Kimchi Jeon or Korean pancakes perhaps have more in common with dishes such as Bubble and Squeak, Frittata, or even savory crepes, than with the sweet breakfast pancakes found in America. They are savory, rather than sweet, and can often be cooked as a way to use up small amounts of leftover ingredients. (There are sweet Korean pancake like dishes such as hotteok, but they are exceptions.) Korean pancakes are also similar to the above named dishes in that they can be eaten as a reasonably priced meal or snack that is relatively nutritious and easy to make. There are many Korean pancake recipes with Kimchi pancakes and perhaps Green Onion pancakes being the most known to Westerners. Seafood pancakes, along with beef, vegetable, bean, and many more are popular all over Korea.
Today I’m making a Kimchi pancake, but I had a sad looking zucchini in the refrigerator and so some of that went in today’s version along with the other ingredients. You could also use potato or other leftover vegetables as long as they are cut into small strips that will cook quickly. Don’t use too much of any of these extras, or you would be better off making a vegetable pancake.
The ingredients are fairly basic and if you don’t have rice flour you can just use all purpose flour. In a mixing bowl put in 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup rice flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp Korean red pepper flakes. Mix together. Add 3 tbs of liquid from a jar of kimchi and about 1/2 cup water to the dry ingredients and stir. At this point you want to have a fairly stiff batter as the chopped up kimchi will add extra liquid when you add it. The batter can stand for a few minutes while you continue by
chopping up 2 tbs of onion, and 1 cup of kimchi. Add to the batter along with any other vegetables or ingredients you are including. Put enough of a high heat oil in a frying pan to coat the bottom of the pan. Put on medium high heat. When the pan and oil are hot add the batter to the pan.
Cook for about 2-4 minutes or until the bottom is set. Then turn it over. This can be tricky as this a fairly solid pancake. Some people may be able to flip it but I chose to get a large flat lid and slid the pancake onto the lid cooked side down, then using the lid flipped it over back into the pan. Once back into the pan you can gently press down on the pancake, this lets some batter ooze through and that is ok because you are going to flip it at least one more time before it is cooked. Being a thick pancake you want to cook it 3-5 minutes each time you flip it so it is cooked through and crispy at the edges. You may decide to flip it one more time, or increase how long you cook it on each side. Total cooking time should be about 15-20 minutes. Place it on a plate and serve with a dipping sauce if serving as a snack. It also makes a great meal, or if cut into small pieces, a tasty side dish.
Have a great day everyone.