Since it’s tradition to eat jon (a savoury pancake) on rainy days in Korea, and I didn’t feel like cooking rice, I made kamja (potato) chon and buchu ( 부추 a kind of Korean chive) jon for dinner last night. And it was an organic fest too as the potato and buchu came from my parents-in-law’s allotment in the countryside! I served this with kimchi (made by my mother-in-law too! see below)
First I mixed half a cup of flour with some water. The local shops sell several different kinds of flour for different purposes and there’s always a picture on the front of the packet showing what the flour is for – bread, cakes, jon. So I bought the bag with the jon on the front. I don’t know what the real difference is between the flours as they are all types of plain flour – there’s no whole wheat or rye flour or anything like that. But I think the jon flour seems easier to mix without it getting lumpy.
pancake mix in the bowl and I’ve made the mistake before of adding more water at this point. But then the jon ends up in a soggy mess. So I went ahead and put the mix in a frying pan with a generous amount of oil.
I beat an egg and spread that on the top of the jon and let it cook slowly. Once it was crispy on the bottom I turned the jon over to cook the egg through. And voila! Not soggy or dry at all. I’ve had several disasters making this jon. Once I put far too much oil in the pan, so when I tossed the pancake, the excess oil came splashing out. I spent the evening with my hand and foot in a bucket of iced water. Agony! Anyway, I’m more careful now. And last night my jon was a success. While the jon was cooking, I started grating the potatoes. My husband likes the potato grated really finely -he would, wouldn’t he? As this takes more effort! There’s a lot of liquid that comes out of the potatoes this way too and the end result is quite a soft and sticky pancake on the inside but crispy on the outside. Hopefully. Anyway, three medium sized potatoes will make three smallish kamjajons. After I finished grating them, I squeezed the water out of the potatoes and fried three small pancakes. I add a little bit of salt but the dipping sauce is salty so I don’t add much.
I also fried the kimchi and served it with fresh tofu. And we had a bottle of dongdongju (Korean raw rice wine) with the jon. (This is a must too!) Kamjajon, buchujon, and fried kimchi with tofu. The dip for the pancakes is made of soy sauce and vinegar with slices of chilli. We also had some fresh chillies with soybean paste dip. The milky drink is the dongdongju. I used to think that this was never going to be enough food for two people for dinner, so I would cook rice and other stuff too. But we were always too full to eat the rice. This meal is simple, but perfect for a humid, rainy day!