Need a quick and easy appetizer or vegetable meal? Try this Savory Vegetable Pancakes Recipe (Yachaejeon) that you can easily customize with vegetables you have in your fridge.
It’s the third Tuesday of the month and it’s time for the Pinterest Challenge! If you aren’t familiar with this monthly challenge, it’s a challenge to get us (you too) to make something or be inspired by something we’ve pinned to our Pinterest boards. To see the other Pinterest posts, make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post.
This month, I was inspired by a pin from Playing Perfect that had a roundup of 73 Korean Recipes. In this roundup, there was a link to a Korean seafood pancake, which caught my interest. But before I had a chance to make a seafood pancake, my youngest daughter got to the shrimp I intended to use and made shrimp vegetable appetizers….wah, wah, waaaahh. So that began my internet search for Korean pancakes and to my surprise there are a TON of Korean pancake variations! Some use rice flour, a Korean pancake mix, plain AP flour, eggs, no eggs, seafood, and everything in between! The recipe below is a combination of various recipes and my twist on the green onion Korean pancake (pajeon).
Savory Vegetable Pancakes Recipe or Yachaejeon
What is a Vegetable Pancake?
Keep in mind that this isn’t a typical fluffy breakfast pancake. It’s more of a thin dense and chewy type of pancake that’s full of vegetables. The great thing about vegetable pancakes is that you don’t have to be exact in each particular vegetable measurements or even use the same vegetables. You can totally mix things up and make your own savory vegetable pancakes by using what you have in your fridge and what your family likes.
The main thing I’ve learned from trying several vegetable only Korean pancake recipes is to make sure there are A LOT more vegetables than batter and use enough oil to ensure a crispy outside. If seasoned well, you can eat the pancakes as-is or serve with a vinegar based sauce of soy, vinegar, Gochugaru (Korean chili powder), and sesame seeds.
How to make Savory Vegetable Pancakes (Yachaejeon)
Note: This recipe will make 2 large 10″ vegetable pancakes.
- Mix together flour, garlic powder, salt, eggs, and cold water in a large bowl.
- Add in chopped vegetables and stir to evenly coat everything. I’ve used various mixes of Chinese chives, carrots, bell peppers, onions, corn, mushrooms, and cooked chopped spinach.
- Heat about 2 T. of oil in a large 10″ pan on medium high heat.
- Add half of the vegetable mixture into the pan and quickly spread/pat out into a thin layer across the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Flip the vegetable pancake over. Add a tab more oil if needed and press down with a spatula to ensure all of the pancake surface touches the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Cut into bite size pieces or serve as-is with the Savory Vegetable Pancakes Dipping Sauce.
Savory Vegetable Pancakes Dipping Sauce (Optional)
It’s not a requirement to serve vegetable pancakes with a dipping sauce, but a vinegar based sauce helps to cut through some of the oil from frying. It also gives just the right amount of additional salt and tang for the pancakes. This dipping sauce is mainly a mix of soy sauce and vinegar, but it’s easy to add other ingredients and customize the dip for each person if needed.
- Mix together 1 T. soy sauce, 2 tsp. white vinegar, 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp. Gochugaru (optiona) or substitute with sriracha sauce (adjust this to your heat level).
- If you prefer a simple sauce with no heat, just buy Japanese Ponzu. It’s a tangy rice vinegar, soy, and citrus blend and also tastes great with vegetable pancakes.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 T. gochujang, optional
- 2 cups various chopped, sliced, and shredded vegetables - bell peppers, corn, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, etc...
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups Chinese chives, substitute with a mix of 1/2 green onions and thinly sliced sweet onions
- vegetable oil
Dipping Sauce (non-traditional)
- 2 T. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 T. water
- garlic sriracha or gochujang to taste
- sesame seeds, optional
- Prep vegetables - thinly chop mushrooms, shred carrots, and drain corn. Chop Chinese chives into about 3" length pieces. Set aside. Note: I've been substituting 4 thinly sliced mini bell peppers for the corn and love the flavor it adds.
- In a large bowl, mix together the first six ingredients until smooth and lump free. Add in the cut vegetables and stir to coat everything evenly.
- Heat about 1 1/2 T. to 2 T. of oil in a 10" pan over medium high. Place half of the vegetable mixture into the pan and quickly spread out into a thin layer. Cook for about 2 minutes. If browning too quickly, lower the heat to medium. Flip over and add more oil if needed. Press on the pancake with a spatula to ensure a crisp crust and cook for another 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Slide the pancake onto a plate and slightly cool. Cut into bite sized pieces or serve whole with dipping sauce (I like this with Ponzu too). This is also great served cold.
- Use about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of various chopped/sliced vegetables for these pancakes. Shape and size of vegetables will dictate the amount of vegetables to use. Using less vegetables will produce a chewier flour pancake, while using more will produce a chewy vegetable heavy pancake.
- Green onions or a mixture of green onions and sweet onions can be substituted for the Chinese chives.
- Substitute vegetables to your taste. Sweet onions, bell peppers, and cooked chopped spinach are great substitutes and additions. We love adding in yellow bell peppers...it's really good.
- If you don't want to use eggs, leave it out and increase the water to 1 1/4 cup.
- If you don't have a large 10" pan, make small mini vegetable pancakes. Smaller pancakes are also easier to flip.
- This can be kept in the fridge for several days in an air tight container and can be eaten cold (perfect for the summer).
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View the other Pinterest Challenge Posts:
- January 2018 – One Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
- February 2018 – Dollar Tree St. Patrick’s Day Wreath
- March 2018 – Bourbon Chicken with Vegetables
- April 2018 – Mini Hoop Seashell Wall Hanging
- May 2018 – Giant Mochi Ice Cream
- June 2018 – Matcha Mousse
- July 2018 – Savory Vegetable Pancakes
- August 2018 – Jumbo Jello Gummy Bears
- September 2018 – Halloween Candy Popcorn
- October 2018 – Halloween Plastic Tablecloth Wreath
- November 2018 – Apple Pie Hotteok
- December 2018 – Christmas BINGO Gift Exchange Game