Today I will introduce you to one of my absolute FAVORITE banchan/doshirak (bento) dishes in the world: jun.
We polished off about half the jun before realizing we hadn’t taken a picture! ;)
Ever since I was a kid, I could polish off plates of jun without abandon. Tastebuds rejoice when the soft eggy exterior meets the salty tang of the dipping sauce. Jun is often enjoyed during Korean Thankgsgiving (chusuk), or rainy days (I still don’t get the idea behind that — my mom says it’s because people have more time to spend at home. I don’t quite believe that theory. No matter.).
You can make jun with a variety of vegetable, fish and meat. White-fleshed fish (ie: cod) are commonly used — in this case I used tilapia because it looked fresh and had a good price that day. The most common vegetable is zucchini (and anything in the squash family), but Korean sweet potato, regular potato and even plain ol’ scallions are used.
The real time lies in the prep work involved. Luckily, the laws of synergy work in jun’s favor — grab a friend to help and the flouring/breading/pan-frying/cleaning will be over in no time. Enjoy it alone, with rice, even cold the next day, you’ll love it. :)
Saengsun & Hobak Jun (this amount serves 2 people for 1 meal, double up for leftovers)
– 1 zucchini
– 1 large fish fillet (cod, halibut, tilapia, any firm white-fleshed fish works)
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup flour
– salt & pepper
– cooking oil, to grease
For dipping sauce:
– 3 TB soy sauce
– 1-2 TB rice wine vinegar (to taste, I like it tangy!)
– pinch of Korean hot pepper flakes, gochugaru
– pinch of sesame seeds
1. With a sharp knife, slice zucchini and fish fairly thinly, approximately 1/4″ thickness. Season with salt & pepper. After a few minutes, the zucchini will release some moisture, so make sure you pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Measure out flour in one bowl (pie plates work well too); beat eggs in another bowl, season with a bit of salt & pepper.
3. Heat up large frying pan over medium heat. Lightly grease (but not too lightly!).
4. Dip fish/zucchini in flour, tap off excess; dip in egg, tap off excess and carefully place in pan. Cook a couple of minutes on each side until golden yellow. Be careful it doesn’t get too brown. If it starts to look dry, add more cooking oil.
5. Place on plate with paper towels. Try to resist the urge to throw them in your mouth right away (trust me, I’ve had many a burnt tongue)! Once cooled a bit, enjoy with dipping sauce.