Crispy Korean Pancakes with Shrimp

I’m not Korean, but I’m a huge fan of the cuisine. A large Korean community in Las Vegas means I can find super-addicting crispy pancakes filled with any combination of seafood or vegetables, for snacks, lunch or dinner. Thanks to our numerous Asian grocery stores around the valley, these crisp, savory pancakes are no further away than an inexpensive package of pancake mix.

These fabulous pancakes couldn’t be easier to prepare. The mix is simply combined with ice water, pan fried & served as is or topped with flash fried shrimp as I’ve done here. I love to drizzle this with Unagi sauce, another of my addictions. It’s the slightly thick, sweetened soy sauce similar to teriyaki sauce usually found on Dragon sushi rolls and eel. I’m particularly fond of the Kikkoman brand.

The easy recipe below serves two as a main course or four as an appetizer. Note that American pancake mixes like Bisquick can not be substituted for the Korean mix, which contains rice flour for crispness. If you don’t have a Korean or Asian Market in your town, the Korean pancake mix and Unagi sauce are easily available on-line and mail order.

Crispy Korean Pancake with Shrimp
1 lb large uncooked shrimp (16/20 size)
2 cloves mashed garlic
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 cup Korean pancake mix
ice water
4-6 fresh green onions
oil for frying (I use canola)

Kikkoman Unagi Sauce

Remove the shells from the shrimp. Combine with the garlic, soy sauce and oil. Set aside while preparing the pancake batter. Do not over cook to avoid tough shrimp.

Combine the pancake mix with enough ice water to make a thin batter. The consistency should resemble coffee cream. Thinner batter will result in a crispier pancake. Wash and slice the green onions, including the green part, into 1 inch lengths and add to the batter.

Heat a medium non-stick pan to medium-high. Add the shrimp and sauté for 3-5 minutes just until done. Do not over cook to avoid tough shrimp. Set aside & keep warm while frying the pancakes.

Preheat another non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon oil. When hot, pour enough batter to coat the pan, making sure the green onions are evenly distributed. Cook until the bottom is nicely browned and the edges are crispy. Carefully flip the pancake over and cook until both sides are golden brown. Keep the pancakes warm while cooking the remaining batter.

To serve, slide the pancake on a plate, top with the shrimp and drizzle just a small amount of Unagi sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions or shredded dried chile threads (optional).

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as an appetizer.

  1. The recipe look like very delicious. I will make this weekend. Thank you for your recipe.
    Chris Ho

    • Ice water helps create the “crispy” texture. It helps prevent the gluten in the flour from developing. You will also see ice water used in tempura batters as well as pie crust pastry for the same purpose-to hinder the gluten development in the flour which tends to toughen the final product.

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