Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancake) is packed with flavor from the ripe Kimchi, onion, and tuna. Growing up, my mom usually made Kimchi Jeon on rainy days. It wasn’t until recently that I found out that it was because the sound of pan-frying the Kimchi Jeon sounds like the pitter-patter of rain. Who knew? I just thought she liked making it whenever it rained!
Who cares when you make it. It’s the perfect quick and easy snack or can easily be the star dish. This recipe uses canned tuna, but you can swap it out for shrimp, squid, clams, ground beef, or skip it all and stick with just veggies. I made these mini-sized so that every bite can be the crispiest bite. I usually tend to go for the edges anyways, so why not make them mini size?!
What you’ll need for Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancake):
- ripe kimchi: aged kimchi is preferred for extra flavor, but you can use any kind of kimchi.
- kimchi brine: save the brine from the kimch and add it to the batter for additional depth of flavor.
- korean pancake flour mix: this can be found at any Korean grocery store like Hmart or online. If you can’t get find it near you, feel free to substitute it for all purpose flour.
- tapioca flour: I like to add this for slight mochi-like chewiness in the center of the kimchi jeon.
- ice-cold water: just like other frying batters, using ice-cold water helps the kimchi jeon get super crispy when pan-fried.
- onion + green onion: I love adding both ingredients to this for extra crunchy texture and flavor.
- canned tuna: this adds a nice heartiness to the recipe, but I love using shrimp or squid when I have it. Canned tuna is a pantry staple for me, so I always have it readily available. Feel free to swap it for any kind of seafood or ground meats (beef, pork, turkey).
Can you only use ripe Kimchi?
Ripe kimchi is preferred for this recipe because the tanginess really makes it extra delicious but it’s not a deal-breaker. You can absolutely use any kind of Kimchi you have on hand.
Tip: If you need to quickly ripen Kimchi, leave out your kimchi container on your kitchen counter for a day or so before storing it in the refrigerator. This helps speed up the fermentation process. Don’t worry about the kimchi spoiling or going bad, because kimchi is already fermented, it can’t really go bad. There are actually tons of dishes that use extra-aged kimchi for a deeper flavor profile.
Dipping sauces for Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancake):
I usually omit salt in this recipe since my kimchi is already seasoned. Instead, I pair this with a yummy dipping sauce!
- Vingeary-Soy sauce: Use 1:1 ratio of soy sauce and rice vinegar, sprinkle of sesame seeds for a tangy dipping sauce.
- Furikake + Kewpie mayo sauce: perfect dipping sauce to balance out the slightly spiciness of Kimchi jeon.
Other delicious recipes you may like:
- Crispy Skirt Dumplings
- SPAM Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Roasted Feta and Kabocha Squash Rigatoni
- Garlic Udon Noodles
- Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
Mini Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancake)
- 1 cup Ripe Kimchi
- 1 cup Korean Pancake Flour Mix
- ¼ cup Tapioca Flour
- ½ cup Kimchi Brine
- ¼ cup Ice-cold Water
- 1 medium Onion thinly sliced
- 5 stalks Green Onion chopped
- 1 can Canned Tuna 5 oz can
- 2 tbsp neutral oil for pan-frying
- In a clean bowl, add all the ingredients and stir to combine.
- On medium-high heat, add neutral oil of choice to a large non-stick pan. Using a laddle, scoop the kimchi jeon batter onto to the preheated non-stick pan. Make sure to leave some space between each pancake.
- Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a heat-safe plate lined with paper towel. This helps catch the extra grease from the pan-frying.
- Enjoy immediately or with a dipping sauce of choice!