Kimchi Pancake (Kimchi Jeon)

published May 14, 2024
Kimchi Pancake (Kimchi Jeon) Recipe

This spicy, savory pancake is a quick, delicious side dish that you can make with kimchi.

Serves4

MakesMakes 4 (5-inch) pancakes

Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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overhead shot of a partially cut kimchi pancake on a white plate, with a bowl of dipping sauce to the side
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy cabbage kimchi. For a quick weeknight meal, you can make this foolproof kimchi fried rice. Or if you are craving something more comforting, this bubbling kimchi stew is a perfect fix. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy kimchi is in savory pancakes. They’re so easy to prepare and come together in less than 30 minutes. These kimchi pancakes are perfect as a midday snack, side dish, or delicious drinking food. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s delicious and easy! The texture of each kimchi pancake is crispy around the edges while the flavors are slightly spicy and savory. And if you choose to make it, the dipping sauce makes it even more flavorful. 
  • Potato starch is the secret ingredient that makes these pancakes extra crispy. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Key Ingredients in Kimchi Pancakes

  • Kimchi: Its fermented, spicy, and delightful sour taste brings lots of flavors to the pancake. I highly recommend using aged ones, rather than freshly made kimchi, for more flavors.
  • All-purpose flour: The flour provides a foundation and turns the ingredients into a savory batter.
  • Potato starch: Makes for super-crispy pancakes. 
  • Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes): Amplifies the red color of kimchi pancakes and makes the batter slightly spicier.
  • Water: While my recipe calls for cold or carbonated water, the sparkling bubbles in carbonated water makes the kimchi pancake light and airy, resulting in a wonderfully crispy texture.
  • Eggs. Eggs bring the batter together while giving the batter a nice structure. The yolks add rich flavor as well. 

How to Make Kimchi Pancakes

  1. Prepare the veggies. Slice scallions and cut the kimchi into bite-size pieces.
  2. Make a batter. Make a batter by adding the cut-up scallions, kimchi, all-purpose flour, potato starch, gochugaru, carbonated water, egg, kimchi brine, and soy sauce. Mix everything to combine.
  3. Cook each pancake until crisp. In a heated nonstick skillet, portion the batter with 1/3 cup measuring cup, and cook each pancake until the edges are crispy and golden-brown, about 2 minutes per side. 
  4. Serve with an optional dipping sauce. Serve the pancakes with a savory dipping sauce
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Helpful Swaps

  • You can swap potato starch with cornstarch or even tapioca starch.
  • You can use ice-cold water instead of carbonated water.
  • You can use tamari instead of soy sauce. 

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips 

  • Leftover kimchi pancakes last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • You can heat them up by lightly pan-frying or putting them in the oven at 350 degrees until warm, for 5 minutes.  
  • You can also make the kimchi pancake batter in advance, for up to 2 days, and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

What to Serve with Kimchi Pancake

Kimchi Pancake (Kimchi Jeon) Recipe

This spicy, savory pancake is a quick, delicious side dish that you can make with kimchi.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Makes Makes 4 (5-inch) pancakes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 1 1/2 cups

    drained napa cabbage kimchi

  • 1/2 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    potato starch

  • 1 tablespoon

    gochugaru

  • 1/2 cup

    cold water or carbonated water, such as club soda or seltzer

  • 1

    large egg

  • 2 tablespoons

    kimchi brine

  • 1 teaspoon

    soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup

    neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable, divided

  • Korean Seasoning Sauce (yangnyeomjang), for dipping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice 2 medium scallions. Chop 1 1/2 cups drained napa cabbage kimchi into 1/2-inch pieces.

  2. Place 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, and 1 tablespoon gochugaru in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add 1/2 cup cold water, 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons kimchi brine, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Whisk until smooth. Add the kimchi and scallions, and stir until just combined.

  3. Heat 1/4 cup of the neutral oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 1/3 cup of the batter and spread it out with the back of a spoon until 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Cook until crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat frying a second pancake.

  4. Add the remaining 1/4 cup neutral oil to the pan before frying the last 2 pancakes. Serve warm or at room temperature with Korean seasoning sauce for dipping if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.