food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

kimchi pancakesIf you haven’t made kimchi as per my Kimchi and Avocado Wraps post a few weeks back, or haven’t bought some, RUN – don’t walk – and get yourself a pack of kimchi. You will not be sorry.

I have been champing at the bit to share this with you for ages. The photos have been waiting, and I know this recipe is foolproof. But I wanted to wait until I figured a few of you would have made your kimchi, or sallied up to the Asian supermarket and purchased a pack or two. Well, TIME’S UP. Put down your iPad, send the kids into the garden, don’t answer the door. It is kimchi pancake time.

kimchi pancakesSome of you will have had kimchi pancakes at a Korean cafe. And most undoubtedly some of you are dab hands at making your own – and could show me a thing or two. But for everyone else, I want to introduce you to the quickest, most delectable savoury pancake ever invented. I can say that without blushing as I obviously did not invent it. The kimchi pancake has long been a favourite way of eating kimchi in South Korea, mainly as a sharing starter, but I”m sure there are greedy South Koreans who – like me – will eschew the politeness of sharing and just eat a whole one without pause for breath. Yep, it is that good.kimchi pancakes

We here at food to glow tend to not have these as the appetisers they are intended to be, but rather as lunch, with crispy and ‘loaded’ green salad. Mainly due to the non-sharing thing.

It is a weekend favourite for us, and is so easy to knock up that you really don’t need to plan it into your cooking schedule. All you need is a supply of kimchi as the rest are store cupboard ingredients of egg, flour and water (not that this is in a cupboard, but you know what I mean). And I like to add grated carrots for a little fresh touch. And that is it. If you can make regular, Western-style, pancakes (i.e. kimchi-less) then you can make these.

In a few weeks I will post another quick way with kimchi that is just as easy and one we also love for lunch. Who knew kimchi was so versatile?

Do you like kimchi? What’s your favourite way to eat it?

kimchi pancakes

Kimchi and Carrot Pancakes

  • Servings: 2 large pancakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup light spelt flour, plain/AP flour OR gluten-free flour (spelt gives the best result if you have a choice)

1/4 tsp salt (optional)

1 medium egg, lightly beaten

1 cup ice water (makes the pancakes crispier-edged)

3/4 cup kimchi, snipped or chopped into smallish pieces (add the kimchi juice too)

1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

1/2 cup (1 medium) carrot, grated

2 tsp light rapeseed oil, coconut oil or other oil with a high burning temperature

1. Dry whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and add in the water and egg, whisking to get a smooth batter; stir in the kimchi, carrots and chives.

2. Heat scant 1 tsp of oil in a medium-sized frying pan over a medium-high heat, making sure it lightly covers the base. Flick a tiny speck of batter in the pan. If it sizzles immediately go ahead and add one-half of the batter, tilting the pan to get the batter evenly distributed across the pan.

3. Let the pancake cook at this higher heat for just less than one minute then turn down the heat to low-medium and continue cooking until the pancake looks semi-cooked. The edges will look firm and starting to crisp but the centre will still look wet but not too runny – see image. You can also take a peek at the underside and see if it is very golden – that’s what you want. Flip and cook until the underside is done to your liking.

4. Carry on with the remaining batter, adding more oil and cooking on an initial high heat. Keep cooked pancake warm on a baking sheet in a warm oven, or cover loosely with a tea towel.

Note: you can make these thicker by adding less water, or adding a bit more flour.

Serve with the hot sauce-spiked good mayonnaise (e.g. homemade or French), or a dipping sauce ouch as this one on

kimchi pancakes




49 thoughts on “Kimchi and Carrot Pancakes (Kimchi Jeon)

  1. ooh they look good Kellie. I do want to try out making kimchi but need to get all the right spices! will let you know how it goes. x

    1. Oh just get some bought kind as it is quite good, being made in SK, not some warehouse in Croydon 😉 You will love these pancakes, I’m sure.

  2. mmmarzipan says:

    very creative! lovely x

  3. This looks so yummy! I’m a huge fan of jeon and ate it so much when I lived in Korea – especially ‘pa jeon’ made with spring onions, if I couldn’t be sure the kimchi was made without shrimp – and still love to cook it now. There are whole restaurants in SK dedicated to just serving different types of pancake and it is nearly always served up with makoli, a milky rice wine (much better than it sounds!)

    1. One day I hope to go to SK and try as many things as I can. Do you make jeon yourself? The home grown fresh chives in this add a lovely extra depth and I imagine young spring onions would be fabulous. Especially cooked by a SK chef 🙂

  4. I knooow, I need to make your kimchi. It’s been on my list but travels have gotten in the way. Remaining on my list along with these pancakes now. Amazing looking! One quick question, are you using whole grain or light spelt flour? Not sure if they’re both sold in the UK but there’s definitely a difference here in Switzerland.

    1. Hi Katie, yes, I should have specified light/refined spelt. I have tried it with gluten-free too, but the texture wasn’t as nice. I’m not sure how well a wholegrain kimchi pancake would do – certainly not traditional that’s for sure! I hope you make or can track down the kimchi. My daughter and I went a great Korean cafe after I posted this (her idea, and not even knowing I was posting thins – spooky!)and their homemade kimchi was stunning. Much better than mine! I might see if I can get in their kitchen some day and pick up some pointers.

