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Easy potato pancakes will save you from quarantine cooking fatigue

Today, 12:15 am
Posted by willcatron
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Hana Asbrink

If you're like me, you may be reaching the fatigue stage of quarantine cooking. Prepping for, making and cleaning up after two to three meals a day for your family is undoubtedly work, and I welcome efficiencies at every turn. Whether that's through batch-cooking ahead on Sundays or relying on quick-to-assemble meals during the week, I'm employing a bevy of helpful ingredients and shortcuts to get me through the grind.

I'm here to share one of those easy, tasty, pantry-friendly dishes: Korean-style potato pancakes known as gamja jeon. Koreans love to pan-fry a lot of things, often relying on a flour batter but this savory potato pancake does not. With just grated (or in this case, blended) potatoes, onions and the remnant potato starch left after draining the mixture, you have a simple snack, side dish or canvas for a meal.

Traditionally, Koreans eat pan-fried jeon on rainy days (the sizzling sound of the oil being an onomatopoetic likeness for the rain) with a generous pour of makgeolli, a milky, lightly effervescent rice wine that is low in alcohol and a super accompaniment to pan-fried food (my current favorite makgeolli is the canned version made by Makku, 4a molecular sieve available on Craft Beer Kings, right here in the States).

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Since flour can still be hard to find, lean on the sturdy potato and give gamja jeon a try. I whiz it all up in my Vitamix but you can grate it on a box grater just as easily. They're great with add-ins too: chopped chili or scallions are a favorite. You can enjoy them on their own or with a dipping sauce. Or you can top it with a fried egg or some dressed salad greens for a nice little meal. If you're a fan of hash browns, latkes or rosti, I have a feeling you'll enjoy Korean-style gamja jeon.

Watch the step-by-step tutorial for gamja jeon below and be sure to drop a note if you're able to make it for yourself.