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Korean Pancakes, called Pajeon, are a great main dish or side dish. Higher in protein than Chinese pancakes, these are a great staple, easy meal, fun side dish, popular appetizer or nutritious snack. This version is Gluten-free, Paleo and Vegetarian. Whip together this quick savory treat as a new favorite.
I hate to mention a television show, but I’m going to. I’m a sucker for sweet romantic films, and I’ve always loved foreign films. Recently we found a gem that the whole family loved, Crash Landing on You. Have you seen it? It’s a Korean film with 16 long episodes. Each one is packed with food, as well as humor, intrigue, and yes, romance! Seeing this Korean movie got me making ramen again (thus my recent Asian noodle soup recipe), after so many years. And that led to other savory Korean treats.
Thus this recipe. I hope you’ll love these savory Korean Pancakes and maybe indulge in the lovely Korean movie too.
Ingredients in Gluten-free Korean Pancakes
Because this recipe is Gluten-free and Paleo, we don’t use white flour of course. Instead, we use a mixture of three grain-free flours:
- almond flour
- tapioca flour
- and coconut flour
Mainstream Pajeon recipes usually also use white sugar, soy sauce and are sometimes low in protein. Instead, this recipe uses:
- 5 eggs — So it’s high in protein and can even be served as a simple, easy main dish.
- scallions — This signature ingredient makes the pancakes savory and also a little sweet from their caramelization.
- milk of choice, unsweetened (including non-dairy options)
- a tiny bit of sweetener — Highlights the sweetness of the onions.
- sesame oil — Creates a distinctive Asian flavor that’s delicious.
- rice (or apple cider) vinegar, baking soda and sea salt — To leaven and flavor.
- A lovely soy-free dipping sauce!
What do Korean Pancakes with Scallions taste like
Korean green onion pancakes have a texture that is crispy on the outside and around the edges — and chewy on the inside.
Most people love Pajeon partly because of the satisfying nature of this food, full of protein, carbs, veggies and good fat! Korean Pancakes are also loved because of the dipping sauce!
Egg, pancake, green onions, salty, crispy and delicious.
You can make your own homemade dipping sauce, but I like to buy this Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce. It’s fantastic and easy.
How to make Korean Pancakes
- Mix together pancake batter’s dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients and chopped scallions. Stir well.
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil, and swirl the pan to coat it with fat.
- Add 1/2 of the batter, spreading it out to create a 6 to 7 inch diameter circle. Reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is browned (lift it up with spatula to look) and edges are a little crispy, and the center shows some air bubbles where the pancake is cooking through.
- Use a large spatula to flip, and fry again on second side until golden brown. Add a bit more sesame oil, and reduce heat to medium-low as needed as you cook the second side.
- Repeat with the second pancake, then slice into pie-shaped wedges, and serve with dipping sauce.
Tips for making pancakes:
- Make sure the pan is hot enough before adding the fat and then pouring in the batter. The hot pan creates a non-stick surface.
How to reheat the leftovers
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place leftover pancake on an oven-proof plate. Reheat for about 10 minutes, depending on amount or size of pancake.
You may also reheat in an air fryer or oven toaster for 5 to 10 minutes.
Variations of Pajeon
- Add 5 ounces chopped, cooked shrimp to the batter before frying.
- Sauté 2 cups sliced, raw cabbage in sesame oil with a little sea salt, until well wilted. Add this to the batter, or pour the batter over mounds of cooked cabbage to make each pancake.
- Instead of slicing and cutting the green onions into short lengths, slice them just vertically to create long thin strips. Place them in the hot oil, and pour the batter over them to fry. Then flip and continue cooking on the second side. This is a traditional approach and looks beautiful.
- Add minced garlic to the batter.
- Use leftover pork, beef or another seafood protein to the batter.
Korean Pancakes with Scallions (Gluten-free, Paleo, Vegetarian)
- 2 mixing bowls, one bigger, one smaller
- frying pan or large skillet
- 1 bunch scallions cut into 2" lengths, then each length cut a couple of times vertically into strips (see photo in Notes below)
- 5 large eggs
- ½ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup tapioca flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ cup milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon honey or coconut sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil plus up to 2 Tablespoons more for cooking
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate smaller bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add scallions, and stir to combine.
- Heat a medium to large skillet or griddle on medium-high heat and coat with about 2 teaspoons sesame oil.
- Pour ½ the batter onto the skillet, making each pancake about 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
- Cook about 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, until the bottom is browned (lift it up with spatula to look), then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add more oil or reduce heat as needed. Repeat with the second pancake. (The sesame oil is not needed to prevent sticking at this point but creates crispier edges and adds flavor.)
- Transfer to a cutting board, and cut each into 6 equal wedges. Serve with dipping sauce.