The King was descending the palace steps, clad in majestic silk robes, accompanied by his eunuchs and the booming of beating drums. At the foot of the steps he stopped and turned to the Princess.
“Today, you shall marry,” he announced. “Here is your match.” The Prime Minister, hunched and lost in a pile of blue robes, stepped up beside the King and gave her a toothless smile.
The Princess woke with a start, her heart beating rapidly, the image of the wrinkled, leering Prime Minister still hovering creepily before her. All of a sudden, there were shouts and the sounds of horses’ hooves coming from the center of the village. The Princess pulled on her travel clothes and dashed outside, where she bumped straight into the rebel leader.
“We must go,” he said, grabbing her by the hand and leading her around to the horses. “Your father’s guards have found us. They are on the hill, and will be here in five minutes.”
The young man shushed her and put her on her horse. “No time. We ride for the north. The others will stay behind to divert the soldiers. They’ll rejoin us in the capital.” He threw himself onto his black horse and was about to spur them both when the elderly fishermen’s wife ran out of the cottage and thrust a parcel into the Princess’s hands. There was no time for goodbyes, just a quick wave at the lady’s genial face, and then they really were off, galloping across the seaside cliff and up into the darkness of the northern hills, the torches from the imperial forces flickering and fading behind them. By now a seasoned rider, the Princess held on readily, but she had no idea where they were heading and was glad her horse had the good sense to follow the black steed in front of it. The sounds of shouting and swords clashing echoed faintly up from the village and the Princess shivered, afraid to imagine what was happening to the rebels – by now, her comrades – as well as her friends in the village. She looked back and saw smoke rising from the valley.
“Better not to look,” said the young man, slowing his horse to ride next to her. The Princess shook her head and gazed at the reins in her hands, not wanting the leader to see the tears that were pooling in her eyes. She should have gone back – escaped and returned long ago, then none of these people would ever have needed to risk their lives. But the image of the Prime Minister rose up once more and she crumbled into her saddle, feeling trapped and forlorn.
They rode for two more hours, until their eyes were adjusting to the first light of dawn. The young man led them into a deep thicket of trees, dismounted, and helped the Princess down from her horse.
“We’ll stop here. We travel only at nightfall from now on.”
The Princess just sat on the ground, staring at the rocks in front of her. Suddenly, she remembered the package the old lady had given her. She unwrapped it quickly, and held up to the light four perfectly crisp pajeon, stuffed with fresh mussels and octopus and clams – her host’s specialty, the Princess’s favorite from their nightly feasts. The Princess hugged the parcel’s contents to her chest and began to weep openly.
“Now, now,” said the rebel leader. “Stop that. You’ll ruin them with your tears. Too much salt.” For the first time ever, he winked at her, then put a hand on her shoulder.
“Shall we eat? Tomorrow we make our way back to the palace.”
The Princess looked at him, eyes wide.
“That’s right. But don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the story. For you or for me.”
[And the rebel was right. The best part was yet to come…
To read previous installments and see other Korean recipes, check out the FFK story index]
- 1 package of frozen mixed seafood (defrost before using) or ~ 2-3 cups of fresh seafood
- 1.5 cups cassava flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.75 - 2 cups cold water (if batter is hard to mix/spread, adjust liquid amount - batter should be easy to spoon & spread out in the pan but not runny)
- 1 - 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 bunch scallions, cut lengthwise and then in thirds
- ½ onion, sliced
- 3 - 6 cloves sliced garlic
- 1 tb apple cider vinegar
- For cooking:
- Several tbs coconut or avocado oil
- Heat up a non-stick or cast iron pan on medium heat.
- Mix all the ingredients in the order listed to form batter.
- Oil pan with 1-2 tsps of coconut, avocado or olive oil (higher smoke point = better).
- Spoon about 1 cup of batter onto hot pan and spread it out evenly.
- Cook for around 5 minutes/until brown, then flip and repeat. Add more oil as needed. (If pancake is taking too long to cook through, you can finish them in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit - also just to keep them warm while cooking the others)
- When done, cut into wedges, serve with chopped scallions and coconut aminos and enjoy!
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP Roundtable.