Sunday, June 21, 2015

Savory Shiso & Scallion Pancake ( Perilla Pajeon)


The Japanese herb shiso, ubiquitous to that national cuisine, re-seeded itself this spring, unfurling its fragrant leaves all over the gardens of Cafe Drake HRV. If you don't have any growing in your backyard, check your local farmer's market for a bundle or any Japanese market. Still can't score shiso? The closest approximation of the herb's genuinely unique flavor is an equal part mix of fresh basil and mint leaves + a pinch of cinnamon powder.

Chopped shiso, scallions and green chile peppers.

Our finished pancake.

Shiso-Scallion Savory Pancake (sliced) with vegetarian turkey, kimchi, steamed broccoli and dipping sauce.

So here we go with a Korean classic: Mix in a bowl 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups water. Stir to combine and then add 1 egg. Mix again to combine well. Season with at least 1/2 t. salt and stir in 12 large green shiso leaves (cut into slivers), 1-2 scallions (finely slivered) and 1-2 hot green chilies (minced). 

Heat 1 T. oil in a non-stick skillet over a medium flame. Pour the batter into the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, just as you would a breakfast pancake. You should also have the same consistency and texture.

Carefully remove and slice the pancake into wedges. Serve with a dipping sauce made by mixing together, in a small bowl: 3 T. soy sauce or tamari, 3/4 t. cayenne pepper, 1 minced clove of garlic and a tiny splash of fresh lemon juice.

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