Seafood Pajeon at the Koreana Restaurant in Ottawa
The appetizer pictured above was served to me at the Koreana Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown. It was listed on the menu simply as a ‘Seafood Pancake’ but was clearly a version of the Haemul Pajeon so deservedly popular in Korean cuisine. I thought this the best dish of all I tried at this establishment, and it was considerably better then the Pajeon at the Ali Rang Restaurant, which is absolutely my favorite Korean Restaurant in the city.
For an appetizer serving, the Koreana Pajeon was quite generously sized and was cut into small squares rather than long strips, making it a bit easier to manipulate with the steel chopsticks favored in Korean restaurants. The pancake filling, in this case consisted, of Shrimp and Scallop, augmented by Zuchinni, shredded Carrot, and, of course, the requisite Scallion (the ‘Pa’ in Pajeon, means Scallion).
The pancake itself was about as thin as it possible to make them without actually grinding the filling ingredients to a paste. I prefer this myself as the thicker pancakes can sometimes be a bit stodgy and, here, the cake was nicely crispy in some places and delightfully chewy in others.
The batter for Pajeon is often made with a prepared mix known as ‘Buchimgaru’, or by some combination of Wheat and Rice Flours, Eggs, and Water. Sugar is quite often included, and I have also seen versions in which a little Bean Paste is added too. I am not sure how they prepared the batter at Koreana, but the result was simple and not overly sweet, which can tend to ruin the dish in my opinion.
Anyway, both the Shrimp and Scallops included in this appetizer were clearly fresh, very sweet, and complimented nicely by the Scallion and other ingredients. I think my own versions look a little prettier, but this one outdid my own in terms of taste and texture and, I was happy to give the Pajeon at the Koreana Restaurant a well-deserved 5 out of 5 Rating.