Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Post 18: The Crunch and Crackle of Haemul Pajeon

The Korean seafood pancake (haemul pajeon) has a crunch unlike any other crunch.  It's unique.  It's special.  It's... hard to describe.  

The crunch and crackle from Corner Place in Cerritos.

Are there even different types of crunches? Do they actually sound different? Most definitely.  Let's see... there's the crunch you get when you bite into a ridged Ruffles potato chip.  That type of crunch is more like a snap... it makes cacophonous echoes in the caves of your mouth with every mouthy movement.  There's also the crunch you get when you bite into an Extra Crispy from KFC.  That crunch is deep.  It's got muscle.  It's a force to be reckoned with.  The crunch of a Korean seafood pancake is different.  It's more like a crackle.  It's not noisy... but it's not weak either.  The pancake is crispy... yet it caves in with more pressure...

The pretty pajeon from Han Bat Restaurant in New York City.
(photo courtesy of oolong-milktea)

Koreans say that the best time to eat haemul pajeon is on rainy days because the pitter patter of the raindrops hitting the ground reminds them of the same crackle of the pancake.  In some sort of strange cinematic imagery, I can just see a beautiful (pale as hell) hopeless romantic (Korean) sitting by the window sill with her face pressed against the cold, foggy glass... she is peering out at the grayish storm clouds (don't forget the pale blue hue cast upon her porcelain white skin) and thinking in anguish about her long, lost love (haemul pajeon).  But rain or shine, anyday is a great day for seafood pancake.  No need to wait for the downpour.

I swoon for the pajeon at Soowon Galbi in LA's Koreatown.

This is one of the few food items that I crave on a consistent basis.  If it's been too long of a time without haemul pajeon, it's hard for me to fall asleep.  I count slices of pajeon to fall asleep the same way some people (absolutely no one) count sheep at night.  (Seriously, does anyone actually count sheep?) Images of the flaky, golden outer shell play through my mind over and over again.  I want to embody the tunnels of leggy green onions trapped within the pajeon batter.  It'd even be kinda cool to hang out with the octopus tentacles.  If the pajeon batter was quicksand, well, let me sink.

Kimchi is a suitable complement for a spicy kick and an extra crunch.

Just writing about this is causing a pool of drool to form on my keyboard.  Wipe, wipe.  Korean food is now on the agenda tomorrow.  I can't stare at these pornographic pajeon pictures any longer.  Until you hear the crackle of the pancake, let's get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20100515

1 comment:

  1. <3 i love your random texts.... 'I WANT HAEMOOL PA JEON!"