Growing up as a Korean-American, my childhood comfort foods were almost always Korean cuisine. One of my favorites is 감자 전, pronounced “Gamja-Jeon”. It’s essentially a potato hashbrown with veggies, but in the size of a pancake! My mom would usually make these with any veggie scraps we had in the fridge, such as green onions, shredded carrots, assorted peppers, and sometimes with frozen shrimp!
Many Koreans enjoy gamja-jeon on cold, rainy, gloomy days. It’s probably because it’s just so comforting and warm in the belly 🙂 The pancakes are pan-fried, making them super crispy on the edges and soft, fluffy in the center!
Main ingredients you’ll need for Gamja-jeon (Korean potato pancakes):
- Potatoes: I like to use golden potatoes, much fluffier!
- Veggies: shredded carrots, green onions, onions, green peppers, etc
- All purpose flour
How to make the pancake batter:
First, you’ll want to peel and shred the potatoes using a simple box grater or food processor. Squeeze out any extra liquid from the shredded potatoes. You can use your hands or cheesecloth.
Next, julienne clean + rinsed green peppers, snip some red pepper (if you like the heat), and slice 1/2 a medium onion.
Pro tip: you don’t want to add too much onion in your batter because that can make your batter too liquidy, making it less crispy.
Now, add all your prepared veggies into a clean bowl and stir to combine. You’ll start to see that the shredded potato will release some starchy liquid into the bottom of the bowl. Don’t worry, that’s okay! It actually gives the pancakes a nice chewy texture!
Next, add 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup water to the pancake batter. Mix and stir to combine.
When you’re ready to pan fry these babies up, put a medium-sized non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons oil and using a ladle, pour about 2 scoops onto the heated pan.
Let it fry and get really crispy on the edges, for about 3 minutes before flipping the pancake. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, the pancake should be golden and crispy on the edges. When done, the pancake should be golden all around and crispy on both sides. (Cooking times may differ depending different types of stoves and pans)
These pancakes are best enjoyed immediately while it’s hot of the pan! I love to dip it in a dipping sauce of equal parts soy sauce + rice vinegar.
Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Crispy Korean Potato Pancakes (Gamja-Jeon)
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and shredded
- 2 red hot peppers diced
- 4 Korean green peppers julienned
- ½ medium onion sliced
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup water
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- olive oil for cooking
- In a clean bowl, combine shredded potatoes, red and green peppers, onion, flour, water. Mix and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Using a medium-sized non-stick pan, drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and heat on medium-high heat.
- Carefully ladle 2 scoops onto heated pan. Using the ladle, flatten and spread the batter a bit, to make sure it cooks evenly. Let the pancake cook undisturbed, about 3 minutes. Once the edges start to turn golden brown and crispy, flip it over using a spatula. Cook for another 3-5 minutes until done.
- Repeat step 3 for remaining pancake batter. Best enjoyed immediately! 🙂