Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) stacked on a plate with one bite being taken away by chop sticks
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Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon)

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Two weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Delicious Vegan Kimchi. I hinted in that recipe that there may be more to come when it comes to Kimchi 😉. Which brings us to this week’s Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon). In the savory pancake area, this is possibly one of the best pancakes I have ever had 😋!! They are also super easy to make and have such a short list of ingredients. You definitely want to give this one a go!

Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) photographed as a close-up from the side

Originally, this Korean pancake is made with wheat flour and they also usually fill an entire pan. As a first step, I made these beauties gluten-free by using chickpea flour. Chickpea flour lends itself wonderfully to certain types of pancakes and cookie recipes. It has a lovely, coarser texture that works well for these kinds of dishes. I also added a bit of baking powder to provide some crispiness.

Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) stacked on a plate with one bite being taken away by chop sticks

As you can see from the pictures, I kept these Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) on the smaller side. Why? Because I think it serves itself better as an appetizer. Also there is less option for breakage when you are trying to flip them 😅. You know me by now – simple and easy is what we are all about here (never impacting taste and deliciousness though 😜).

Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) photographed as a close-up from the side

Why are these Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) good for you?

If you want to learn more about kimchi and its health benefits – head on over to my post for this Delicious Vegan Kimchi. You can absolutely use that kimchi, but you will have to let it ferment a bit. That way, you get all the amazing juices out of it that make these pancakes so delicious and flavorful.

Chickpea flour

I feel like I sometimes do not rave enough about legumes on this blog!! Chickpeas are a powerful, relatively inexpensive contributor, to our overall health. First off, the fiber in chickpeas is plentiful, and almost all of it is insoluble. This means that it passes nicely through our digestive tract all the way to the large intestine. Here, it gets broken down into short-chain fatty acids that then provide energy to our cells lining the colon. This allows the colon to be more active and healthy. Chickpeas are also awesome for our heart health. It is believed that is this partially due to their high amount of antioxidants, which provide support to our blood vessels, and the blood itself. Beans, in general, have also shown to reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, overall cholesterol levels, as well as triglycerides.

I wanted to highlight one recent study, where participants displayed more satisfaction with their diet if it contained chickpeas. With said diet, they also appeared to be less inclined to eat processed foods and ate less overall. A really easy way to include more chickpeas into your diet is to make hummus (like my Best Homemade Hummus). You could also make a savory snack out of them by using the roasted chickpeas from my Creamy Kale Salad, for example.

A small bowl of Kimchi on a dark surface with A dollop of Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) visible in the background

Sesame Oil

If you have never heard of sesame oil, do give this one a go. This oil is a regular contender in South-East Asia cuisine. It lends itself beautifully to dishes that are sauteed, fried, and/or stir-fried. Sesame oil is made from raw, unprocessed sesame seeds that are pressed into an oil, and has a relatively high smoke point. What is the smoke point you may wonder? It basically is the point where you turn back to your pan and realize the pan is too hot and blue smoke is coming off of it 😂. That is what you see. What you do not see is that said oil is starting to break down into individual components. This process releases free radicals and something called “acrolein”. This acrolein is basically this acrid smell and flavor of burnt food (that also then tastes disgusting).

Sesame oil has several health benefits that are worth noting. First off, it is a great source of antioxidants, which may protect against heart, and cell damage in the body. It also has some great anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, in traditional Taiwanese medicine, sesame oil has long been used to reduce joint and toothaches, as well as to heal scrapes. There is also some compelling evidence that suggests that sesame oil is good for your heart health. It is loaded with unsaturated fatty acids, which have long been associated with a healthy heart. Studies in rats have shown that sesame oil may prevent heart disease, as well as reduce the plaque in arteries. Whereas these types of research cannot always be applied 1:1 to humans, it does suggest that there could be more compelling research coming out in this area.

A piece of Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) being dipped into tamari sauce

How can I adjust these Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) to my dietary requirements?

This recipe is vegetarian, nut-free, and gluten-free. If you would like to make this dish vegan, you could swap the egg for two tablespoons of psyllium husk. The pancakes were a bit tougher to flip and stay together though. Due to the grains used from the chickpeas, it is, unfortunately not suitable for the paleo lifestyle.

  • Kimchi and its liquid pooled in a bowl
  • Kimchi, egg, flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl
  • Kimchi, egg, flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl mixed together
  • A dollop of Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) in a pan pressed down, ready for frying
  • Golden A dollop of Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) in a pan ready for serving

And there you have it for this week 🥞. Clearly, I continue to be all about pancakes in this little corner of the internet 🤣. If you are inspired for more savory versions – my Savory Chickpea Pancakes (for Dinner) are also awesome. Or – you know for breakfast, I just published a delicious new “summer” pancake recipe – my Fluffy Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes. As always, please let me know how you like the recipe by leaving a comment/review below. If you like what you see – be sure to also give the recipe some stars 🤩. Happy pancake-flipping everyone!!

Korean-Style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon)

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Ann Robejsek Course: Appetizer, starter, mainCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Delicious, easy, and with only a few simple ingredients. These Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon) will blow your tastebuds away!

Ingredients

  • For the Korean-Syle Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon)
  • 2 cups (ca. 380 gr.) kimchi, fermented + pooled liquid, ca. 1/3 cup (80 ml.) – see notes* for details

  • 3/4 cup (105 gr.) chickpea flour

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • sesame oil for frying

  • For serving
  • spring onions

  • sesame seeds

  • tamari with a little bit of caper water – see notes* for details

How to

  • For the Korean-style Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon)
  • Start by adding the kimchi, along with its fermented juice to a bowl. Add the chickpea flour, egg, salt, and baking powder and mix wel
  • Heat a non-sticking pan with sesame oil. When hot, turn to medium and add the batter. You will notice that due to the kimchi you are unable to truly make them all round/similar in size. That is fine! I used a 1/3 cup measurement and just flatted them out a bit from the top. Let fry until golden from one side, before flipping and continuing to fry the other side. Repeat until all of the batter is gone. You can also keep them warm on a low temperature in the oven
  • For serving
  • To serve these kimchi pancakes, simply add some sesame seeds, and/or spring onions on top. Serve alongside a mixture of tamari and water from the capers in a small bowl for dipping. This recipe makes a lovely starter. If you would like to make a main out of it, I would suggest to use double the amount. ENJOY!

Notes

  • * you can use the Kimchi from my Delicious Vegan Kimchi recipe, but the kimchi should have fermented for at least a few days
  • * for dipping, Koreans tend to use tamari or soy sauce mixed with some fish sauce. In order to get the same, vegetarian and gluten-free effect, you can mix tamari with a bit of water from capers.

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