crispy kimchi jeon by Baek Jong Won
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Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancake)

Super easy Korean kimchi pancake with a crispy edge but chewy middle and tips included from Korean celebrity chef Baek Jong Won for the perfect bite. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 2 people
Author: Jennifer | Chopsticks and Flour

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 200 g) well-fermented kimchi chopped thinly
  • 1 Tbsp kimchi juice
  • ½ cup Korean pancake mix buchimgaru or all-purpose flour
  • ½ Tbsp Korean chili flakes gochugaru
  • ½ of a small 5 oz tuna can half of the tuna chunks and 1 Tbsp of the juice will be about 50 g
  • ⅜ (6 Tbsp) cup cold water * I found this to be the best texture but for easier measuring, ½ cup works well too!

Instructions

  • Dump the kimchi into a medium sized bowl and cut the kimchi into bite size pieces. *The Korean way: cut the kimchi in the bowl with scissors! No knife needed.
  • Add the buchimgaru (pancake mix) directly into the kimchi bowl. Add in the Korean red pepper flakes.

    *Tip: 1) The ratio to kimchi:buchimgaru is 2:1.
  • **Optional: If using the tuna, add it in now. 
  • Add in the kimchi juice and cold ice water into the kimchi bowl. Cold water is key here. Combine the ingredients together until incorporated. Do not overmix.
    Tip: *As noted above, I found ⅜ cup (90 ml) to get the best thick texture but for easier measuring, ½ cup works well too!
  • Heat a fry pan on medium-high heat and drizzle in a few Tbsp of oil. Make sure the frypan is well heated and the oil can swirl around in the pan before you add in the batter. Pour a ladle of batter into the pan and help spread it thinly into a circular shape. Cook the jeon until it is nicely browned on one side - about 3 minutes. Flip it over and lightly press down on the jeon with the spatula. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden. You can flip another 1-2 more times if desired.**You want the jeon to almost fry in the beginning to get it nice and crisp.
  • If desired, serve with a small dipping sauce of soy sauce and Korean chili flakes. Enjoy with a bowl of rice and soup or as a snack with some rice wine! Serve warm. 

Notes

**Cold water that lends to cold batter is key! Between batches of making the jeon, if your batter gets warm, stick it in the fridge. 
**If you don’t have buchimgaru, you can use all-purpose flour and you will still have yummy pancakes! Note that buchimgaru will yield a slightly more crispy edge and will be seasoned. It already includes a mix of flour, potato starch, salt, baking powder etc and is a staple in many Korean homes.
**For even crispier jeon, you can replace about 1/4th of the Korean pancake mix (buchimgaru) with Korean Frying Mix (twigim garu).