KOREAN VEGETABLE FRITTERS
Courgette, Aubergine and Mushroom Fritters 호박전, 가지전, 버섯전
Korean Jeon. Easy vegetable fritters made with courgette (zucchini), aubergine (eggplant) and mushrooms. A great appetizer for your Chuseok party. Enjoy them for lunch in your bento box or on a picnic.
Yay! Chuseok (추석 Korean Thanksgiving) is just around the corner. It’s time to start planning what we are going to eat! There are two big holidays in Korea. One is Chuseok and the other is Seol (설 Lunar New Year’s Day). All the family members gather, worship their ancestors, chat, play games and eat lots and lots of food.
Watch My Easy Korean Vegetable Fritters Recipe Video (3m 17s)
I prefer Chuseok to Seol because autumn is soooo lovely in Korea. After a boiling hot and humid summer we get a sunny, warm and calm autumn. It is a great time to visit as the trees are turning red and gold and everybody seems to spend their spare time outside. Awww, I miss the weather! Actually, Korean autumns are warmer than British summers (most of the time). 😉
I’d like to introduce you to Korea’s holiday food. We usually eat lots of different types of Jeon (전 fritters). They can be made out of meat, fish or vegetables and are dipped in flour and egg and then fried. Popular examples are made from courgette (zucchini), mushroom, aubergine (egg plant), sweet potato and tofu. They are often eaten with a soy sauce and apple vinegar dip.
Besides fritters, we enjoy savory pancakes (also called Jeon) and Donggeurang-ttaeng (동그랑땡). These are similar to small hamburger patties. One of my favourite foods eaten during Chuseok are Songpyeon (송편), half moon shape rice cakes filled with red bean paste or sesame and honey paste). Japchae (잡채 stir fried vegetables with potato noodles) and Galbi-jjim (갈비찜 braised beef ribs) are amongst the most popular main dishes.
There are a few different dishes depending on regions, which is interesting. I am from Daegu, in the southeast of South Korea. We eat fried flat fish in batter (very big and fat ones; I love them!) and chinese cabbage pancakes. Recently, I found out my friends from Seoul don’t eat them during their Chuseok celebrations. They prefer taro soup and beef fritters. I think my hometown has way better food than Seoul! Haha.
After listing all this delicious food, I want to eat them all now! It’s a good job I made a huge batch of courgette, aubergine and mushroom jeon for this blog post. I’m off to fill my boots. You should too. Enjoy!
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- 1 Small Courgette
- 1 Small Aubergine
- 5 Chestnut Mushrooms
- A few pinches of Sea Salt
- 1 Red Chilli
- 1 Green Chilli
- 6 Large Egg Yolks
- 2 tbsp Rice Wine
- 1 Cup Plain Flour
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- A few Parsley Leaves
- Soy Sauce Dip Ingredients
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Apple Vinegar
- Chop the courgette and aubergine into slices approximately 0.5 cm thick. Spread the slices out on a plate and sprinkle them with a couple of pinches of sea salt. Leave for 5 minutes. This draws moisture out making sure they are not soggy when cooked.
- Remove the stem of the chestnut mushrooms with a sharp knife and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Leave for 5 minutes.
- Thinly slice the red and green chilli with a mandoline and set them aside.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the rice wine until well mixed.
- Put the plain flour in another bowl and coat the courgette slices on both sides.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and pour in the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, turn the heat to low.
- Dip each floured courgette slice in the egg mixture and add to the hot pan. As the slices are cooking, quickly add a slice of chilli and a little of the whisked egg on the top of each one. When they are browned underneath, turn them over carefully. When both sides are golden brown, remove from the pan and drain on a piece of kitchen towel. Courgettes don’t take long to cook. Make sure you fry them over the low heat to protect them from being burnt.
- Repeat the previous step for the sliced aubergines.
- Repeat the same steps for the mushrooms but decorate them with a parsley leaf instead of a slice of chilli.
- Mix the soy sauce and the apple vinegar in a small bowl or saucer and dip each fritter in the sauce. Add a pinch of Korean red pepper powder or roasted sesame seeds to taste. Enjoy your delicious vegetable fritters!