This Kimchijeon recipe is so incredibly simple, yet packed with irresistible umami flavors to treat your tastebuds. Assembled in a single bowl and pan-fried to golden perfection, this Korean kimchi pancake can be made in under 15 minutes in the comfort of your home.
What is Kimchijeon?
Kimchijeon (김치전), also referred to as Kimchi Buchimgae (김치부침개) or Kimchi Jeon, is one of the most classic renditions of Korean traditional savory pancakes (Jeon), which are often served as a side dish or appetizer.
Earlier in the year, I’ve shared my recipe for Chamchijeon which is made with a base of tuna, but Kimchijeon still has to be the most popular version of Korean savory pancakes, made with a base of kimchi to truly embody the traditional flavors of Korean cuisine.
Korean kimchi pancake, as the name indicates, is made with sliced kimchi added to a flavorful flour batter, in which the flavors are versatile enough for any vegetables or meat to be added to the mix.
This kimchi pancake recipe calls for simple ingredients from the pantry to create the flour mixture from scratch eliminating the need to purchase any Korean pancake mix, with 3 simple ingredients of flour, sugar, and salt.
It will also call for a few complimentary ingredients to be added to the batter including egg, canned tuna (or your choice of veggies or meat), onion, and green onion, to make each slice of Kimchi Jeon be the most flavorful as it can be.
One of the best parts about this Korean pancake recipe is its versatility, as it can be served at any time of the day as an appetizer, side dish, snack, or even as a meal of its own, and it is highly approachable considering how easy and quick it is to put together.
What do I need to make Kimchijeon?
This easy recipe follows a simple two-step process of assembling the batter and pan-frying the mixture and calls for a handful of ingredients to bring together. Here is everything you’ll need for this kimchi pancake recipe:
- Aged kimchi + brine: it’s important to use aged kimchi (fermented for at least 2 weeks) when it’s used as a cooking ingredient as it is much more flavorful when cooked, as opposed to the fresh alternative.
- Kimchi brine can be prepared by simply scooping out the juices from your kimchi. This will elevate the flavors of kimchi in the pancake, in the same method when making Kimchi Jjigae.
- Flour, sugar, salt, Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), and egg: for the batter. The egg is optional, but I do find that it adds a nice richness and flavor to the overall batter.
- Onion, green onion, and tuna: for the aromatics. I personally like to add canned tuna for extra umami flavor, but you can simply add more kimchi to the mix, or add in any meat, seafood, or veggies that you prefer.
- Some popular additions include calamari, bacon, or pork, but the flavors of kimchi jeon are versatile that you can be creative with your own version.
- [Optional] Soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, and Gochugaru: for the dipping sauce. I find that the pancakes are seasoned enough to be served on their own, but I will still be sharing a quick recipe for the dipping sauce for those of you who prefer to serve them in this way.
And that’s it! All the ingredients you’ll need to make your own flavorful batch of Kimchijeon, without the trip to your local restaurant.
This Korean kimchi pancake is so incredibly easy to make and tastes wonderful when made fresh, so I highly recommend giving this a try. You will be hooked on the first bite!
How do I quickly ripen my Kimchi?
As mentioned in the ingredient details, this kimchi jeon recipe calls for aged kimchi to bring out the deep flavors in the dish. To expedite this process, you can also leave out a container of kimchi at room temperature overnight for quick fermentation.
Since kimchi has already been fermented, leaving it out at room temperature overnight is food-safe and helps to heighten the flavors. Simply transfer it back into the fridge the next day to use in your dishes or to serve.
When buying store-bought kimchi, I often set aside a portion in a fermentation jar or a regular container and leave it out overnight, to use as a cooking ingredient.
This ensures that the rest of the kimchi follows a natural fermentation process, with having different types of kimchi to work with for both cooking and serving purposes.
This Kimchijeon recipe is the last (but not least) recipe to be added to the collection of recipes made with Kimchi, and one that was long overdue considering its divine taste.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious Korean pancake recipe, and please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Instagram for any questions you may have!
Other easy Korean recipes you may like:
- Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)
- 10-Minute Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
- Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs)
- Soondubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)
- Korean Braised Potatoes (Gamja Jorim)
- 5-Minute Korean Silken Tofu
Easy Kimchijeon (Kimchi Pancake)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) adjust to desired spice level
- 1/4 cup kimchi brine from the kimchi
- 2/3 cup ice-cold water
- 1 large egg optional
- 1 cup (200g) kimchi sliced
- 1 can (198g) tuna drained, or your choice of meat, vegetables, or seafood
- 1/4 medium onion diced
- 1 green onion chopped
- In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, Gochugaru, kimchi brine, water, and egg and mix with a fork or a whisk until smooth. Add kimchi, tuna, onion, and green onion to the batter, and stir to combine.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Pour the batter onto the pan and spread evenly with your ladle or spoon. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Once the bottom is cooked, the pancake should move easily around the pan. Flip the pancake over, and add more oil to the edges of the pancake.
- Press down and cook until both sides are nicely browned and crispy. Serve immediately and enjoy with dipping sauce if desired.