Pajeon (Korean vegetable pancakes) made without eggs! Chickpea flour makes these baked pancakes vegan, as well as grain-free and gluten-free. They are healthy, high-protein and portable!
Korean pajeon. Have you had it? It is a skillet-size, fried green onion and vegetable pancake, bound together with an egg and flour batter, and then cut into triangles.
Few people would consider it portable food, but I made it so in my early years in graduate school in Bloomington, Indiana (go Hoosiers!). I was car-less, and although a bus ran the 1.5 miles between campus and my apartment complex, I would often walk, largely due to my impatience at having to wait in the freezing cold or boiling heat.
It was a long, lonely stretch along 10th street, but at the halfway point was a sketchy-looking Korean restaurant. It has long since gone out of business–I am fairly certain it was due to health violations–but I was oblivious at the time, because of the pajeon. I would invariably demolish the whole thing by the time I made it to my front door.
I remembered those many pajeon this week as I was dreaming up new portable puck optoins. I am so excited to share the results of my experiments.
Introducing Portable Pajeon 2.0.
Gone is the greasy frying, as well as the flour and the eggs. Instead, plenty of easily-assembled vegetables and a spicy (sriracha and ginger) chickpea flour batter.
I used pre-shredded coleslaw mix (a mix of cabbage and carrots; you can find it with the bagged salads at the supermarket) as my primary vegetable, but you can shred your own, or try broccoli slaw or shredded zucchini. I added red bell peppers and green onions (the latter is essential for pajeon) for both color and flavor.
In traditional, fried pajeon, the vegetables are raw when added to the batter. I tried to do the same in my first version of these pajeon-inspired pucks. Not good. Not good at all. In fact, disastrous. I soldiered on.
In round two, I sauteed the vegetables in a smidge of toasted sesame oil, just until wilted and tender, before baking, like so:
The results were–and are–spectacular. As in, eat-four-in-one-sitting because they are so darned delicious. These modest pucks are eminently satisfying.
Happy eats, and happy Friday!