Today, I’m going to show you how to make super crispy Korean pancake! This is an UPDATE to my previous crispy Korean pancake recipe and it’s CRISPIER AND CRUNCHIER THAN EVER! This dish is known as chijimi in Korean, and a variation of it is known as pajeon. This recipe is more similar to the pajeon recipe, as “pa” means “green onion”. I know, this recipe doesn’t use green onion, but leeks, but it’s close enough 😉 If you’re looking for a delicious, crispy pajeon korean pancake, then make sure to try this recipe!
Learn How to Make Korean Pancake Crispy, GUARANTEED!
Failure Almost Always Leads To Success
About a year ago, I made a Korean pancake recipe that I believed to be truly crispy. After all, I enjoyed it and I thought it was pretty good. I also received comments on that particular video from people who tried the recipe and told me it was delicious.
Thinking that all was hunky dory, I moved on and created different types of foods, when I received a comment one day.
Ouch, that’s pretty harsh! Now when it comes to making recipes, it’s always hard to troubleshoot where someone may have gone wrong because there are any number of things they could have done differently that led them to the results that they got.
So I decided to go back and try my recipe again, following the exact directions that I had given. The results? Pretty spot on to Esther’s comment.
I was devastated and felt so bad. Not only because the recipe wasn’t as good as I thought, but because this person took the time to make it, placing her trust in an internet stranger, only to be disappointed.
This led me on a journey to figure out exactly HOW to make super crispy Korean pancake.
What Should A Super Crispy Korean Pancake Be Like?
In my first post, titled “How to make Korean pancake crispy”, I mentioned that I had only one encounter with a truly crispy and crunchy Korean pancake. Every one I ate after that had been pretty soggy and not exactly what I remember having. But my first memory of eating that crispy Korean pancake had all but faded away.
I asked Nancy quite a bit, “Are these Korean pancakes supposed to be crispy? To which she said that normally, no, as that usually requires too much oil.
So what was I looking for in a true crispy Korean pancake? I found my answer on a three year old post on Reddit:
Note the second sentence in the post: When cut into wedges, you can hold it like a pizza slice and it holds its shape.
This was the texture that I had forgotten so long ago! Something that was wonderfully crispy on the outside, that held its shape! The other memories came flooding back.
I remember the inside texture being soft, almost creamy. This is quite a common texture in foods like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, but I remember that cruncy Korean pancake I ate so long ago having a similar texture inside.
So that’s what I’m after: a crispy, crunchy exterior that holds it’s shape when held like a slice of pizza with a soft, creamy interior.
3 Tweaks To The Batter So You Can Make Super Crispy Korean Pancake
Armed with my new found knowledge I went to work. I decided to use my old crispy Korean pancake recipe as a base, because I felt like the batter was solid. I made a few tweaks to it, however:
- Slightly more potato starch for less gluten development.
- The addition of baking soda to provide leavening.
- Replacing water with club soda. Since it is slightly acidic, it will react with the baking soda, releasing gas. This ensures that the interior of the pancake isn’t dense and gummy, but is instead lighter and has a creamier mouthfeel.
Heat & Oil
I also tweaked the cooking time and technique to guarantee a crunchy outcome. In the first recipe, I used a “double fry” technique that didn’t do much for the crispiness, but really made the pancake feel heavy and greasy.
This time, I opted to heat plenty of oil, four tablespoons, in fact, in my cast iron pan for well over 5 minutes. I figured that if I wanted to get crispy, crunchy results, I have to treat this as an actual fried food.
The Cooking Technique To Make Super Crispy Korean Pancake
The method in which I cooked the pancakes is also very different from the traditional method. When you look up recipes online, they will advise you to throw your vegetables into the batter, then pour it all into the pan.
Once the batter/veggie mixture hits the pan, the vegetables begin to release moisture, which inhibit a good crust from forming on the outside. You could continue to cook the pancake over a medium-low heat for quite some time, however, you wouldn’t be able to achieve that soft, interior texture.
Instead, I pour the batter directly into the pan, without any vegetables whatsoever. This allows the full amount of heat to transfer directly into the batter, which lets it crisp up completely.
While the batter is still cooking, I layer my vegetables onto the uncooked surface of the batter, then add the rest of the batter on top; essentially sandwiching the vegetables between two layers of batter.
With the vegetables inside of the batter, they cook through indirect heat, allowing the inside of the pancake to remain soft, rather than gummy or chewy.
THE Best Way To Make Super Crispy Korean Pancake!
After cranking out a pancake using this method, I served it to Nancy, who looked at it skeptically. I had taken something she grew up eating, and completely perverted the cooking process in her eyes.
She took a bite.
And her face lit up.
She loved it! She couldn’t believe how crispy and crunchy the outside of the Korean pancake was! She also loved the soft interior texture! She told me that it was something she had never experienced and that it was delicious!
She promptly finished the entire pancake by herself, leaving not a crumb on the plate. Afterwards, she said, “It was so crunchy and yet, it didn’t feel heavy at all!” Exactly what I was going for!
How to make Korean pancake crispy - Updated Recipe
- Flour 40g (1/3c)
- Potato starch 40g (1/3c) *Substitute with corn starch
- Baking soda 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp
- Salt 2 pinches
- Carbonated soda 90g (1/2c)
- Soy sauce 7g (1.5 tsp) *optional
- Miso 7g (1.5 tsp) *optional
- Any vegetable of your choice sliced into very thin strips
- Oil 4 tbsp
- Pre-heat pan with oil on medium heat for about 4 minutes.
- Mix combine dry and wet ingredients separately, then mix them together in a mixing bowl.
- Pour half the batter into the pan, covering the surface in a thin layer
- Add vegetables onto the batter while the batter is still wet. Be careful not to add too many ingredients, as the top and bottom layers will not stay together properly. Lightly press the vegetables into the batter.
- Drizzle the rest of the batter over the top of the vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Flip the pancake and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Remove from pan, slice, and serve.