Kimchi pancakes have quickly become one of my favorite foods and I find them to be a great entry point into Korean food for someone new to the cuisine. They are familiar in a sense that it hits a lot of the notes that other savory pancakes hit, but it also introduces in the bold, sour flavor of kimchi. Personally, I have taken multiple people out to try Korean food for the first time and on each occasion, I have started the meal out with a kimchi pancake and had them hooked from then on.
The star of the show is kimchi, which is one of the staples of Korean cooking. It is made from fermenting cabbage and other vegetables in a spicy paste. It included in a laundry list of recipes including eaten by itself, mixed into noodles or stir fry’s, and used as the base for these pancakes, just to name a few.
Fermentation is the process of converting sugars into ethanol under anaerobic conditions (absence of oxygen). For reference, foods like sauerkraut and yogurt are fermented, and like kimchi, contain live microorganisms which are a byproduct of the fermentation process.
These microorganisms, in this case lactic acid bacteria, act as a natural preservative and they are also probiotic. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system.
Overall, this recipe yields a slightly sour, slightly sweet, crunchy and delicious pancake that is satiating, packed with protein, and clocks in at under 550 calories. This can be customized to include whatever protein source or vegetables you like. This recipe will yield enough to be a meal for one person or an appetizer/side dish for a 2-4 people.
Kimchijeon a.ka. Kimchi Pancakes
*Values are rounded to nearest whole number
*Nutritional Value is subject to fluctuate depending on the specific ingredients that are used
In one batch of Kimchi Pancake batter
-8oz or 225 grams of chopped kimchi
-7oz of peeled and deveined shrimp
-3 green onions; chopped into 1 inch pieces
-(Optional) 60 grams raw weight of sweet potato (or regular potato)
-60 grams or 1/2 cup of Korean pancake mix or All-Purpose flour
-1/2 cup of water
-Extra virgin olive oil cooking spray (or cooking spray of choice)
- Weigh 8oz of kimchi, give a chop into bite size pieces and add to mixing bowl
- Weigh 7oz of dethawed, peeled and deveined shrimp, give a rough chop into bite size piece and add to mixing bowl
- Chop 3 green onion into 1 inch pieces and add to mixing bowl
- Chop sweet potato in bite size pieces and add to mixing bowl
- Add 60 grams of Korean pancake mix (or all-purpose flour) to mixing bowl
- Add 1/2 cup of cold water to mixing bowl
- Add 2 tbsp. of kimchi brine from the jar to the mixing bowl
- Mix contents of bowl into a loose batter until flour is dissolved
- Preheat nonstick pan over medium-high heat
- Spray nonstick pan with cooking spray
- Add batter the pan; spread and flatten batter into pancake shape and size of your choosing
- Cook the first side until the pancake releases naturally from the pan and can be slid around
- Flip pancake; cook the second side until pancake releases naturally from the pan
- Remove from pan, cut into 4-8 pieces, serve and enjoy