This recipe for yachaejeon, or vegetable pancake, is credited to Maangchi, who has a blog of Korean recipes as well as wonderful and adorable videos of her cooking on YouTube. Here are her two cookbooks. Real Korean Cooking was published in 2015, and Big Book of Korean Cooking in 2019. I bought the Big Book!
Maangchi’s video for this pancake recipe is here.
On her blog, she writes: “I was born and raised in Korea and have been interested in cooking and food since I was a little girl. I live in New York City now, and love to learn about food from other cultures, too. On April 9 2007, I posted a video of myself cooking Korean food on YouTube, just for fun. Right away, people were interested in it, so I’ve been making them ever since.
This vegetable pancake piqued my interest because of course it’s really healthy, with all of the vegetables, and I love anything with a dipping sauce! For the blog I’ve made uthappam, a South Indian pancake with vegetables, and Bahn Xeo, a rice pancake with a healthy filling, and Korean kimchi pancakes. I love savory pancakes.
When I first googled Korean Pancake, I found pajeon, which is more of a Chinese scallion pancake. So I then googled the difference between pajeon and yachaejeon and they’re both savory pancakes. In fact, jeon means pancake, so pa-jeon translates to scallion pancake, and yachae-jeon translates to vegetable pancake. But there are many more varieties than these two. I’d better get busy!
Makes 1 large pancake
About 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sliced vegetables
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch long
⅓ cup leek, sliced thinly 1 inch long
3 ounces zucchini matchsticks
1 green chili pepper (or jalapeño), sliced
3 ounces onion, sliced
1/3 cup sweet potato thinly sliced
1 fresh mushroom (white, baby portobello, or shiitake)
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine green onion, leek, zucchini, jalapeno, onion, and sweet potato in a medium bowl. I measured to make sure I had no more than 3 cups of vegetables.
Add flour, salt, and ¾ cup water. Mix it well with a wooden spoon.
Heat up a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the skillet evenly. Add the batter to the skillet and spread it out evenly. Turn down the heat to medium.
Thinly slice the mushroom and place on top. Gently press them in with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottom turns crunchy light golden brown. Grab the handle of the skillet and twirl it around so the pancake moves and is cooked evenly underneath.
Turn or flip over the pancake. Increase the heat to medium high and add 1 more tablespoon of vegetable oil along the edges of the pancake. Lift up one edge with your spatula and tilt the skillet so the oil flows underneath the pancake. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until both sides turn light golden brown, occasionally pressing down with the spatula.
Flip it over one more time and cook another 2 minutes.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper flakes (if using), and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix it well with a spoon. Transfer it to a small bowl. Set aside. Transfer the pancake to a large plate and serve right away with the dipping sauce. Kimchi can also be served on the side.