12 (Fri) March 2010
-Hannam, Yongsan, Seoul, Korea-
Jeon (전) is a broad category of Korean pancake. The term, which I had thought to wholly Korea, derives from the Chinese “jian = 煎 = 전 = jeon.”
One type consists of a central ingredient that is sliced or otherwise formed into bite-sized pieces, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, coated in flour and egg wash, and pan-fried in a touch of oil. Common varieties include tofu, fish, ground beef, mushrooms, and ae-hobak (애호박) (a type of squash similar to zucchini).
A second type consists of several ingredients shredded or chopped into small pieces, mixed together in a flour-based batter, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and maybe some additional spices, and pan-fried in a generous pool of oil. Common varieties include scallions, soy beans, kimchi, seafood, or combinations thereof.
Both types are almost always served with some manner of soy-based dipping sauce.
Ganggane is a Korean pub. The kind of hole-in-the-wall no-nonsense joint that features stainless steel tables, plastic chairs, disposable utensils, paper napkins. Specializes in and makes excellent jeon, mostly of the first type.