A Vegetarian Jeon for Chuseok

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Jeon is a Korean traditional food, mostly eaten during Chuseok week. I love jeon, it is one of the food that I remember, while I grew up. My mom made the best jeon I had ever tasted. Unfortunately,  because I am a vegetarian, trying to go vegan, I had to find another way to celebrate Chuseok without consuming meat. So, I did! I substituded any recipe that had meat on it with tofu. I prepared one of my favorite jeon, which is the perilla jeon.

I began by rapping the tofu with kitchen towel paper, and then microwave it. I microwaved the tofu, to get rid of the excess water on it, so when I am mushing it there is no water getting on the way.

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While letting the tofu microwave for about 5 minutes, I chopped a quarter of carrot; half of an onion; and two tiny onion leeks. I chopped it all well, and in tiny pieces, we don’t want huge chunks when we eat them, am I right?

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The tofu is ready, and the vegetables are ready. Now, put it all together in one bowl!

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Let’s not forget the seasonings. They are very basic, just salt and pepper, don’t go to crazy with the salt, though. And because I didn’t have garlic clove, and I was too lazy to go out to get them, I used my secret ingredient, which is blended ginger. (Yep, I got the ginger half the price, and yes, I take a lot of pride on it.)

Now comes my favorite part, which is mashing all together. You can do it with a spoon, but it is not as much fun as doing it with your bared hand. Of course, don’t forget to used a glove, even though you washed your hands. I don’t care if you washed your hands, it is still nasty.

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Everything looks freaking good, so far. Next, is filling the tofu mixed, with the perillas leaves. But before you filled the perilla, remember to flour the leaf, from both sides, and then, with a spoon, filled the leaf with the tofu mix, but do not over fill it, because you will have to fold the leaf and have, and you will need to be able to close it.

Because I still had extra mix, mainly because I had only done 6 perilla leaves, I decided to do one filling with a Korean green chili. This was the same as doing the perilla, you just needed to cut the chili in half, take all the seeds out, and flour the chili, filled it with tofu mixed, and flour it one more time, and ta-da~!

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Finally was the frying part, but because this process I needed some help, I asked my brother to help me. Yet, because there was so much going on, I couldn’t take the pictures, so sorry in advance.

My brother, he told me the right way to do it, this time, that I needed just two eggs, whipped it together with flour, and keep adding flour, until the egg became thick consistency instead of liquish. Funny story: I had made the mistake of not adding flour at the whipped egg, that the first attempt failed completely, that I had to redo the part of filling the perilla and the chili again, so thanks, brother, because I asked you and you told me to not put flour on the eggs.

Then, He told me to deep the perilla and chili on the egg mix, deep it well, while he was preparing the pan with the oil. When the oil was warm enough, my brother told me to start putting the perillas and chili, now deeped in egg mix, they all went to the hot pan. He knew better when to flipped the perilla and chili, so I leave him do all the work. When he said it was ready, he already had the perillas and chilli stripped out the majority of  excess oiled, and left it on the sides. I waited for it to cool down, and putting on a plate, ready to present it.

And here there are, the final result! I acompanied it with some Songpyeon, which traslates to Korean rice cake for chuseok! Oh, I just love songpyeon because of their beautiful colors, and amazing chewy and goowy taste~

 

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