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.

Savory Vegetable Pancakes using carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and Chinese chives

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.

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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

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.

Savory vegetable pancakes mix
  • Mix together flour, garlic powder, salt, eggs, and cold water in a large bowl.
Savory vegetable pancakes with vegetables mixed in
  • 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.
Cooking the savory vegetable pancakes
  • 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.
Savory Vegetable Pancakes Recipe
  • 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)

savory vegetable pancakes dipping sauce

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. 
Savoury Vegetable Pancakes Recipe

Savory Vegetable Pancakes

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Use Chinese chives, corn shiitake mushrooms, and carrots to make a vegetable side dish or vegetarian meal. Swap vegetables with your favorites to customize the flavor.

Ingredients

Savory 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

Instructions

    1. cut vegetables for savoury vegetable pancakes 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.
    2. Savory vegetable pancake mix 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. 
    3. Cooking the savory vegetable pancakes in pan 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. 
    4. Savory vegetable pancakes recipe 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.

Notes

  • 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).

Did you make this recipe?

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21 Comments

  1. Erlene, I never heard of a vegetable pancake but you make me want to try it. It looks and sounds so yummy and what a great way to get kids to eat veggies! Great recipe!

  2. How fun to be introduced to a new food! I grew up with zucchini pancakes but these are so fun and different. I love that you can customize the veggies to your liking and anything served with a dipping sauce is ok with me!

  3. Besides being perfect for breakfast and brunch, it’s also perfect to serve anytime since it has lots of veggies and less batter – seems just right as an appetizer too, with the dipping sauce!

  4. Long ago in another life time, I was a military wife and had a good friend who was Korean. I believe she made something like this for me and it was delicious. So nice to think of my friend Suni and to remember this recipe. Pinning.

    1. Yes, it’s a common dish in Korea and there are so many variations. I love that it’s super simple and I can make it with things I already have in my fridge. I made more yesterday and they were gone by this afternoon. My oldest daughter asked me where it went and I had to tell her it was already gone. I guess I’ll be making more today 🙂

  5. I’m not familiar with this dish, but wow, it looks amazing Erlene! I think it would be a hit in my family. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Pinning.

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