A savory, thin pancake loaded with kimchi and fried to crispy perfection in a cast iron pan. Kimchi pancakes are good as an appetizer. Even better as a late night snack.
I grew up eating savoury pancakes at parties. They were reserved for special occasions. Oh, if you were lucky enough to snag a fresh, crispy one straight out of the pan. They were so good! Bindaetteok, Pajeon, Haemul Pajeon, Buchim — I loved them all.
Nowadays, I like to make Kimchi Pancakes (also called Kimchi Jeon/Jun) for dinner. Fast, simple, tasty, and filling. This is really the perfect pantry dinner. You know, for those days when you get home too late and too tired to cook? This might not be your idea of a proper meal, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
If you want to be fancy, Kimchi Pancakes also make a great appetizer for dinner parties. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds to make it look pretty. Guests will be eating them as fast as they are lifted out of the pan.
Yeah, Korean seafood pancakes are awesome. But when you’re tired and hungry and your pantry is almost empty, this is an equally tasty, savory pancake option!
My favourite way to eat Kimchi Pancake? Late at night, after the kids have gone to bed, and I’m raving, starving hungry. I’ll chop up kimchi and heat up the cast iron pan. Within minutes, the first pancake will be sizzling away.
Can I be real with you and say that I don’t even bother with plates or forks or chopsticks? These taste best straight out of the pan, blazing hot, with all those crispy fried edges.
I’ll dump the finished pancake on the cutting board. While the next pancake fries away, I’m already tearing into the first one. It’s not pretty. Blowing on my fingers, gulping down huge bites, not caring if I look decent or not. Yeah, it’s that good.
How to Make Korean Pancakes:
Whisk flour, potato starch, salt, pepper, sugar, and water in a bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
Add green onion and the kimchi. Mix with a spoon until well combined.
Not going to lie — it doesn’t look pretty here. But don’t worry, it’s going to taste good real soon. It’s time to fry, fry, fry in a cast iron pan.
When you lift the first pancake out of the pan, don’t wait. Eat it quickly, while it burns your fingers and scalds the back of your throat. Life will never taste as good as this moment.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch (corn starch also works)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 3 green onions, chopped (optional)
- 2 cups kimchi chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- pinch sesame seeds optional
- pinch Gochukaru (Korean chili flakes) optional
- Whisk flour, water, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add green onion and kimchi, into the batter. It's ok if your kimchi is juicy. Mix well with a spoon.
- Heat a 12-inch, well seasoned, cast iron skillet on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 Tbsp neutral oil (I used grapeseed oil). The oil should thin on contact and smoke slightly.
- Add 1 cup of kimchi pancake batter. Use a spoon to spread the batter as thin as possible, all the way to the edges. When the bottom is crispy with browned spots, flip to the other side and finish cooking, about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- When the second side is done, about another 3-4 minutes, flip back to the first side and cook for an additional 1 minute. This will ensure the crispiest pancake.
- While the pancake sizzles away, make the dipping sauce. (This is optional.) Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove from pan. Slice into pieces with a pizza cutter or knife. Garnish (if desired) with green onion or cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve with dipping sauce and eat immediately.