Saturday, April 9, 2011

Korean Grill at Home - Bulgogi and P'ajon

Recently I got a craving for Korean food and didn't want to drive all the way to Santa Clara to our new favorite Beque Korean Grill. Some people just love their condiments and the best parts of going to a Korean restaurant is the bevy of sides (Banchan) that come with your meal. One of my most favorites is  P'ajon, a green onion pancake. That was definitely on the list. Even better, my homemade pickled eggplant was just about ready to eat after 3 weeks of working it's magic in the refrigerator.  Add some Bulgogi (marinated grilled beef,) a medly of stir fry veggies, rice and the menu was set.  For the Bulgogi I switched up the traditional marinade with some ripe Kiwi. It's a keeper for both marinating and dipping sauce. If you love teriyaki sauce you'll go for this too.

Korean Grill @ Home
Kimchee, Bulgogi, Stir Fry Veggies, Pickled Eggplant, P'ajon

Green Onion Pancakes - P'ajon
P'ajon - Green Onion Pancake
Korean Style Pickled Eggplant
Pickled  Baby Japanese Eggplant
For recipes click Read More
 Bulgogi Sauce - Korean Marinade with Kiwi
(Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of marinated barbecued beef,
although chicken or pork may also be used.)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Makes about 1 ½ cups, marinade for 1 pound of thinly sliced meat.

2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 Kiwi, peeled and finely diced
3 whole green onions, finely chopped (green part included)

1. Mix marinade: Peel and mince garlic cloves, whisk together liquids in medium bowl. Add chopped kiwi and onion. Stir to blend.
2. Reserve ¼ cup or so for dipping sauce before adding meat to marinade. This way you don’t contaminate the sauce with the raw meat. Place meat in ziplock bag, pour in marinade. Seal with air let out and mix around the ingredients inside the bag so they are evenly distributed and meat is coated all over.
3. Can be used for chicken or fish, marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling. If using beef, depending on the cut, thinly slice and marinate 3 hours to overnight. The tougher cuts should soak in the sauce longer to tenderize fully.
4. Before grilling or stir fry, drain the meat from the marinade, pat dry. This is so the excess liquid doesn’t boil your meat and you get a nice caramelized searing.
5. Serve with stir fry vegetables, or on a bed of sliced lettuce, rice and sides. Dip or drizzle with the reserved sauce.

P'ajon Green Onion Pancakes
Inspired by: Korean Feast
Prep 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

2 bunches thin, skinny green onions, divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tsp red hot pepper, finely diced (either Korean, Ancho, Inferno)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup ice cold water
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbl vegetable oil

Preheat 12 inch non-stick skillet, medium high.
Assemble fresh ingredients. Wash and trim green onions, cut off roots and cut into 7-inch pieces, pat dry. If the onions are thick, cut in half lenghwise. Finely chop 4 green onions for garnish; set aside. Mince garlic, dice red pepper, hot pepper; set aside.
Prepare batter in chilled bowl by whisking cold water into flour and adding salt and pepper.

  1. Add one tablespoon of oil in skillet, make sure bottom is coated evenly. Heat may need to be increased until the oil slightly smokes.
  2. Add about 6 onions to pan arranged in a rectangle
  3. Sprinkle over onions half of the garlic, bell pepper, red pepper
  4. Pour half of the batter over the green onions, spreading the mixture evenly between them and maintaining the rectangular shape.
  5. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste.
  6. Cook for 2 minutes or, until the pancake edges turn golden brown and crusty.  
  7. Turn pancake and flatten pressing down making it as thin as possible and maintaining rectangular shape. Continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  8. Flip again and cook for 1 minute, so it is really crispy. Remove to a warming plate.
  9. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.  
  10. Transfer both pancakes to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Garnish with chopped onion, serve with dipping sauce.

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