Korean Beef Patties (Wanja Jeon)

Difficulty Medium

A delicious Korean side dish that’s savory, meaty, and filling. Korean Beef Patties, also called Wanja Jeon, are an easy, tasty, and filling side dish that makes a pound of ground beef stretch! Eat for an everyday meal. Or celebrate Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) with these classic pan-fried jeon!

**Thank you Bessie Box for sponsoring this recipe. All opinions are my own.**

What are Wanja Jeon or Korean Beef Patties?

Wanja Jeon, or Korean Beef Patties, are pan-fried little cakes made from ground beef, tofu, and onion. Also called jeon, they are dipped in flour and egg batter and represent classic Korean home cooking at its best.

Growing up, my Korean grandmother liked to pan-fry little beef patties dipped in egg wash.  A tasty childhood favorite, these were a comforting staple at dinnertime. The next day, they easily tucked into lunch boxes.

When I became a mom, I started making them for my kids. Savory and filling, Donguerang Ddeng or Wanja Jeon seemed like such an economical way to stretch a pound of ground beef. I started making these protein-packed beauties on the regular.

The preparation is very Korean, as Koreans love pan-fried foods or jeon of all kinds.  Dusted in flour and dipped in egg wash, Korean Beef Patties are so easy to make.  While it may seem like a lot of work (all that dredging and frying), these little patties are very filling and last a long time. 

Korean Beef Patties are typically served as a side dish or banchan. They taste especially good with rice and kimchi. They are also dosirak (lunch box) favorites, as they taste good at room temperature and are not fussy food items.

Growing up, we referred to Korean Beef Patties as Donguerang Ddeng. The rough translation is, “little round things.”  As a child, that made perfect sense.  They were round and they were little.

As an adult, I discovered that they were often referred to Wanja Jeon. Whatever you choose to call them, they are delicious!


The beauty of this Korean recipe: the ingredients can be found at most grocery stores.

  • Ground Beef. Any kind works. Medium/regular will release more fat when pan frying. Extra lean will be more firm when cooked.
  • Firm Tofu. Balances the meaty flavor of ground beef by adding lighter texture and flavor.
  • Onion + Garlic. The aromatics provide so much flavor!
  • Egg. Binds the beef patties together so they don’t fall apart. Also, keeps the meat tender and moist.
  • Flour dip + Egg wash. An essential component of Korean pan frying. Regular, all-purpose flour and eggs works great.


Essentially, Wanja Jeon are little meatballs dipped in flour + egg wash, then pan fried.

  1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Shape into meatballs. Gently flatten and set aside on a sheet pan.
  3. Dredge beef patties lightly in flour.
  4. One at a time, dip into egg wash. Pan fry on both sides until cooked through. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Repeat until finished.
  5. Enjoy with rice, kimchi, and banchan of choice.

PRO Tips:

  • Use a cookie scoop. For uniform, same-sized meatballs.
  • A non-stick skillet works best. Prevents sticking while cooking and allows for minimal oil usage.
  • Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate or basket. To drain excess oil from the pan-fried meatballs.
bowl of rice, bowl of kimchi, and woven basket of Korean beef patties

More beef recipes to enjoy:

paper towel lined basket with rows of Korean beef patties

Korean Beef Patties (Wanja Jeon or Donguerang Ddeng)

The Subversive Table
Savory. Meaty. Comforting. Korean pan-fried beef patties are an easy, tasty, and filling side dish that really makes a pound of ground beef stretch!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side
Cuisine Korean
Servings 6 as side dish
Calories 283 kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 8 oz firm tofu about 1 cup
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg

For dredging:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs whisked well


  • Add ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg into large bowl. Crumble tofu into the bowl with hands. Make sure to get rid of the big chunks. Mix everything well with hands.
  • Shape mixture into meatballs using 1 (heapinTbsp of meat mixture. Gently flatten meatballs into 2-inch rounds that are 1-inch thick. Set aside on a sheet pan. Repeat until finished.
  • Heat cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet on medium heat. When the skillet is ready, add 1 Tbsp of neutral oil. (The skillet should be hot but not smoking.)
  • Place flour in shallow bowl. Crack eggs into another shallow bowl and whisk well. Dredge beef patties in flour, on both sides. Then dip into egg, on both sides.
  • Add to skillet and fry until meat is cooked through and egg coating is lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the patties and make sure they do not burn. Turn down the heat to medium low and add more oil, if necessary.Transfer finished beef patties to paper towel lined plate. Repeat until finished.
  • Serve immediately or at room temperature with rice, kimchi, and other ban chan. Enjoy!


PRO Tips:
  • Use a cookie scoop. For uniform, same-sized meatballs.
  • A non-stick skillet works best. Prevents sticking while cooking and allows for minimal oil usage.
  • Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate or basket. To drain excess oil from the pan-fried meatballs.


Calories: 283kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 20gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 666mgPotassium: 273mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 120IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Beef, Korean, Patties
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
30 minutes, All Recipes, Beef, Korean, Side



  1. Anonymous

    Hi, how long would its shelf life be if it would be frozen? Thanks for answering!

  2. Do you think this recipe would be okay with ground turkey/chicken?
    I currently don’t eat beef or pork so always looking for tasty ways to swap out the proteins in some of your recipes <3

  3. Hi, can I freeze these to eat in the future?

    • Hi! Yes this is very easy to freeze. Defrost at room temperature or in a non-stick pan with a lid (and 1-2 Tbsp water) over medium heat to create some steam. They also defrost in the microwave very well. Enjoy!

  4. Pingback: Dubu Jorim aka Spicy Braised Tofu | The Subversive Table

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