A friend recently sent me a screenshot of a Korean vegetable pancake with the caption, “You need to make this!” And boy am I glad I did, because this Korean vegetable pancake recipe is one of my new favorites!
It’s loaded with crunchy veggies that caramelize in the pan, while the outside gets crispy and golden brown. If you’ve never tried these super flavorful savory pancakes, this is your sign!
What is a Korean vegetable pancake?
Korean vegetable pancakes, or yachaejeon, are a traditional part of Korean cuisine that can be enjoyed as a tasty side dish or appetizer. They are made by combining a simple batter of flour, eggs, and water with a wide assortment of fresh vegetables.
Traditional recipes include a mix of zucchini, carrots, scallions, onions, and peppers, though variations may include mushrooms, spinach and kimchi.
What’s in this Korean Vegetable Pancake Recipe
These Korean pancakes are a great way to get your veggies in! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Scallions (green onions)
- All-purpose flour or gluten free flour
- Baking powder
How to Make Korean Vegetable Pancakes
First, prep your veggies. You want thin, matchstick cuts for the zucchini and carrots. If you can find a pre-cut bag of matchstick carrots at the grocery store, even better.
To make the pancakes, start by heating the oil over medium high heat in a nonstick pan. Then, spread the batter into the pan and wait for it to bubble. When you see bubbles on the surface and edges start to brown slightly, it’s time to flip it over.
Give it a few more minutes to get golden brown on both sides, and then it’s time to dig in!
For pan size, you could use an 8-inch or 10-inch nonstick pan for this recipe. There will be enough batter to make 6-8 10-inch pancakes, and more if you use a smaller pan.
The veggie pancakes pictured here were made in a 10-inch pan.
Find the full instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Serve Korean Vegetable Pancakes
Arrange these veggie pancakes on a serving plate, garnishing with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or chopped scallions on top. If you like a little heat, sprinkle these pancakes with some red pepper flakes.
And don’t forget the dipping sauce! A classic dipping sauce often includes soy sauce, rice vinegar, a dash of sesame oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You can also get creative with your own variations like garlic, ginger or even a touch of honey for sweetness.
My go-to homemade dipping sauce for this Korean pancake recipe is ponzu sauce. Ponzu is a simple dipping sauce made with of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and citrus juices. You can find my recipe here.
Variations for this Korean Vegetable Pancake Recipe
There are lots of great ways to be creative with this vegan Korean vegetable pancake recipe! Here are some of my favorite ways:
- Try Kimchi: Adding this fermented cabbage to the batter adds a spicy tanginess and creates a more robust flavor profile.
- Incorporate Sweet Potatoes: Swapping matchstick sweet potatoes for carrots makes for a sweeter, richer taste.
- Experiment with Different Veggies: Try using strips of bell pepper, matchstick potatoes or sliced mushrooms for different flavor and texture twists.
How to Store Korean Vegetable Pancakes
Before storing any leftover savoury pancakes, allow them to cool to room temperature. This will help guard against condensation and sogginess.
Then, store the cooled pancakes in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. They’ll stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
To reheat the pancakes, use an oven or toaster oven instead of a microwave, which could make them soggy.
How to Ensure a Crispy Korean Vegetable Pancake
Moisture is the enemy of crispiness, so here are a few ways to cut down on the moisture:
1. Use cold water in the batter. Cold water inhibits the development of gluten in the flour. Less gluten means a crispier pancake.
3. Use only enough oil to get a golden brown crust. You’re going to want to measure out 2 Tbsp. of oil per 10-inch pancake. Anything more and it could result in a soggy pancake.
When you make this Korean vegetable pancake recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more vegan recipes, try these:
- Easy Vegan Edamame Hummus with Tahini
- Mango Smoothie Recipe (Dairy Free)
- Healthy Southwestern Coleslaw
For more Asian inspired recipes, try these:
- Asian Tilapia Recipe (Easy & Healthy)
- Korean Fried Chicken with Soy Garlic Sauce
- Shrimp Mei Fun Noodles (Singapore Rice Noodles)
Korean Vegetable Pancake Recipe (Vegan Yachaejeon)
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini) cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups carrots cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup scallions diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose or gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 3/4 cups cold water
- Prepare the vegetables: slice the zucchini and carrots into matchsticks. Slice the onion into thin slices. Dice the green onions. Slice the jalapeño pepper into thin slices.
- Make the Korean vegetable pancakes batter: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Slowly pour in the water, stirring.
- Add the vegetables to the batter and stir to coat.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 10 inch non-stick pan. Pour 1 1/2 cups of pancake batter into the pan. Wait until bubbles form on the surface and the edges begin to curl up, about 3-4 minutes.
- Flip the pancake. Cook 2-3 more minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Remove cooked pancakes onto a wire rack. Serve with ponzu dipping sauce.