Kimchi Pancake (Kimchijeon)

This Kimchi Pancake is a crispy, savoury delight that turns your favourite Korean side dish into a mouthwatering appetizer.

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All opinions remain my own.

What is a Kimchi Pancake?

A kimchi Pancake, also known as “kimchijeon” (김치전) in Korean, is a popular and savory pancake, made with kimchi – the iconic fermented vegetable dish of Korea.

This kimchi pancake recipe is vegan (just remember to use vegan kimchi), so all my plant-based besties can enjoy – no eggs needed!

They have a delightful combination of spicy, sour, and umami flavours and are a great way to enjoy the unique taste of kimchi in a different form.

It is typically eaten as a snack or appetizer, but I also like to whip it up for a quick lunch or dinner.

Kimchi pancakes can vary in size and thickness, and they are a popular street food item as well as a dish served in Korean restaurants and homes.

They can be eaten as is, but I like to dip my kimchi pancakes in LookCatchu’s famous soy dipping sauce for extra flavour.

Kimchi pancakes are a simple dish to make and today I will show you how to make it at home! If you enjoy these Korean pancakes, make sure to check out it’s vegetable sidekick, the Korean Vegetable Pancake.

Please watch my Kimchi Pancake video, as I walk you through how to make them, and hopefully entertain you with my witty sense of humour.

Now let’s get Kimchi Pancake-ing!

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, also known as “banchan” (반찬) in Korean, made from fermented vegetables, primarily Napa cabbage and Korean radishes, along with a variety of seasonings.

It is a staple in Korean cuisine and is known for its distinctive spicy and sour flavours. The exact origins of kimchi are not well-documented, but it has a long history in Korea, dating back over a thousand years.

Is Kimchi vegan?

No, traditional kimchi contains anchovies or fish sauce, remember to read the label! However, there are vegan options available for all my plant-based besties!

Mother in Law’s Kimchi is one of the most popular vegan kimchi brands on the market (not sponsored).

My kimchi is sour, is it okay to use in these Kimchi Pancakes?

Yes! The longer your kimchi ferments, the tangier and sour the kimchi will be! These pancakes are best with sour kimchi – unless you are not a fan of the sourness.

Why do we add kimchi juice in Kimchi Pancakes?

Kimchi juice is packed with the fermented, spicy, and tangy flavours that are characteristic of kimchi. When you incorporate kimchi juice into your pancake batter, it infuses the pancakes with a rich umami flavour, making them more delicious and savory.

Kimchi juice also adds reddish hue to the pancakes, which can be visually appealing and give them a more authentic appearance.

Where do you get kimchi juice for Kimchi Pancakes?

I like to place the kimchi into a measuring cup and push the kimchi against the cup with a spatula to squeeze the juice out. 

You can also be a civilized human and grab it with your hands and squeeze it out, it totally won’t leave your fingers smelling like kimchi for a week!

What is the origin of Kimchi Pancakes?

Kimchi pancakes likely emerged as a way to make use of excess or aging kimchi. Early versions of kimchijeon were simple, consisting primarily of chopped kimchi mixed with flour, water, and seasoning.

These pancakes were a practical way to repurpose kimchi and create a delicious and satisfying meal.

Kimchi Pancake Variations:

Over time, kimchijeon recipes evolved and diversified across Korea. Different regions developed their own variations, incorporating various ingredients and flavours. Some regions might add scallions, seafood, or meat to their kimchijeon, creating unique regional specialties.

The Cultural Significance of Kimchi Pancakes:

Kimchi pancakes have cultural significance in Korean cuisine. They are commonly prepared for special occasions, including traditional holidays like Lunar New Year (Seollal) and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).

In recent years, kimchijeon has gained international popularity as Korean cuisine has become more well-known worldwide. Korean restaurants around the globe offer their take on this delicious dish, adapting it to local tastes and preferences.

What are the health benefits of Kimchi Pancakes?

