Make this popular Korean appetizer and street food – a pan fried pancake stuffed with seafood and green onions! It is simple to make and exploding with flavor.
Korean seafood pancake, haemul pajeon, is a savory pancake filled with a variety of seafood that is often eaten as an appetizer. The pancake is pan-fried until crisp and served with a dipping sauce. This is one of my favorite Korean dishes and I order it almost every time I dine at Korean restaurants. Because there is plenty of seafood in the pancake, it can be quite pricey but more affordable to make at home. This recipe uses common ingredients and is overall very simple.
As a kimchi lover, I added kimchi into the batter which adds a slight tang, crunch, and complements the seafood well. Kimchi is quite potent, but once it is in the pancake, the kimchi flavor is not that strong. I highly recommend adding kimchi, but is not necessary.
The pancake also includes plenty of green onions. Once the green onion is cooked, the “spiciness” of the onion disappears so you can add as much green onion as you would like. I personally think the more green onions, the better, so the recipe calls for 5-7 green onion stalks. I used 7 stalks, but would not mind adding 9!
- The batter will be quite thick at first, but once you add the seafood and kimchi, the batter will thin out a bit. You want the batter to be relatively thick and not too runny, otherwise the pancake will be soggy. If the batter seems too thick, you may gradually add some water.
- I recommend using a wok to cook the pancake to aid in flipping, but a regular skillet works as well. To prevent breaking the pancake while flipping, flip it quickly in one motion using a spatula.
- Don’t make the pancake too thick or thin.
- Wait for the oil to heat completely before adding the pancake batter.
- The pancake should be slightly crispy and soft on the inside.
- Use the entire green onion, including the green and white part. If the white part is too thick, you may cut it in half.
Korean Seafood Pancake
yield: 2 medium/large pancakes
total cook time: 20 min.
- 88 g. cake flour OR (3/4 c.) (Cake flour can be made by combining all-purpose flour + cornstarch)
- 3 g. salt (1/2 tsp.)
- 2 g. baking powder (1/2 tsp.)
- 165 mL cold water
- 1 large egg
- 58 g. chopped kimchi
- 15 large shrimp, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 8 oysters, cut into bit-sized pieces
- 6 small cuttlefish, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 5-7 green onion stalks, cut into 1 in. pieces (personally, the more the better. Once cooked, there is no strong onion flavor so although this seems like a lot, it is not)
- 4 tbsp. oil for pan-frying
- 1 tbsp. gochujang
- 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. white sesame seeds
- 1/8 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/8 tsp. minced ginger
- water to thin out if needed
- In a large bowl, add in the cake flour, salt, and baking powder and mix until combined. Add in the cold water and large egg and whisk together until a batter forms. The batter may seem a bit thick which is expected because the moisture from the other ingredients will thin out the batter more. Allow the batter to rest for 5 min.
- Add in the kimchi and all the seafood and mix until evenly incorporated. Mix in the green onion.
- In a large frying pan, heat the pan with 2 tbsp. of oil on high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop in half of the pancake batter into the pan and create a medium-large pancake shape. Don’t make the batter too thick.
- Cook until the side facing down is golden brown and lightly charred and flip the pancake over in one swift motion to prevent the pancake from breaking. Cook the other side of the pancake until golden brown and lightly charred and serve on a plate.
- Repeat this process for the second pancake.
- To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients and serve with the pancakes.
*Nutrition facts are estimates