Haemul Pajeon: Pure Korean Seafood Pancake Comfort

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

The bitter cold of this past week has been offset and made tolerable by preparing delicious, spicy Korean food every night. Last Sunday my daughters, Kimmy and Sarah, and I headed to the Galleria, a very nice Korean market not far from our house. We stocked up on Korean pickled radishes, baby bok choy, Japanese potstickers, chili paste (gochujang), kimchi, some short ribs and lots of other goodies. That night we enjoyed the short ribs with steamed bok choy, rice and of course kimchi (served with every meal in Korea).

On Monday I brought home some Alaskan sockeye salmon fillet and made up a little Korean style surf and turf using some of the leftover bok choy and some still marinating short rib (the meat gets better every day). Pan searing the salmon sprinkled with chili powder, then flaking it into a stir-fry with the bok choy, chili sauce and rice vinegar was killer with the short ribs and kimchi!

You’d think we’d want to change it up a bit for Tuesday’s dinner but heck; we still had more pickled radishes, kimchi and gochujang to use up. I happened to have just picked the meat from king crab pieces at our market that day (we end up with lots of small legs and knuckles that we sell at a discount), and started dreaming of more Korean style goodness. Yes! Korean seafood pancakes (haemul pajeon)! These savory green onion pancakes are easy to make and you can use any variety of shellfish that you’d like.


I used some of the king crab meat, Rhode Island squid, wild gulf shrimp and some beautiful fresh shucked onset oysters from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. The shellfish browns in the pan and the tenderness and flavor are locked into the silky batter. Served with a simple soy sesame dipping sauce, this dish might not even make it to the table!

Well, it’s now Thursday. 0 degrees, wind chill warnings; just found a recipe for kimchi and mackerel soup and I happen to have just enough kimchi! Perfect

Monahan's Seafood

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