  5. Hadewych says:

    wow i love your carrot pancake recipe ^^ I love to make healthier pancakes and this one sounds amazing. I would probably add some cinnamon as well to give it some more spice. love Hadewych

    1. Hi there. You might find that since the kimchi is so pungent, and already has spice in it that cinnamon might not go. It is about as savoury as you can get really! Maybe if you leave out the kimchi and keep it at carrot pancake, that would be delicious.

  6. Christina says:

    The colors of these photos are fabulous!

  7. I confess I am still kimchi-less, but these look good! Sort of like a fermented okonomiyaki? Yum!

    1. Yes, they certainly are! Love me okonomiyaki too 😉 I do mine with shredded sweet potato and aubergines. What about you?

      1. Cabbage, carrot, and onion usually.

  8. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Kellie, another really interesting dish! Spelt flour is quite $$ here… must look up kimchi, have not ever worked with it. Thanks for sharing… pinned : )

    1. Thanks, my lovely. Kimchi is fantastic, but not everyone’s ‘cup of tea,’ I would buy it at an Asian market for a first taste. OR better yet, try it in a Korean cafe as a side pickle dish that you add to other dishes.

  9. Jessie says:

    It’s raining outside in Seoul right now. Kimchi pancake is the most favorite dish Korean people enjoy on a rainy day. ^^ I’m satisfied with enjoying yours only with my eyes at the moment. By the way, I haven’t thought of serving mayo with Kimchi pancake and I wonder how it will taste.

    1. Try it with mayo! A really good one though, not Hellman’s 🙂 I like it with the traditional sauce of course, but we love it very much with a little gochujang-spiked mayo (or sriracha if we want it hotter). Thanks for stopping by. It’s just starting to rain here too :/

      1. Jessie says:

        You know what? Korea people loooove dried squid and we eat it with gochujang-spiked mayo.^^

      2. Awesome. Then mayo with jeon won’t seem too weird then ;-j

      3. So I am along the right lines with gochujang mayo and kimchi – yay! I am pleased not to have made a culinary faux pas. I prefer gochujang with it to the sriracha but family votes otherwise ;/

  10. HotDish says:

    This is actually really similar to the green onion and spelt pancake recipe I mentioned – which is both insanely tasty and easy to make – but the idea of adding kimchi practically blows my mind with how good it sounds. I never would have thought of that. Cannot wait to try this! Will definitely add carrots too, great idea!

    1. Yay! Great minds think alike 😉 Kimchi will send your recipe stratospheric on taste

  11. Hi Kelly! Great recipe! And as a Korean I would say it sounds pretty authentic. My grandma makes the best kimchi pancakes ever but none of her daughters or us granddaughters have figured out what her secrets are… my mum finally gave up and said that the skill must come from age. 🙂 anyways. I made this particular kimchi out of kohlrabi, green apple, and ramps. I thought you might be interested in a none-cabbage kimchi.
    Thanks for your cool blog! Cheers!

    1. Sounds yummy and I know that pureed fruit is often used for the ferment. I will check out your recipe for my next batch!

  12. maggigonza says:

    Y muy original!
    Un saludo.

    1. Cheers!

  13. I adore kimchi – we frist had it when I got some for a Korean exchange student who we hosted. Now, I make my own, along with lots of other fermented veggies – SO good! I love the idea of these savory little pancakes and making a whole meal of them – thanks!

  14. i am obsessed with kimchi so you bet i will make this soon!

  15. narf77 says:

    You don’t even need that egg if you use a besan slurry to integrate everything and kimchi pancakes are some of my favourite things to mainline when the weather is foul as they warm you up in all kinds of ways. An excellent share and a most delicious one at that 🙂

    1. I am unfortunately not a fan of besan (chickpea flour) except for socca/farinata, but for any vegans who don’t fancy chia/flax eggs or Orgran type stuff this is – as always from you, Fran – a fab sub for chook eggs.

  16. Deena Kakaya says:

    Well, we went and found some vegetarian kimchi and messed about with it and now you post this utter temptation. I have the tang in the mouth as I read your post. I really like the suggestion of spelt flour, will it hold the kimchi well? I am also glad that your pancake recipe is not too eggy…will let you know how I get on. I can not wait to try it x

  17. Sally says:

    As everything in your kitchen is, they are SO vibrant Kellie.

  18. Just made these and they are delicious! I made my own kimchi and added a chopped shallot as I didn’t have any chives. I’m going to make little ones as have as a canape with friends tonight.

    1. Fantastic! Thanks for letting me know. And what a good idea, making ‘dollar’ pancakes of them fir sharing.

  19. Looks amazing, can’t wait to try! Thanks for sharing a recipe for one of my favorite Korean dishes. Way easier than I expected!

  20. Well I am the lucky one because Kellie has just made me these for lunch today and they are utterly sensational. I will certainly be trying it out for myself over the next few days. The best! Thank you 🙂

  21. Claire says:

    This looks so yummy! Great post, Kellie! 🙂

  22. Hi Kellie, this recipe looks fantastic. I lived in SK for a year back in 2010 and got used to having kimchi with everything! It’s been such a long time since I had it, but I notice that you have more than on Kimchi recipe on your site. I’m definitely going to be experimenting.

    1. Oh, yes. And I have recent posted kimchi quinoa burgers which haven’t quite made it onto the index yet. Let me know if you make any of these?

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