Kimchi itself is known for its numerous health benefits, as it is a probiotic-rich food that aids in digestion and supports a healthy gut microbiome.

Kimchijeon, made with kimchi as a primary ingredient, inherits some of these health benefits, making it a tasty snack for good gut health!

How do I make my Kimchi Pancakes crispy?

You need to add cornstarch or potato starch. The addition of the starch will help prevent gluten development and absorb moisture from the vegetables. Thus, making the pancake crispier.

Why you should use ice cold water in batter:

Ice cold water slows the development of gluten, which is the ingredient in all-purpose flour.

The more gluten, the gummier and dense the batter. Thus, the benefit of using cold water instead of room temperature water, will be a preventative measure to making our pancakes light and crispy.

How do I make my Kimchi Pancakes fluffy?

These pancakes also include baking powder. It is an optional ingredient, but it helps prevent your pancakes from becoming dense, due to the varied protein content in all-purpose flour brands.

Is American flour different from Canadian flour?

Yes, in terms of all-purpose flour. The species of wheat harvested to make your brand of flour will definitely be different from mine. Different brands of all-purpose flour contain more protein content or less protein content.

Why is my batter consistency different from yours?

The percentage of protein content in your all-purpose flour will affect the amount of liquid it will absorb.

Since I’m Canadian, the all-purpose flour we have has a 12%-13% protein content, compared to the 9%-10% protein content in American brands.

However, here is a solution for my fellow Americans. If your batter is thicker or thinner than mine, then simply add more cold water or flour respectively, until you reach the same consistency as crêpe batter. Alternatively, you can use unbleached all-purpose flour – which is equivalent to Canadian all-purpose flour.

Can I add protein into these Kimchi Pancakes Vegetable?

Yes you can! Sliced pork is a popular protein choice. I’ve also used a bag of frozen squid or canned tuna!

For my plant-based besties, air-fried tofu cut into small chunks are a great alternative protein source!

Simply mix the protein of choice into the batter, in addition to tossing in the kimchi and sliced green onion.

I like to pre-cook my meat or seafood before cooking, but you may also add raw protein in. Just be sure that the pancake batter is spread thinly to allow for the protein to full cook; you may also need to cook the pancake for longer.

What pan should I use to make Kimchi Pancakes?

A non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet is the best. A non-stick pan is preferable to ensure that your pancake does not stick. The T-Fal pans are my favourite non-stick pans!

What do Kimchi Pancakes taste like?

When you first take a bite you get hit with crispy outer layer of the pancake with a strong garlic flavour from the kimchi.

Then you chew a little, and you can taste the tanginess of the fermented kimchi, with a hint of umami.

The slices of kimchi burst in your mouth with zesty juice, breaking it in with refreshing and crunchy texture to the monotony of the dough.

The thin strands of green onion not only add a visual appeal to the otherwise orange-coloured pancake, it also adds a bit of crispiness and a burst of freshness with every bite.

The pancake itself is crispy on the outside and fluffy, with a slight chew on the inside. The texture of the pancake is similar to a thin hash brown.

With the addition of LookCatchu’s Soy Vinegar dipping sauce, it adds a lovely tanginess and savouriness to the pancakes, enhancing the overall taste.

Ingredients for Kimchi Pancakes

All-purpose flour

All-purpose flour is the main ingredient in the pancake batter, to ensure the kimchi and green onion slices stay together.


Cornstarch or potato starch will make the pancakes light and crispy.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is used to make our pancakes light and airy, instead of dense and heavy.

You may have seen other recipes use egg, but this recipe is for our carnivores, omnivores, and herbavores!


Kimchi, who would’ve thought – the star of the show! The tangier the better!

For my plant-based besties, make sure to find a vegan kimchi that doesn’t contain anchovies or fish sauce.

Kimchi Juice

In addition to kimchi, we need extra juice! Why? Because the kimchi juice infuses into the pancake giving us more kimchi flavour with less volume! It’s like vanilla extract but kimchi version hehe.

