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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Kimchee Pancake)

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 1

Remember when I made that batch of Napa Cabbage Kimchee that I said there were several ways you could cook with it too? Cooking with kimchee is one way to salvage a batch that may be overly salted or fermented.

I like making pajeon (Korean savory pancakes) when I'm near the end of my jar because I also pour all the extra kimchee juices and make it slightly spicy. You can eat this as a meal, or cut into slices and serve it as panchan (Korean side dishes). My recipe is super-simple, so this is more about the technique I use to flip the pancake.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Kimchee Pancake) 

For 2 pan-sized pancakes, you'll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 cup kimchee juices and cold water
1 egg
About 1/2 cup of kimchee, or more if you wish

This isn't such a precise recipe as each batch of kimchee is slightly different. If your kimchee doesn't have green onion, chives, or baby leeks, I'd suggest adding some type of allium, even if it's just sliced onion.

Add 2 cups of all-purpose flour and beat in 1 egg. Then, if you wish (and you should because the kimchee juices have all the flavor), drain the kimchee juices from the jar. Ideally, the kimchee is cold from the fridge. You'll want it cold so the pancake can be crispy. If you don't have enough kimchee juices, add water, until you have at least 1 cup of liquid. Stir and if the batter seems thick, slowly add up to another 1/2 cup of water. I prefer the consistency to be a little thicker than pancake batter so that it'll hold together better in the pan. It should look sort of like this.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 2

Pour out half the batter until it fills the bottom of a fry pan. Cook on medium-high heat with the lid on until it's half-cooked and looks like so. I forgot to time this but it only takes a few minutes to cook.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 3

Now we get to the tricky flipping part. If you can flip this large pancake with just a spatula, I applaud you. I'm not so skilled. So grab another plate and slide the pancake onto the plate with the cooked side down as shown. Just slide a spatula under one side of the pancake and move it over without flipping.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 4

Then place your pan over the top of the plate. This way when the pancake goes back into the pan, the uncooked side will be ready to cook.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 5

Using two hands and potholders, carefully hold the plate and pan together and flip the whole thing, placing the pan back on the stove.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 6

Remove the plate and your pancake is now uncooked side down. It should finish cooking in just another minute or so.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 7

And voila! You have a perfectly flipped pancake. Cut into wedges. Serve with a simple dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice wine vingear, sesame oil, and a few sprinkles of sesame seeds.

Kimchee Pajeon (Korean Pancake) 8


Other recipes I've made using this technique include:
Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake)
Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Potato Omelet).


  1. wow a korean inspired omelette!!lovely!! i love korean food..it seems to me your so good at it..i love bulgogi and bibimpap..hope you will show me one time how :-)

  2. Sounds terrific! But what's a girl to do when she never has kimchee around?! Too much American cooking in my household. How would it work with cai chua?

  3. This is how I flip an egg omelet too!

  4. Dhanggit,
    I left the links on your blog. Also you can find all my recipes on my sidebar. :)

    I don't think cai chua would work with this. I think you should make a kho with it instead. :)

    You know we always thing alike. ;)

  5. Good thinking - this cooler weather is perfect for kho!

  6. great tip! and i love the photography instructions too! AR HATES kimchi to the core but i love it..oh well, guess we hv to compromise.

  7. Nikki,
    I just made thit kho. :)

    oooh, AR isn't so perfect after all huh? ;)

  8. I love these things! The bf's mom makes them with squid and garlic chives. Yum!

  9. My mother in law made these, and I loved them. I'm glad I found this recipe.

  10. Bangin Food,
    Well, I'm not sure if these will be quite like your mother-in-law's, but I hope you like the recipe.


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