegar Soy Sauce Dip
makes 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cheongju (Korean rice wine) OR vermouth
2 tablespoons rice vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped pine nuts OR toasted sesame seeds
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Mix together the soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sesame oil, lemon juice, and salt.
- Add the pine nuts or sesame seeds and ground black pepper just before serving. Store leftover sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.