There are many different kinds of Korean pancakes using vegetables, seafood, or meat in Korean cuisine. We call this type of pancake “jeon.” Among them, this kimchi pancake snack is one of the most popular Korean pancakes. Today, I want to share some secrets to make really tasty kimchi pancakes with you. When I was little, I used to visit an aunt’s house and she made kimchi pancakes for me. I love kimchi pancakes, and her kimchi pancakes were the best ever. She gave me some tips about how to make good kimchi jeon. Some people asked me, why I call some Korean dishes “pancakes,” even though they are not sweet, and not even close to the American pancakes that you might be imagining. Another word that could describe Korean pancakes is “fritter” – batter mixed with different kinds of ingredients: vegetables, seafood, meat, and so on. 😀
Yield: ½ Dozen 8-inch Pancakes
Short Korean Lesson
- SunMul (선물) = Gift
- Saengil (생일) = Birthday
- 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
- ⅓ Frying Mix (or ⅓ Cup All Purpose Flour)
- 1 Cup Well Fermented Kimchi
- ⅓ Cup Kimchi Broth
- ¼ Cup Milk
- ⅓ Cup Water
- 1 Egg
- 1½ tsp Sugar
- ⅛ Generous tsp Salt
Chop 1 cup of kimchi into 1-inch pieces. The most important tip for delicious kimchi pancakes is using well-fermented kimchi. Sour (old) kimchi works great too. When you cut kimchi on your cutting board, the cutting board will get stained. Here is a tip: Put some wax paper on top of your cutting board before cutting the kimchi.
In a bowl, add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and ⅓ cup of frying mix. To make the pancakes a little crispier, I like to add some frying mix to the batter. However if you don’t have the frying mix or don’t want a crispy texture, you can use another ⅓ cup of flour instead.
Add 1½ tsp of sugar and a generous ⅛ tsp of salt into the bowl. Mix everything together. Adding some sugar is a secret ingredient from my aunt. 😉 Depending on how salty your kimchi is, you might need to adjust the amount of salt.
Pour ¼ cup of milk and ⅓ cup of water into the dried ingredients. Milk is another secret ingredient from her, but if you cannot eat milk or do not have it, you can use another ¼ cup of water instead.
Add 1 egg and ⅓ cup of kimchi broth. Several people have asked, “What is kimchi broth?” While the kimchi is fermenting in the jar, a liquid forms from the fermentation process of the napa cabbage. That is what I call kimchi broth. You can use it for other kimchi dishes such as Kimchi fried rice or kimchi soup, so don’t throw away your valuable kimchi broth. 😉 It will give these dishes an extra burst of kimchi flavor.
Before you add the kimchi to the batter, stir the batter until it doesn’t have any chunks and gets a consistency like pancake batter.
Add 1 cup of chopped kimchi into the batter. If you don’t have enough kimchi broth, you can add a little more water and kimchi to get enough flavor.
Mix thoroughly. Oh, it already looks delicious, even without frying.
In a non-stick pan, add generous amount of oil. Heat the pan on medium-high. I said generous! =P
According to your pan size, get 1 or 2 scoops of batter and pour it into the pan.
It is important to spread the batter out thinly for crispy pancakes. 😉
When the surface of the pancake starts to cook, flip it over.
Pressing the pancake with a spatula helps the pancake fry better and makes it crispier.
Occasionally flip the pancake, but not too often. When both sides of the pancakes are nicely brown and crispy, it is done. 😀
Again, it is a very simple and delicious dish. You should try this someday, especially if you love kimchi. hehe Thanks