Serves 6 to 8 (makes two 10-inch pancakes) | Active Time 50 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½–1 teaspoon gochugaru
½ teaspoon sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1 ounce) potato starch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup ice water
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Make dipping sauce up to 1 day ahead; refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
To serve more than 6 guests, cut pancakes into narrower wedges.
Accompany pancakes with bites such as Marinated Eggplant with Capers and Mint or Crab Croquettes .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Korea’s renowned scallion pancake is an ideal anytime treat that you’ll be tempted to eat right out of the pan alongside its tart, sweet-spicy dipping sauce.
The filling-to-batter ratio is high in these crisp-chewy pancakes, and the scallions are typically cut into lengths, so the effect resembles a nest of verdant stalks bound together by the viscous batter. As it sizzles in the skillet, the pancake browns and the interior sets up soft and dense. Adding potato starch to the all-purpose flour equips the batter with more starch for crisping up; the chemical makeup of potato starch also helps keep the starch molecules separate after cooling so that the crust stays crispy. Since starches absorb cold water more slowly than they do room-temperature water, using ice water in the batter minimizes hydration, helping the pancakes crisp more easily during frying. Baking soda raises the batter’s pH and boosts browning; baking powder opens up the crumb so that it’s not gummy. Pressing the pancakes into the skillet after flipping them also encourages browning. Purchase the coarse variety of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), which is sometimes labeled “coarse powder.” Use a full teaspoon if you prefer a spicier dipping sauce. You can substitute cornstarch for potato starch.
1 For the dipping sauce Whisk all ingredients together in small bowl; set aside.
2 For the pancakes Line 2 large plates with double layer of paper towels and set aside. Separate dark-green parts of scallions from white and light-green parts. Halve white and light-green parts lengthwise. Cut all scallion parts into 2-inch lengths and set aside. Whisk flour, potato starch, sugar, baking powder, pepper, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Add ice water and garlic and whisk until smooth. Using rubber spatula, fold in scallions until mixture is evenly combined.
3 Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Stir batter to recombine. Run blade of spatula through center of batter to halve, then scrape half of batter into center of skillet. Spread into round of even thickness, covering bottom of skillet, using spatula or tongs to move scallions as necessary so they are evenly distributed in single layer. Shake skillet to distribute oil beneath pancake and cook, adjusting heat as needed to maintain gentle sizzle (reduce heat if oil begins to smoke), until bubbles at center of pancake burst and leave holes in surface and underside is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip pancake and press firmly into skillet with back of spatula to flatten. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to edges of skillet and continue to cook, pressing pancake occasionally to flatten, until second side is spotty golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to prepared plate.
4 Repeat with remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and remaining batter. Let second pancake drain on second prepared plate for 2 minutes. Cut each pancake into 6 wedges and transfer to platter. Serve, passing sauce separately.