Weeknight Dinner – Kimchi Pancakes

Weeknight Dinner – Kimchi Pancakes

Know what’s in my fridge? Ferments.  Lots of them.  And although they are definitely “slow food” they can definitely make my weeknight meal preparation move by much more quickly.  Whip a slice of preserved lemon with some roasted garlic, parsley and olive oil and you have a thick and creamy salad dressing loaded with je ne sais quoi (seriously, your dinner guests will salivate and ask, “What’s in this dressing!?”).  Throw some kimchi into mac and cheese and you have the ultimate potluck dish. Sauerkraut tacos, pickled carrot salads, kombucha dressings and miso soups are all dishes that make the rounds at my house.  When you have the ingredients pre-made, why not?

kimchi pancake recipe

Satisfying kimchi pancakes

Probably my favorite of all these quick dinners made from ferments are my totally American, Korean pajeon-wanna be kimchi pancake/crepes.  It’s takes 10 minutes to whip up the batter and then we stand around and eat them right out of the pan.  It’s a fun ritual, and one that I always think we should do more frequently.

kimchi pancake recipe

The mixed batter has the very thin consistency of crepe batter, until you add the kimchi and onions in, of course.

I like to make this when I have a batch of kimchi in the back of the fridge that’s getting to look a bit translucent and aged. We also use that to make kimchi jigae, of course, but sometimes I’m feeling pancakes over stew! Of course, the kimchi is being cooked so if you’re only in it for the probiotic benefits, look elsewhere. If you’re good with the flavor and food nutrients, then you have yourself a winner here.

Need to make kimchi first?  Click that link for my recipe!

kimchi recipe

Getting to the bottom of that jar? Time to make the pancakes!

Kimchi Pancakes
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean American
Author: Amanda Feifer O’Brien
Prep time:
Total time:
This naturally gluten-free and potentially vegetarian (depending on whether or not you use fish sauce and/or seafood in your ‘chi) kimchi pancake is very thin, more like a crepe, really.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 an onion, diced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil, plus extra for oiling the pan
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup kimchi, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • Dipping sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 scallion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped (or sub pinch of powdered ginger)
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  1. Add a teaspoon of oil to a small frying pan set over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. (You can omit the onions and this step, if you like) I like to chop my kimchi and prepare the batter while the alliums are cooking.
  2. Mix together the rice flour, beaten eggs and oil until thin and smooth.
  3. Add chopped kimchi, half of the chopped scallions and, once the onion mixture has cooked to softness, add that as well.
  4. Ladle about 1/3 of a cup of the mixed batter into the onion pan. Lift the pan and turn it side to side so that the batter spreads evenly.
  5. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes, until it slides easily around in the pan, then flip it and finish cooking for about 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat until all the batter is used up, adding additional oil to the pan and allowing it to heat between every 3rd pancake or so.
  7. Mix all dipping sauce ingredients together and you have your sauce!
kimchi for pancakes

The smaller you chop your kimchi, the more uniform your pancakes will be. I like a bit of a chunk, so I don’t exactly puree them.

This recipe is very flexible. Sometimes if I’m finishing off a jar of kimchi, I’ll put in 1.5 cups of it instead of a cup. Sometimes I use brown rice flour. Sometimes we even eat these taco style and fill them with delicious, fresh vegetables.

PS – Let me know what you think about the recipe plug-in deal.   I’m not in love, but the word on the street is that it will help Google help more people find my blog.

kimchi pancake recipe

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Ferment Gluten-Free Recipes using Ferments Vegetarian


  1. Brian says:

    I live in South Korea and there is a restaurant near my house that does these pancakes ( kimchi-jeon) with cheese melted on top. INCREDIBLE! They don’t do good cheeses in Korea so I don’t know how it would go with something other than cheap pizza mozz… but definitely a winner with a few beers or some soju.

    • Amanda says:

      I’m soooo into that idea, Brian! I think kimchi and cheese are as ideal a pairing as chocolate and peanut butter! Looks like I’ll be grating on something dairy the next time we make these!

      Thanks for the tip!

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