One of the most popular Korean dishes is the Kimchi Pancake. Late night snack, savory breakfast, craveable side dish, this kimchi pancake does it all! This is peak Korean comfort food. One bite and you’ll see why, its crispy perfection will have you making this over and over again. The fact that it’s so quick and easy is an added bonus. Provided you always have kimchi on hand (and you should!), a delectable kimchi pancake is just minutes away!
It Starts with Kimchi
Homemade or store bought, kimchi is a pantry essential. Having a jar in your fridge means you can whip up kimchi rice, Korean dumplings, or these popular Ramen Hack noodles whenever hunger strikes. Because kimchi is a fermented food, it just gets better with age. Funkier, spicier, and ready to lend its explosive flavor and bright red color to an endless parade of dishes. So if you have a jar that has been sitting in the fridge for a while, a kimchi pancake is the perfect vehicle to use it up.
Making A Kimchi Pancake
Making kimchijeon is really easy, but it does absolutely require a nonstick pan. Or a really well seasoned cast iron one. And a little more oil than you may be used to. The oil gives the kimchi pancake its heavenly crunch and makes it easier to flip. You can absolutely make smaller ones but I like the more dramatic presentation of one big kimchi pancake, and getting to devour it as soon as its done.
Start by trimming the scallions and cutting them into four pieces.
You may notice there’s just a scant amount of flour for a pancake recipe. Kimchi is the star of the show, and the flour just plays a supporting role. I add just enough water to hold it all together. This is a very thick, and sticky, batter.
Preheat your pan before adding the oil. You don’t want the oil to smoke and get bitter, plus you want a hot pan so the kimchi pancake gets nice and crispy.
I add more oil when I lift the pancake to flip it, and still more oil while the other side is cooking. The oil is essential, it helps everything crisp up and hold together and release from the pan. The batter is very sticky, even a nonstick pan needs that oil.
I tend to serve this Kimchi Pancake as a snack, but you could easily turn it into a meal. Serve with some quick banchan like Spicy Bean Sprouts and Lemon Zucchini for a satisfying, Korean inspired dinner.
Whip up my Kimchi Pancake this weekend, and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 3 scallions
- ½ pound (8 ounces) napa cabbage kimchi, chopped into small pieces
- 3 ounces shrimp (I used small 51-60 size), about ⅓ cup
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4–8 Tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Trim the scallions and cut them into 4 pieces. Put it into a bowl.
- Add the kimchi, shrimp, salt, sugar, sesame oil, flour, and water (Start with 4 Tablespoons and add more water if needed. Depending on the amount of kimchi juice you have, how dry your shrimp was when you put it in, and the humidity level of the flour, you will need more or less water) in a medium bowl and mix well with a spoon. Use only as much water as needed to pick up all of the flour. You should have a thick sticky batter.
- Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet (it’s better to use a bigger one if needed but do not use a smaller one as your pancake will be too thick and not cook through) over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon or a spatula to make a large circle.
- Cook until the bottom is golden brown and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pick up the pancake with a spatula and pour another tablespoon of oil in the center of the pan. Carefully turn the pancake over with a large spatula (you can also slide the pancake out onto a plate and then flip it back into the pan).
- Then drizzle another Tablespoon of oil around the edge of the pancake.
- Use the spatula to tuck in any loose shrimp and keep the circle tidy. Also press gently on the pancake to ensure that all parts are touching the pan.
- Cook the pancake until the bottom of the pancake is also golden brown and crisp, another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Flip the pancake one more time and cook for an additional minute to really crisp that side.
- Slide the pancake onto a large serving platter and serve immediately.
*You can use any size shrimp, dicing it if necessary. You can also make this without shrimp if you prefer.
*It’s important to use a non-stick skillet or a very well seasoned pan as the pancake has a tendency to stick. Even with the non-stick skillet, you will need to use the generous amount of oil stated to get that crispy, crunchy exterior.
Keywords: kimchi, pancake, korean, kimchijeon, shrimp, korean snacks,