Kimchi pancakes (김치전) are so easy to make you can have them ready to serve in about 20 minutes. These savory Korean pancakes are dipped in a tangy and spicy dipping sauce that’s so good it can be used for other dishes or as a flavor booster for a bowl of rice.
That’s a lot of kimchi.
And Ben and I happen to be daily consumers too. There’s always a big jar of kimchi sitting at the bottom shelf of our fridge.
We can’t get enough of the pungent, fizzy, and sometimes spicy taste of fermented vegetables. We use kimchi as a topping for rice bowls, as a flavor booster for stir fries, as a condiment for sandwich, and so much more. We also love making Korean food and one of our favorite dishes is kimchi pancake, also called kimchijeon, or kimchi buchimgae, because it requires little prepping and just a few minutes to put together.
As you can see, kimchi is extremely versatile, nutritious (high in vitamin C and calcium), and has a unique flavor profile like no other ingredients out there.
Kimchi Pancake Ingredients
- Korean pancake mix: Korean pancake flour is premix with various ingredients to yield pancakes that are both chewy and crispy.
- Salt: I’m adding a little salt to the batter to make the flavors more assertive.
- Cold water: Using cold water ensures that your pancakes will be light and crispy as it slows the development of gluten.
- Egg: One large egg to bind the ingredients.
- Fresh kimchi: Cabbage kimchi, made of napa cabbage, is what I use for this recipe. However, you can also use green onion kimchi or kimchi made from a mix of vegetables like cabbage, green onion, young radish, etc…
- Kimchi juice: Kimich juice is essential to add flavor to the batter.
- Green onion: A couple of chopped green onions to add a little peppery sweetness.
- Shredded nori sheet: Topping the pancakes with shredded nori is optional. But it does add a lovely toasted umami taste.
- Dipping sauce: A mixture of soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, Thai chili, and green onion (scallion). You can also add sesame seeds or a dash of sesame oil to add nuttiness to the dipping sauce.
How To Make Kimchi Pancake (Kimchijeon – 김치전)
Scroll all the way down to the recipe card for the full recipe.
- Begin by prepping the basic ingredients.
- Gather all of your cooking tools and ingredients.
- Start by making the dipping sauce by putting the soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, Thai chili, and green onion, in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside.
- Add the pancaked mix and salt to a medium size bowl and slowly add the water, all the while whisking.
- When the batter is smooth, add the egg and kimchi brine and whisk to combine. Add the kimchi and green onion and stir.
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Swirl the oil around the bottom of the skillet to coat the entire surface.
- Scoop up a ladle full of pancake batter and add it to the skillet. Tilt the skillet from side to side, back and front, to spread the batter evenly and create a round pancake.
- Pan fry for 30 seconds and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown while pressing down a couple of times to flatten the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Flip the pancake over and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a plate and slice the kimchi pancake into wedges. Repeat the same steps for the remaining batter.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
Korean Pancake Mix
Korean pancake mix is a combination of wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, Korean pancake seasoning made of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cornstarch, and food additives.
Finding Korean pancake mix is fairly easy since it’s sold in most Asian grocery store (or here on Amazon).
If you don’t have kimchi pancake flour there is no need to worry – you can make this recipe using regular, all-purpose flour mixed with a little baking powder and cornstarch, or potato starch, to give the pancakes a crispy texture. You can also add a touch of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, to bring it closer to the taste of the pancake mix.
The only difference is your pancake won’t have the same stretchy, chewy texture since Korean pancake mix contains xanthan gum.
Vegan Kimchi Pancake
You can make a vegan version of kimchijeon by leaving out the egg and using a flaxseed egg instead.
To make a flaxseed egg: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens, up to 30 minutes, and it’s ready to use!
Also, check and make sure the kimchi you are using isn’t made with fish sauce or other animal products. The best way to ensure your kimchi is vegan is by making your own homemade vegan kimchi.
I recommend serving this kimchi pancake fresh out of the pan to fully enjoy its crispy exterior and edges.
But you can also make it ahead of time and give it a quick zap in the microwave before serving. It makes a delicious snack for kids and adults and a great conversation starter if you are hosting a dinner party.
This is one dish everyone seems to love! It’s good on its own, with a little mayo or served with this classic soy-chili sauce.
Other Asian snack recipes:
- Shrimp gyoza
- Soy and sesame edamame
- Ham and cheese tofu pockets
- Thai fish sticks
- Cucumber vegetable maki rolls
Did you try this kimchi pancake recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Kimchi Pancake – Kimchijeon
Fall in love with this super savory kimchi pancake served with a fiery soy dipping sauce. It’s the ultimate Korean snack, like nothing you’ve ever tasted!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 18 minutes
- Yield: 2 pancakes 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Pan frying
- Cuisine: Korean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 cup Korean pancake mix
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 2 tablespoons kimchi juice
- 1 cup kimchi (roughly chopped)
- 2 stalks scallions (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- shredded nori sheet for topping (optional)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 red or green Thai chili (finely chopped (optional))
- 1/2 stalk scallion (finely chopped)
- Put all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a bowl and stir. Set aside.
- Sift the pancake mix and salt into a bowl and slowly add the water while whisking. Keep whisking until the batter is smooth.
- Add the egg and kimchi juice and stir until the ingredients are combined. Add the kimchi and green onions, and mix into the batter.
- In a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil and swirl it in the pan to coat the bottom surface.
- Add a ladle full of batter to the pan and move the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter evenly and create a round pancake.
- Cook on one side for 30 seconds and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown while pressing down a couple of time to flatten the pancake, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Use a spatula to flip the pancake and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer the pancake to a plate and slice it into wedges. Repeat the steps for the remaining batter.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
Adding sesame seeds or a dash of sesame oil to the dipping sauce will add a nuttiness and will also mellow the flavors.
Leftovers: Wrap the leftovers wedges in plastic wrap, or transfer them to an airtight storage container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 pancake
- Calories: 363
- Sugar: 3.6g
- Sodium: 1504.5mg
- Fat: 10.5g
- Saturated Fat: 3.3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 54.5g
- Fiber: 3.5g
- Protein: 12.2g
- Cholesterol: 100mg