Ahh, the pajeon- the delectable griddle cake of green onion and miscellaneous seafood that nationalistic Koreans tell me inspired Italians (via Marco Polo) to create the much more international food of pizza. Whether or not true, the pajeon is still nominated for “favorite new food” alongside triangle gimbap and weird sausage pastry from Paris baguette. I’d been meaning to post of my love of the paj’ (as I like to endearingly refer to it) for a while, but due to laziness, and the seeming triviality of writing about food (I fucking love food, though), I haven’t gotten around to it.
But really not too much to say is there? The pajeon is kind of like a pizza and kind of like a pancake but at the same time is like neither. It is usually more doughy than crunchy, but the toughness of the squid keeps it from being too mushy. It is dipped in a red-pepper soy sauce, and served with a potent rice wine called makoli which is infamous for dehabiliting hangovers.
(It is served out of a bowl with a ladle and goes down a little too easy)
In the months I’ve been here I’ve eaten the paj’ everywhere from sitting at fancy gourmet restaurants to standing at 3a.m street stalls, and I actually prefer the later. It is a fun food to pick apart with chopsticks on a street corner. Sometimes the long strands of green onion (i always wondered why they just wouldn’t chop ’em) can make the endeavor a little difficult.. But like eating crabs, it’s a culinary inconvenience I can learn to love.
I’ve wondered for a while what the paj’ consists of. Lauren bought a mix from the Homeplus but the Hangeul ingredient list was of little help in unlocking the Korean pancake mystery.
When in doubt I turned to the all knowing wikipedia, which as always in the past provided me with answers to life’s difficult questions. Turns out pajeon is pretty simple (eggs,flour,veggies,etc). But unbeknownst to me Busan and the paj’ have been tight for quite some time. Read the article and learn (in brief) about the famous Dongnae pajeon.
All this talk of wikipidia and pancakes reminds me of the theory by Richard Foreman that modern technology makes us all informed idiots. This post (blogs period) being a perfect example with the links and two second research.
“But today, I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self-evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available”. A new self that needs to contain less and less of an inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance—as we all become “pancake people“—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”