Everyone knows that I’m a noodle/rice over potatoes girl any day of the week, but I do make an exception for a crisp and crunchy potato pancake situation. This Korean Potato Pancake is latkes’ cool older cousin; all the savory and crispy potato flavor you love coupled with the much easier (and far more fun) communal aspect of making one large pancake to share. I serve it with a creamy, gently spiced dipping sauce that takes just seconds to make. Best of all the ingredient list is short and uses common pantry staples.
I live in Miami and have many Jewish friends…and I cook. So who do you think gets asked to help out come holiday season? For years, my friend Kira and I would prep her Hannukah dinners at one of our restaurants. She would come in loaded like a pack mule and we would end the day with piles of ready made food, all set for her special night.
The highlight of those meals were her latkes, mini potato and onion patties/cakes, which she liked to make extra crispy and “spidery” to get the most crisp edges. The combination of potato and onion figure prominently in many different cuisines because it’s cheap, always available, and above all delicious: that comforting, familiar flavor is hard to beat. Add in my honey curry dipping sauce and it’s like a latke/samosa baby. So late night snack, appetizer, or side- my Korean Potato Pancake is ready to satisfy all of your carb desires, so let’s get into it.
I start making my Korean Potato Pancake by whipping up the dipping sauce. A few pantry ingredients later and I have a sauce that combines the creaminess of mayo with the earthy spice of curry powder and just a touch of sweetness from some honey. The yield on this sauce is just enough for 1 pancake. If you’re a sauce lover, you can double up as any leftovers would be great paired with my Japanese Fried Chicken.
Once I’ve stirred everything together I put it aside and start grating the potato and onion. I use a russet for this, and one big potato should be enough.
I mix it with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined:
Now it’s time to fry this baby up! I use a neutral oil like avocado so it doesn’t mask the potato goodness. I heat the pan for several minutes. Get the pan good and hot. This is important because the potato mixture is quite wet and you need to get that pan as hot as possible so the mixture doesn’t glue itself to the pan when you pour it in. You can also use a non-stick pan, but I like to live dangerously. We use a generous amount of oil which helps to crisp up the potatoes and gives it flavor.
Once you scrape out the potato mixture into the pan, use a fork to help it spread out evenly and then don’t touch it. It needs time alone to build a crust and brown. Resist the urge to touch and look. Once it’s cooked for 3 minutes, use a thin spatula and scrape along the edges to loosen the pancake and then flip it over.
Once the second side has cooked, I like to cover it with a lid for several minutes. Since the potatoes started raw, you need to make sure that the inside of the pancake is soft and fluffy… not crunchy and undercooked. Once the pancake is cooked, I flip and brown each side for a couple more minutes to get a beautifully crisp pancake.
Slide the Korean Potato Pancake onto a serving platter and dig in! You can cut it into wedges like a pizza and serve, or you could enjoy it communally like Koreans do. What could be better than bonding over a big, crunchy and crispy potato pancake?!
I hope you love this Korean Potato Pancake. Whip it up this weekend and let me know! Leave a comment and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.
- ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
- 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- A couple dashes of salt and pepper to taste
For the potato pancake:
- 1 large russet potato (about 10 ounces)
- ¼ medium yellow onion
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- Make the dipping sauce: combine the curry powder, mayonnaise, honey, and garlic powder. Stir with a fork until smooth. Taste and adjust with a little salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
- Peel the potato and grate it over a bowl. (Use a coarse grater or the largest hole on a box grater. Do not use an asian grater as it will turn the potato into a wet mush)
- Next grate the onion, adding it to the potato. Add the salt, ground pepper, and potato starch. Use a fork and mix to combine.
- Heat a heavy 10 inch skillet over medium heat for several minutes (be patient and get it good and hot). Add half of the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan.
- Scrape the potato mixture into the pan, using the fork to spread the mixture evenly into the pan.
- Cook the potato pancake for 3 minutes and then use a thin, stiff spatula to loosen the edges of the pancake. Flip the pancake and pour the remaining oil around the perimeter of the pancake. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Take off the lid.
- Flip the pancake again and cook for another 2 minutes. And flip one last time to crisp the other side for another minute.
- Either plate the pancake for communal sharing or ransfer to a cutting board and cut the pancake like a pizza into 8 slices before serving.
- Serve Korean Potato Pancake immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.
Keywords: korean, savory pancake, potato pancake, crispy, gamjajeon, gamja-jeon