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Tuna Kimchi Pancakes

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Tuna Kimchi Pancakes are crispy and chewy savory pancakes made from a simple batter of nicely fermented sour kimchi with the addition of canned tuna.

tuna kimchi pancakes

These Tuna Kimchi Pancakes are inspired by Youn’s Kitchen Season 2. It is a South Korean reality travel show that follows the cast on their journey to a foreign destination where they open a pop-up Korean restaurant for a few days. I just rewatched all episodes and I was intrigued to try all the dishes. 

Tuna Kimchi Pancakes are one of their appetizer menus. I have made Kimchi Pancake recipe before, but I was curious about adding canned tuna into the batter. Unfortunately, the show did not show the full recipe for this menu, so I had to adjust it from my previous recipe.

These Tuna Kimchi Pancakes are crispy on the outside and chewy inside. They are packed with the umami kimchi flavor. I can’t taste the tuna unexpectedly since the kimchi flavor is so strong. However, I can tell that the pancakes definitely taste more savory. They are one of the best ways to whip up a quick meal, especially if you want to finish the whole jar of sour kimchi soon.

The Best Kimchi for Kimchi Pancakes

I usually make my own Napa Cabbage Kimchi at home because I can finish a jar in no time. Making it myself in bulks is much cheaper and you can control what are inside from the added ingredients, viscosity, to spiciness. Then, I just left them in the refrigerator to continue the fermentation slowly. 

There are certain dishes that we must use old, sour, and well-fermented kimchi instead of the fresh ones. No exception for these Tuna Kimchi Pancakes! Why? Because fresh kimchi lacks the depth of flavor needed for flavorful kimchi pancakes. Choose the old ripened kimchi which is tangy and smells pungent. Don’t dispose of the brine because it adds so much flavor to the pancake batter.

Choosing Flour

Koreans usually use a Korean pancake mix or buchimgaru for making a variety of pancake-like dishes. It is a pantry staple in Korean homes. It adds more flavor and a crispier texture. Though it looks just like regular flour, the mix contains different types of flour, such as wheat flour, cornstarch, rice flour, baking powder, and other seasonings. It is widely used to prepare traditional Korean-style pancakes because of their convenience and great taste.

If you don’t have a bag of pancake mix, you can simply use all-purpose flour. For a chewy and crispy texture, you can substitute a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour with rice flour or starch.

tuna kimchi pancakes

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.

tuna kimchi pancakes
4 from 1 vote

Tuna Kimchi Pancakes

Tuna Kimchi Pancakes are crispy and chewy savory pancakes made from a simple batter of nicely fermented sour kimchi with the addition of canned tuna.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 8 small pancakes or 2 big pancakes
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes


  • 1 cup (225 gr) Napa Cabbage Kimchi, drained, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp kimchi water
  • 1/2 can (85 gr) tuna, drained
  • 2 tbsp finely diced onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup (65 gr) Korean pancake mix or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp gochugaru/gochujang
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine all the pancake ingredients until well incorporated.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Make sure to add a generous amount of oil because too little will not make the pancakes crisp enough.
  • Add 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of batter to make small pancakes or add 1/2 batter to make big pancakes. Spread it evenly and thinly with a spoon.
  • Cook each side until golden brown. Turn over the pancake with the help of a spatula. The key is to wait until the bottom is nicely golden brown and flip it fast with confidence. And flip only once!
  • Transfer the pancake to a plate. Cut into bite sizes and serve with or without the dipping sauce. The pancakes are best eaten warm.


Korean usually use a scissor to chop the kimchi as to not stain the cutting board.
If possible, use Korean pancake mix for the best result. You can also use all-purpose flour for the recipe. For crisper and chewier pancakes, I recommend substituting 2-4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with rice flour or starch, such as cornstarch and potato starch.
Adding gochugaru/gochujang is an optional ingredient. Koreans usually add it to make the color of the pancakes more vibrant.



Serving: 1small pancake | Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 376mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
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