Friday, May 16, 2008

Stuffed to the gills

Our apartment is tiny, which would make our very small kitchen miniscule, or on good days "quit intimate". The only counter space is on the fridge, storage space has been maxed out with our recent addition of shelves and hook/rod system, and there will be barely enough space for the day we can afford an oven. Living without an oven or proper heat elements has been a tough adjustment. I have had to deal with cooking with hot plates and let me tell you it's been a challenge. From trial and error I have learned that it is not a good idea to prepare paella, nor risotto, or use any cooking utensil larger than 15 centimetres, or 6 inches, in diameter on said plates. The things I have prepared with a low level of frustration have been couscous (just the grains), pasta, and tiny batches of sauce. I have also been steaming vegetables like it's going out of style.

One day I decided to make a Korean crepe called pa-jon, a common snack served in bars, restaurants, and streetside. It uses a batter comprised of flour, eggs, water and salt, followed by a wide option of savoury ingredients which are added after pouring the batter into a medium hot pan. I started with making tiny blini sized crepes with chives, carrots, zucchini, and shrimp. Then, because it was taking forever and it was 10pm, I became impatient and threw everything into the batter and created epic frisbee sized pa-jon. Obviously not as good (they were mushier), but still consumed heartily by B and I.


Jon Batter (makes 2 cups)

1 c Flour
1/4 c Glutinous Rice Flour
1 Egg, beaten
1 c Water, approx.
1/2 tsp. Salt

Combine all to create a smooth batter.

For a cup of batter one can add the following:

2 scallions
1/2 cup fresh oysters
8 medium rehydrated dried mushrooms
15 medium shrimps peeled and deveined
grated carrots
grated zucchini
thinly sliced red or green peppers

If using scallions add to batter. Heat skillet to medium high. Add vegetable oil, then when it is well heated add 2 large tbsp of batter. Press filling of choice into batter, adding about 1 tbsp of additional batter afterward to bind everything together on uncooked side. When the cooking side is golden, flip over and cook until the other side is golden too.

These tasty crepes are usually served with a soya sauce dip. Usually I mix together some soya sauce, with a little bit of sesame seed oil and cider vinegar to taste. Typically one adds garlic, more finely chopped scallions, and toasted sesame seeds to the mix.

Serve with a well chilled crispy beer.

No comments: