Friday, September 13, 2013

Kimchi Jeon

While Americans often indulge in sweet pancakes for breakfast, I, along with the rest of the Korean population, love savory pancakes, or 'jeon.'  Koreans mix all sorts of items with their pancake batter, from seafood, to scallions, to beef, and of course, to kimchi.  Kimchi jeon is the Korean's equivalent to the scallion pancake, as Carolyn deliciously demonstrated here last week.  It's probably one of the easiest Korean dishes to make, except maybe for kimchi fried rice.

Kimchi comes in a variety of forms, but the most common and arguably most loved type is 'mak kim chi' or kimchi made with napa cabbage.  I prefer using a too-ripe kimchi as it provides an extra intense flavor.  Kimchi jeon is usually served as a side dish, and sometimes as an appetizer.  My mom would make these for me, and I would usually eat them hot straight out of the pan.  I like to make mine miniature, about silver-dollar pancake size, as it makes it easier to flip in the pan and ensures a nice crisp.

Kimchi Jeon
Makes 8 miniature pancakes or 2 large pancakes

1 cup of Korean pancake mix (found at Asian supermarkets) or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of 'mak' or napa cabbage kimchi (the older the better!)
1/4-1/3 cup of kimchi juice
About 1/3 cup of water
Vegetable oil for frying

Chop up kimchi into 1/2 inch pieces.  Mix the pancake mix or flour with the kimchi juice.  Add the water bit by bit until it forms a thick but runny consistency (similar to a regular pancake batter).   You may need a little more or less depending on the flour.  Mix in the chopped kimchi.  Heat a large frying pan on medium heat.  Add about two tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Once the pan is heated, spoon the batter onto the pan in 3-4 inch circles.  Fry for 5-7 minutes on each side.  Flip and fry for 5-7 more minutes.  I usually peek at the underside to make sure I see a touch of brown.  Enjoy while hot!


  1. I've been wondering how to make these! What kind of pan are you using?


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