The Gamjajeon (Potato Pancakes)

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The Gamjajeon (Potato Pancakes)

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The variety of Korean savory pancake that came from the ground or grated potatoes is called Gamjajeon (감자전). Anyone can create this humble dish with potatoes. It is also common to add other vegetables like zucchinis, chili peppers, scallions, garlic chives, among others. This basic recipe is inspired by a simple potato pancake that I once had at a restaurant that specializes in noodle soup as an appetizer. You can find this place in Seoul’s Samcheong-dong neighborhood. It can remind anyone of the potato pancakes that they enjoyed in their field trip at Seorak Mountain Gangwon-do which is a province that is famous for their potatoes.

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To create this recipe, you only need a couple of potatoes. Add a bit of onion to prevent their discoloring and to avoid overpowering the potatoes’ flavor. Make sure that you will grate the onion first so you can mix it with the potato.

Grate the potatoes in a food processor or blender or grate and grind them in a blender. I love grating them on a grater to get a coarse texture. Whatever method you use, make sure to remove the water content of the grated potatoes or it might become too watery for the pancake batter. Avoid throwing away the drained water because it has valuable starch. Allow the starch water stay there for a while until the starch sinks to the bottom and forms a white and dense layer. Pour out the water carefully and use the batter’s starch. It is the traditional way to create potato pancake batter without putting in some powder starch or flour.

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Gamjajeon (Potato Pancake)
This simple Korean potato pancake recipe can serve two people.
Ingredients
  1. oil for pan frying
  2. 1-1/2 pounds potatoes (2 large or 3 medium)
  3. 1/4 medium onion
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
Dipping Sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon water
  2. 1 teaspoon vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  4. pinch of black pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Instructions

Peel and grate around two to three tablespoons of onion. Put it in a large bowl. Grate and peel the potatoes to capture the liquid. Whenever you use a food processor or blender, grind the potatoes and onions together.

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Use a bowl lined with a strainer to drain the grated potato and reserve the liquid. Transfer it to the bowl immediately with the grated onion. Mix it well with the onion to avoid the discoloration of the potato.Image result for bowl lined with strainer to drain the grated potato

Allow the reserved liquid to sit for around ten minutes. The liquid’s starch will sink to the bottom. Pour out the water carefully to save the starch. Add the salt and starch to the grated potato and mix it well.Image result for mix bowl

Put two tablespoons of oil and heat the skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the batter and allow it to spread evenly into a round shape. You may also make smaller pancakes if you desire. Minimize the heat to medium-low and cook it until the bottom becomes light golden brown for around two minutes on every side. You may do the same with the remaining batter and serve it hot with a dipping sauce.

Image result for pancake in pan

Ingredients
  1. oil for pan frying
  2. 1-1/2 pounds potatoes (2 large or 3 medium)
  3. 1/4 medium onion
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
Dipping Sauce
  1. 1 tablespoon water
  2. 1 teaspoon vinegar
  3. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  4. pinch of black pepper
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Instructions

Peel and grate around two to three tablespoons of onion. Put it in a large bowl. Grate and peel the potatoes to capture the liquid. Whenever you use a food processor or blender, grind the potatoes and onions together.

Image result for grate potatoes

Use a bowl lined with a strainer to drain the grated potato and reserve the liquid. Transfer it to the bowl immediately with the grated onion. Mix it well with the onion to avoid the discoloration of the potato.Image result for bowl lined with strainer to drain the grated potato

Allow the reserved liquid to sit for around ten minutes. The liquid’s starch will sink to the bottom. Pour out the water carefully to save the starch. Add the salt and starch to the grated potato and mix it well.Image result for mix bowl

Put two tablespoons of oil and heat the skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the batter and allow it to spread evenly into a round shape. You may also make smaller pancakes if you desire. Minimize the heat to medium-low and cook it until the bottom becomes light golden brown for around two minutes on every side. You may do the same with the remaining batter and serve it hot with a dipping sauce.

Image result for pancake in pan

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