Kamja jeon (potato pancake)
Kamja jeon for rainy days
Last Wednesday, it rained the whole day in Seoul. That inspired me to prepare “kamja jeon” (kamja – potato; jeon – grilled) or potato pancake for dinner. Koreans prefer to eat this during the rainy days of summer with beer or makkeoli (a traditional alcoholic beverage). My mother-in-law makes a mean potato pancake. And she taught me how to make it with this very simple recipe that anyone can do.
Kamja jeon is a simple dish prepared with potatoes and onion. I learned to cook it from my mother-in-law last year, during a week’s vacation at their home. The onion is used to prevent the grated potato from turning brown. Other ingredients like green onions and carrots can be added to the mix. It should be partially drained to prevent from sticking to the pan.
3 medium potatoes, grated (use a baby food grater)
1/2 of large onion, grated
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 small carrot, chopped
1/2 tsp salt (or 1 tsp depending on your tastes)
cooking oil for frying
1. Grate the onion in a bowl first.
2. Grate the potatoes and mix with the onion.
3. Add other ingredients.
4. Partially drain the mixture.
5. Prepare a non-stick pan. Coat it slightly with oil.
6. Fry one ladle-full at a time.
1. Make sure that the pan is coated with oil. The batter could get so sticky.
2. If preferred, drain the grated potato a bit to prevent from sticking.
3. Add seafood like sliced squid or shrimp for more flavor.
4. Use sesame oil instead of plain cooking oil for added flavor.
This is one of my favorite Korean foods.