Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon) is a popular Korean dish packed with scallions and a delicious assortment of seafood. This easy recipe calls for simple ingredients to make the best savory pancake in less than 15 minutes. Truly a burst of umami in every bite!
What is Korean Seafood Pancake?
Haemul Pajeon (해물파전), which translates to Seafood Scallion Pancake, is an incredibly popular dish in Korean cuisine, often served as an appetizer or to accompany Korean rice wine (Makgeolli; 막걸리) on a rainy day.
The savory flavor and satisfying textures of this pancake make it to be one of my own favorite dishes, to be served as a light meal, or to accompany a bowl of noodles on a cold brisk day.
Although it can be made with just scallions as well, I like to add a combination of seafood into the batter which adds to the richness of the pancake. The ideal Korean pancake has a soft and tender texture on the inside, which is complemented with a slightly crispy exterior.
This is an upgraded rendition of a previous recipe that I have shared with you near the start of the blog, with a simplified process and an elevated taste.
What do I need to make Korean Seafood Pancake?
Making this pancake is incredibly easy and calls for ingredients you most likely have in your freezer and pantry. Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this recipe:
- 1:1 ratio of Korean pancake mix (Buchimgaru 부침가루) and Korean tempura mix (Twigimgaru 튀김가루).
- Combining these two batters is the key to the recipe. Using a mix of the two will yield the best results in terms of texture – soft and tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside.
- If you don’t have any Korean tempura flour on hand, you can substitute it with a Japanese brand as well.
- Ice cold water. It is important to use ice-cold water in the batter as the cold batter cooked in hot oil will result in a crispier pancake.
- A mix of calamari and shrimp, or any other seafood that you prefer. You can also use a seafood mix for convenience.
- One whole bunch of green onions or scallions, cut in thirds lengthwise and crosswise. Please refer to the photo in the recipe for reference!
- Korean red chili pepper (홍고추), optional to add a hint of spice
- Homemade dipping sauce
- A mix of soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, Gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes), sugar, and water.
Essential tips for preparing the best Korean Seafood Pancake
- Try not to skip out on using the Korean pancake mix. This mix is pre-seasoned and contains wheat flour, baking powder, garlic powder, etc to create the most flavorful pancake with ease. Mixing in the tempura flour will accentuate the taste and texture of this pancake, yielding the perfect chewy and crispy texture that you are looking for.
- These two ingredients are often used in making other Korean dishes, which will also make them handy for future use.
- Add in seafood of your choice. My personal favorite add-ins are shrimp and calamari rings (cut in bite-sized pieces), but the choice is all yours. Other popular add-ins include mussels, oysters, and clams, or you can simply use a seafood mix as well if you’d like.
- I usually have a bag of frozen shrimp and calamari rings in the freezer, which can be defrosted in under 5 minutes in a bowl of cold water.
- Use a negi cutter to shred your green onions. This small tool makes prep so much easier as it was designed to quickly shred spring onions with its razor-sharp blades.
- It shreds scallions into thin wisps for garnishes, and an incredible tool to have when making scallion pancakes. It also works wonders on ordinary scallions and leeks!
How to make the best Korean Seafood Pancake
Use a generous amount of oil in the pan.
This will ensure that the pancakes are ultra-crispy on the outside.
Another thing to note is that the batter will be chunky and full of ingredients, so it helps to use a ladle to spoon some of the batter in, then following up by spooning more as needed to cover the surface.
I also like to place the sliced chili pepper last, for even distribution. To further crisp the outer edges, add a bit more oil onto the edges of the pancake during the cooking process.
Flip the pancake when the bottom side is golden brown.
Use a large spatula to lightly flip the edge of the pancake, and when the bottom is a nice golden brown color, flip the pancake fast while slightly lifting the pan with your other hand.
If this is too hard for you, you can also make smaller pancakes for easier flipping.
Use ice-cold water to make the batter.
The cold batter hitting the hot oil will result in a crispier pancake.
I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe, and please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Instagram for any questions!
Other Korean recipes you may like:
- Korean Marinated Eggs (Mayak Eggs)
- Stir-Fried Bulgogi Udon Noodles
- Bibim Guksu (Korean Spicy Cold Noodles)
- Japchae (Korean Stir-Fried Glass Noodles
- Kimchi Udon Noodle Stir Fry
- Korean Shrimp Burger
Easy Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)
- 1/2 cup Korean pancake mix (Buchimgaru)
- 1/2 cup Korean tempura mix (Twigimgaru)
- 1 cup water ice cold
- 100 g calamari rings cut into bite-sized pieces
- 100 g small shrimp peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch green onions or scallions cut in thirds lengthwise and crosswise (please see image in the instructions below for reference!)
- 1 Korean red chili pepper (Hong-gochu) optional
- 3-4 tbsp cooking oil add more if needed
- Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Prepare the seafood by thawing in cold water if frozen. Drain excess water and season with salt and pepper. Cut scallions length and crosswise (see image for reference) and slice the red chili pepper if using.
- In a medium bowl, add equal parts of Korean pancake mix and tempura mix. Add in ice-cold water and mix well. The batter should be thin and runny. Add in the prepared seafood and mix until just combined.
- Heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Ladle 1/2 of the mixture onto the pan and spread it evenly using the ladle. Arrange half of the sliced red chili pepper on top (optional).
- Use a large spatula to lift the edge of the pancake, and flip promptly when the bottom is golden brown. Add a bit more oil around the edges if preferred, and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat the process for the second pancake.
- Cut into bite-sized pieces and serve warm with the dipping sauce!