Green Onion

Green onion, also known as scallions or spring onions, adds a lovely colour and crunch to the pancakes

How to make Kimchi Pancakes


Slice kimchi and green onions

Most store-bought kimchi are already pre-sliced into small chunks; if you fall into that category then you can skip this step.

If the kimchi you have isn’t sliced or sliced into larger pieces, then simply place a cup onto the cutting board, and chop them up into 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife!

Slice the green onions, making sure to slice the white ends of the green onion in half because they are thicker. The strips should measure 2 inches, 5 cm, or to the first knuckle of your right index finger!


Make Pancake Batter

Place dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk until well incorporated.

Add in kimchi juice as well as the ice cold water. Make sure to portion out the water, mixing it intermittently, until a crêpe-like batter consistency is reached. Do not over-mix or else your pancake will turn out dense and chewy!

Add more or less water if needed (1 tbsp at a time), so we can all be one happy family with the same consistency at home!

Toss in the kimchi and sliced green onions into the pancake batter. Briefly fold them into the batter.

You’ll know that you’ve made the perfect batter when the green onion strips look like it has a thin, liquid glue coating on it.


Pan-fry the pancakes until crisp

To a non-stick pan (mine is 8 inches), turn the heat to medium and add in enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, around 2 tbsps.

Pour in half, around 1 cup, of the batter onto the hot pan, and immediately start thinly spreading the batter – but not too thin where you can see the pan.

You can also make mini-me versions by plopping in 1/4 cup of batter each time

Let it cook unbothered for 3-4 mins. You’ll know when to flip when the perimeter of your pancake has turned a dark orange. You can also lift the pancake up with a spatula to take a peak at the bottom.

Let this side cook for 3-4 mins. During this time, make sure to a little jiggle jiggle of the wiggle waggle frying pan, ensuring that the leftover oil gets coated throughout the whole pancake surface area. 

Finally, flip twice more (is that a word?), letting it cook for another 1 min on each side. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a wire rack to cool.


Divide pancake into pieces and serve

Chop it into 16 pieces. If you spread the batter out thin enough, they should be around 1/2 a cm or 1/8th an inch thick, the perfect thickness for the ultimate crisp to fluff ratio.

You may eat it as is, but I like to dunk it in LookCatchu’s famous soy dipping sauce!

Dig In!

There we have it, Kimchi Pancakes (Kimchijeon). And while the pancakes are still crisp, let’s dig in!

Kimchi Pancake (Kimchijeon)

This Kimchi Pancake is a crispy, savoury delight that turns your favourite Korean side dish into a mouthwatering appetizer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 people


  • 1 non-stick pan 8 inches



  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch or potato starch
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cold water ice cold
  • 2 tbsp kimchi juice
  • 1 cup kimchi sliced
  • 3 stalks green onion sliced


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Soy Dipping Sauce

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, starch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  • To the bowl, add kimchi juice and cold water. Mix until you have a smooth batter (Note 1).
  • Add the chopped kimchi and green onions to the batter. Mix everything together until well combined.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsps of vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the pan evenly.
  • Pour in half of the batter, or 1 cup, and thinly spread the batter out (Note 2).
  • Let it cook unbothered for 3-4 mins or until crispy. Flip, and let it cook for another 3-4 mins (Note 3).
  • For extra crisp, flip it over two more times and let it cook for a minute on each side. Transfer to wire rack and repeat with remaining batter.
  • Cut the pancake into 16 pieces, serve immediately as is or with LookCatchu's Famous Soy Dipping Sauce.



This recipe makes 2, 8 inch kimchi pancakes.
  1. The batter should have the same consistency as crêpe batter.
  2. Don’t spread it out too thin where you can see the pan. 
  3. Make sure to shake the pan back and forth to swirl the oil evenly on the bottom of the pancake.
Keywords kimchi, korean, pancake

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me @lookcatchu so I can drool over them.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating