Wednesday, July 24, 2019

[Food] Gamjajun (감자전, Korean Potato Pancake)


[Food] Gamjajun (감자전, Korean Potato Pancake)

Gangwon province (North-Eastern region of South Korea) has been a solid production region for potatoes since they were imported because more than 80% of the region's terrain consists of alpine zone, highland pasture and several basins, like the Andes.

So Gangwon province is famous for its unique potato cuisines such as Ongsimi (Potato Dough Soup). Today I bring you a very simple Korean dish with a simple recipe, Korean Potato Pancake. It is a traditional and unique dish from Gangwon province that you can easily find in any market in Gangwon province.

A mountain climber brought potato pancake dough for lunch, putting chopped zucchini into the dough

Just go into any market in Gangwon province and you will always find some booths that griddle potato pancakes on an iron plate with surrounding plastic chairs, and Makgeolli (Traditional Korean rice wine). Customers sit around the booth and enjoy pancakes with a bowl of makgeolli.

The recipe is very simple...but it can be very tough and hard work unless you have a good and sharp mandoline.

1. Wash and peel potatoes and onions, then grind them with a mandoline to create a watery dough

2. Mix potato and onion dough into a bowl, adding some salt and pepper as desired

3. Oil any flat and wide pan, and scoop as much dough as you want (the bigger the scoop the bigger the pancake) onto the pan to griddle it.

The important thing is that you manually grind it rather than using an electric blender or grinder because manually grinding helps maintain potatoes' texture, giving you a better taste when you chew the pancake. If not...well, taste it will realize what I mean.

Anyway, nowadays you can enjoy potato pancake conveniently at home but people still visit a market in Gangwon province to taste the original recipe. Freshly-fried potato pancake has a crispy edge and soft inside with a savory taste.

If you ever visit Gangwon province in South Korea, try a potato pancake in any market, and indulge in pancake with makgeolli. Savory pancake and sweet rice wine will make you happy. A jolly chat with another visitor is a bonus :)

Bon Appétit!