Korean Beef Patties (Wanja Jeon or Donguerang Ddeng)

Difficulty Medium

Savory. Meaty. Comforting. Korean pan-fried Beef Patties (Wanja Jeon or Donguerang Ddeng) are an easy, tasty, and filling side dish that really makes a pound of ground beef stretch!

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

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.

bowl of rice, bowl of kimchi, and woven basket of Korean beef patties

What are Wanja Jeon or Donguerang Ddeng?

Wanja Jeon are Korean pan-fried ground beef patties. They represent classic, accessible Korean home cooking at its best.

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

Korean Beef Patties are typically served as one of many banchan (side dishes). 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!

Ingredients:

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.

Instructions:

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.

Other 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

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    stainless steel bowl filled with ingredients for Korean beef patties
  • 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.
    hand hold beef meatball with sheet pan underneath
  • 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.
    hand dredging Korean beef patties in flour
  • 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.
    paper towel lined basket with rows of Korean beef patties
  • Serve immediately or at room temperature with rice, kimchi, and other ban chan. Enjoy!
    bowl of rice with Korean beef patties and chopsticks, bowl of kimchi nearby

Notes

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.
Keyword Beef, Korean, Patties
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
30 minutes, All Recipes, Beef, Korean, Side

Tags

7 Comments

  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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating