These Korean Tuna Pancakes are quick & easy to make, yet make for an incredibly satisfying meal that’s full of scrumptious flavor. Made with simple ingredients from the pantry, these savory pancakes come together in just 15 minutes, to be served over hot rice or added to your burger.
What are Korean Tuna Pancakes?
Chamchijeon (참치전), which translated to tuna pancakes, is a popular side dish (banchan/반찬) in Korea that is often found in picnics or lunch boxes due to its versatility and succulent taste.
These savory pancakes carry a lot of sentimental value that traces back to my childhood, as it was one of my favorite dishes that my mom would make to take to my school lunches when I was little.
I still think back to opening up my lunch box to find these little gems and being overwhelmed with excitement, and saving them for last as I wanted the experience to last just a bit longer. The little joys in life!
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is inspired by my mother’s recipe that’s super easy to prepare and has incredible flavors that pair perfectly with a bowl of freshly steamed rice. It also has a special ingredient that truly elevates these pancakes to the next level!
These scrumptious pancakes have a mouthwatering texture that’s crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, to be served over a hot bowl of rice dipped into some ketchup (which is my personal favorite way) or to be added as a patty in your sandwiches or burgers.
They are truly versatile, so please feel free to be creative with them in incorporating them in any dish that you prefer!
What do I need to make Korean Tuna Pancakes?
This recipe calls for basic ingredients from your pantry and fridge, to make the best ever tuna pancakes in the comfort of your home. It calls for a simple two-step process of mixing everything together in a bowl, then pan-frying them until golden.
Here is a list of ingredients you will need:
- Canned tuna: to be drained of oil or water. A little goes a long way, as the pancakes will be filled with diced veggies to make 6 small pancakes with just a single can of tuna!
- You can also adjust the serving size in the recipe card below if you are making a bigger portion.
- Onion, green onion, carrot, and garlic: to be diced and added to the mixture. These aromatic vegetables will ensure that the pancakes are tender and full of delicious flavor. Feel free to substitute the carrot for zucchini or bell pepper as desired!
- You can definitely be creative with this, and it’s a great way to use up the leftover veggies from the fridge.
- Eggs + flour: to bind the mixture together into golden, creamy goodness! Unlike other Korean pancakes, this recipe doesn’t have a separate batter. Eggs and all-purpose flour are all you need!
- Salt + black pepper: to season the pancakes.
- Shredded cheese: this is the “secret” ingredient my mom uses which truly makes all the difference in the flavors and texture.
- The shredded cheese incorporated into the mixture melts into the pancakes during the pan-frying process, which results in that perfect crispy exterior and not to mention, that delicious hint of cheesy goodness that makes it so mouthwatering.
- I am using grated marble cheddar cheese in this recipe, but please feel free to use any cheeses that you prefer.
- If you don’t have any fresh cheese at hand, another option is to use a slice of Kraft singles and tearing it into small pieces to add to the batter. This is a shortcut that my mom and I often use, and it totally works!
And that’s it! All that’s needed to make the perfect golden tuna pancakes in just a matter of minutes.
It is so seamless to make with such incredible flavors, it makes for the perfect weekday lunch, as a side dish, or even for your weekly meal prep as it is highly nutritious and stores very well in the fridge.
For visual instructions, please refer to the video tutorial above (you will need to disable AdBlock if you are on your computer!).
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe as much as it holds a lot of personal meaning to me. Please feel free to leave a comment below or message me on Instagram for any questions!
Other easy Korean recipes you may like:
- Easy Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
- Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)
- Stir-Fried Bulgogi Udon Noodles
- Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs)
- Soondubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew)
- Korean Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)
Korean Tuna Pancakes (Chamchijeon)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or any cooking oil, for frying
- 1 (7 oz) can tuna drained
- 1/4 medium onion finely diced
- 1 green onion chopped
- 30 g carrot bell pepper, or other vegetable, diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese optional but highly recommended
- Combine all ingredients (with the exception of vegetable oil) in a medium bowl.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and spoon about 3 tbsp of the mixture onto the pan. Round the edges with a spoon, and fry each side for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flattening them slightly to ensure even cooking.
- Remove from the pan and repeat again, adding more oil in between the batches as needed. Serve by dipping into ketchup or soy sauce over a bowl of rice, or add them to a burger. Enjoy!