The word 'Jeon' refers to a Korean style pancake in general and gamjajeon is a variety made by pan-frying finely grated potato until golden brown using vegetable oil. Traditionally, this humble pancake is kept simple and made just with potato, salt and oil and uses no flour of any kind. Additionally onions or scallions, garlic chives, carrots, sliced mushrooms can be added to the batter to add color, texture and flavor. Or these jeon can be garnished with shredded fresh red or green chilies as well while frying. I think I made these jeon a tad thicker but recommend a thinner and crispier version. Gamjajeaon is usually served with a dipping sauce called choganjang, that can be made in a jiffy with soy sauce and vinegar.
The potatoes used to make jeon can be either finely grated or blended. Either way, a gamjajeon recipe recommends to remove some of the water content from the blended / grated potatoes so that the final batter is not watery. The potato is drained in a sieve and the starch water is allowed to sit for a while until the starch sinks to bottom. And that starch gets used in the recipe as well.
Ingredients: (Yield 5 pancakes)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
1 medium onion, peeled / A bunch of scallions, chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste / 1 - 2 green chilies deseeded and finely chopped
Oil to make pancakes
* Blend onion and potatoes together using a mixer / food processor adding no water. If you find it harder to process, adding a little water is fine. (or you can finely grate the vegetables as well.)
* Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the pureed vegetables into it. Let it sit for about 10 - 15 minutes to drain the water.
* After the water has drained, transfer the vegetable mixture to a small mixing bowl. And just don't throw away the water collected in the bowl underneath since it contains the starch that can be added to the batter. (After resting, you would notice that the white starchy stuff sinks to the bottom and forms a dense layer at the bottom of the bowl.) Carefully discard the water until you get to the potato starch sitting at the bottom of the bowl. Add that starch to the potato - onion mixture in the mixing bowl.
* Add salt, pepper / green chilies and scallion if using, to the bowl as well and mix to combine.
* Heat a non stick pan on medium flame and add a tbsp. of oil. Scoop out about tbsp. of batter on pan and toast them until they are cooked through and golden brown on both sides, flipping them once or twice intermittently. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
* If they are made mini size, you can make as many pancakes as the frying pan can fit at once. (I made a little bigger sized pancakes and so made them individually.)
* Serve them warm with choganjang or ketchup.