Kimchi pancake is a crispy and chewy pancake made from a simple batter of nicely fermented cabbage kimchi, scallions, and onion in the skillet.
If you have never tried any kimchi pancakes before, I should tell you to consider making one after reading my post. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to exaggerate to tell I had mouthgasm after tasting my first bite of this umami goodness.
About Kimchi Pancake
Kimchi pancake or kimchi jeon (김치전) is a crispy and chewy pancake made from a simple batter of nicely fermented cabbage kimchi, scallions, and onion in the skillet and served with a soy sauce dipping sauce. Kimchi pancake is great served as a scrumptious side dish, snack, or appetizer.
For some reason. when the weather is cold or raining, Korean people love to make some savory pancakes or pajeon as a snack. There are different types of pajeon from vegetable pancakes to seafood pancakes, but the most popular is kimchi pancakes as kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. I mean you can literally find kimchi in any region and household in Korea. Koreans can easily make this at home with no extra budget.
Kimchi is a mixture of fermented vegetables, usually cabbage, scallions, and radishes as the main ingredient, with some other seasonings. Kimchi is always served with any Korean dish you order. It tastes spicy and sour and people use kimchi as just a side dish or they may incorporate it into other dishes like the dish I am writing about, kimchi pancake.
Koreans love to eat pajeon with makgoulli (Korean rice wine) when it rains. According to history, Korean farmers could not work when it rained. They would spend the day inside making pajeon and paired it with makgoulli because they are easy and cheap to make. Nowadays, the sound of pitter-patter-ing rain reminds Korean people of the sizzling sound of making pajeon in the frying pan. The pajeon is perfect as the comfort food for gloomy days.
Tips on Making Kimchi Pancake
1. Choose your favorite Kimchi
There are a lot of kimchi brands to choose from, but choose the one to your liking. Everyone has a different preference and I must say each brand may taste different from the other. You can also make your own kimchi by following my Napa Cabbage Kimchi recipe. I love to use old ripened kimchi for kimchi pancake which is tangy and has a strong flavor. Don’t dispose of the brine from kimchi as the mixture of kimchi juice and flour will make the batter rosy red. Incorporating the brine will not make the batter spicy and helps to add flavor in the batter.
2. Adjust the taste
If the kimchi you buy is too sour or too old, you can balance the sourness by adding some extra sugar or rinsing the seasoning into water.
3. Spread the batter thinly on the frying pan
Using a generous amount of oil, pour the batter on the hot pan and spread the batter out evenly and thinly. This is one of the secrets of making crispy kimchi pancakes.
4. Flip the pancake gently
I am aware that this kimchi pancake has no egg in it. No worry, because the pancake can still hold together without an egg. Please flip the pancake gently because the pancake is pretty delicate.
5. Cook longer for crispy pancakes
Yes, you can flip it when the pancake has gotten golden and cooked through. However, let me tell you how to make your kimchi pancake better. I like to cook the pancake longer on the frying pan until it has gotten a little bit burnt (take care not to let it get too burnt). It somehow makes crispy edges while the inside gets sweeter from the kimchi and onion caramelization.
More Kimchi Recipes
Do you love kimchi? If you don’t know, I have tons of recipes with kimchi on my blog that you will love.