E4: Korean Pancakes with Chef Jae

“Going Big”

November 26 | Astoria, Queens

Today I am in Astoria, Queens in the home kitchen of Chef Jae Jung. For this episode, I am thrilled to play the role of student as she teaches me how to cook a proper Korean pancake, one that is featured in a new cookbook called A Place at the Table, that highlights the recipes of the nation’s top foreign-born chefs in America. Jae moved to New York from Seoul, Korea, at the age of 29 to attend the Culinary Institute of America. For the last 10 years, she has been working nonstop in the nation’s top restaurant kitchens with a pivotal stop in New Orleans — where she found a lot of culinary similarities with the foods of her native Korea. Until this month, Jae was a sous chef at Cafe Boulud in New York City, and is now taking a well-deserved break from the culinary rat race. I was thrilled she now had the time to show me how to make this quintessential Korean dish and let me snack on her mother’s year-old kimchee. Listen in.

NOTES: Follow Jae’s culinary escapades @chefjaejung.


Shrimp and Okra Pancakes with Charred Scallion Dipping Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jae Jung, from “A Place at the Table,” (Prestel, 2019), a hot-off-the-press cookbook that features the recipes of the nation’s top foreign-born chefs.
Serves 4

For the pancakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups water
2 large eggs, beaten
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half lengthwise
7 okra, cut in 1/8-inch thick slices
Canola oil, for cooking

For the dipping sauce:

1 teaspoon canola oil
3 whole scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

  1. Make the pancakes: In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, water, and eggs, beating well, until the mixture is almost smooth (it is fine to have some lumps). Stir in the shrimp and okra.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet until quite hot. add 1/2 cup of the batter, or enough to fill the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of batter. Arrange the shrimp and okra so they are evenly dispersed. Cook until the edges start to turn golden brown, shaking the pan frequently to keep it from sticking, about 2-3 minutes. Slide the pancake onto a plate, then add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. In one motion, flip the pancake upside down back into the skillet to cook the other side. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then transfer back onto the plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil as needed.
  3. Make the dipping sauce. Rub the scallions with the oil. In a very hot skillet or grill pan, char the scallions, turning once or twice, until darkly browned on both sides. Cool, mince, and transfer to a small serving bowl. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and still until the sugar dissolves. Serve with the pancakes.