Though traditionally part of Korean royal cuisine, nowadaysjeok can be found everywhere, even as Korean street food. Da-Hae and Gareth West, authors ofK-Food, thread scallions and slices of Spam onto skewers—in place of beef and fish, which are most commonly used—and fry until golden brown to serve jeok at special family gatherings. And it makes sense to use Spam in Korea’s breakfast dishes as it’s found in most supermarkets and convenience stores for next to nothing (fun fact: South Korea ranks as the second-largest consumer of Spam). Although it’s stigmatized in America as unrefined, the breakfast meat is considered a luxury food in Korea and often appears at the table on holidays such as Chuseok and Jeh-Sah. Spam sanjeok is served with cho ganjang, a light and tangy “vinegared soy sauce,” for dipping and dunking.
Scallion and Spam Jeon Skewers (Spam Sanjeok)
Excerpted fromK-FoodOn a Stick! by Da-Hae and Gareth West. Reprinted with permission from Hachette Book Group and Octopus Publishing.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra if needed
10 ½ ounces Spam
Cho ganjang, to serve
For the coating
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Soak 8 bamboo skewers in water.
Cut 8 scallions into thirds, then slice 10 ½ ounces Spam into pieces the same size as the onions. Alternately thread 3 scallion and 3 Spam pieces onto each skewer. Neatly trim the skewer ends. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
To make the coating, beat the eggs together in a bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
Flip the skewer in the flour until well coated, then dip them in the beaten egg mixture.
Shake off any excess beaten egg, then add the spam and scallion skewers to the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to cook the skewers in batches. If so, add an extra tablespoon of oil to the pan for each batch.
Fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown, reducing the temperature if it looks like the jeon pieces are starting to color too quickly.