Korean Pork Pancake is one of my favorite ways to eat Korean pancakes! They’re so crunchy and delicious! There’s just something about the savory richness of the pork belly that makes these pancakes unbelievably crunchy and delicious!
Why does this look different than the other Korean pork pancake I've seen?
If you’ve been looking around online, you may have noticed that the typical Korean pork pancake you’ll find look like mini hamburger patties. These are the traditional way of preparing Korean pork pancakes. Sliced pork is mixed with a simple batter and fried.
They’re absolutely delicious, but they’re more like a… well, hamburger patty. If you’re looking for that delicious crunchy texture of the Korean pancake that you may have had at your local Korean restaurant, then look no further!
The inspiration for this recipe actually came to me when I was enjoying traditional Japanese cabbage pancakes (okonomiyaki). Here in Japan, a lot of restaurants will layer thinly sliced pork belly on top of the pancake, then cook them together.
The result is a delicious, crunchy, savory pancake that is so hard to resist! So why not combine that method with our super crunchy Korean pancakes?
What makes this Korean pork pancake so special?
First of all, our pancake batter and cooking technique serves as a great foundation to which we can customize any type of delicious Korean pancake we want!
Next, pork belly has a natural delicious savoriness to it. There’s a reason why the best bacon is made from pork belly!
Now, when the pancake is layered with the pork belly and cooked, the fat is released from the pork. The fat starts to fry the pork belly, resulting in that beautiful crisp that we like in our bacon.
As the fat begins to render, the batter absorbs some of it, which infuses the pancake with incredibly delicious, savory, meaty flavor!
When I made this for Nancy, we could immediately tell that this pancake was MUCH more savory than the other ones, despite using virtually identical ingredients, save the pork belly. Trust me, this Korean pork pancake is TRULY special!
Can I substitute pork for chicken?
To be honest, if you can’t eat pork or want to substitute it, I’d say skip it, unless you are an adventurous cook!
There’s just a natural synergy between these savory pancakes and pork belly that it’s hard to really replace it with anything else!
However, you CAN substitute it with seafood! Seafood pancakes (haemul-jeon) are quite common and popular in Korea, so give it a try with your favorite seafood!
Ingredients for Korean pork pancake
- Thinly sliced pork belly (you can substitute this with low-sodium bacon, but I would cut back on other salty ingredients in the recipe list)
- Potato Starch (See it on Amazon) – You can use corn starch as well, but I like having potato starch on-hand so I can make other tasty dishes, like my fantastic Japanese crunchy fried chicken!
- Baking soda
- Soda water
- Soy Sauce (See it on Amazon) – I like this brand!
- Miso (See it on Amazon) – Optional, but if you buy it, you can use the miso for other dishes like miso soup!
- Any thinly sliced vegetables of your choice
Korean Pork Pancake
- Flour 40g
- Potato starch 40g (Sub: Corn starch)
- Baking soda 1/4 tsp
- Salt 1 pinch
- Sparkling water 60g (1/3 cup)
- Miso 1 tbsp (Optional)
- Soy sauce 1 tbsp
- Bell pepper 1 quarter, julienned
- Green onions cut into slices
- Thinly sliced pork belly 7 - 8 slices (Sub: low-sodium bacon, omit the soy sauce from the wet ingredients)
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Korean ground chili flakes gochugaru
- Sesame seeds
- Preheat a pan with 3 tbsp of oil for 4 minutes over medium heat.
- Mix Dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.
- Combine Dry and Wet ingredients. Mix until combined, small lumps in the batter are okay.
- Pour half of the batter into the pan, making sure to get it over the entire surface.
- Add the vegetables and lightly press into the batter.
- Pour the rest of the batter over the top, then top with slices of pork belly. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Flip the pancake and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Remove the pancake to a rack and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Slice and serve.
- Dipping Sauce: Mix all of the *dipping sauce* ingredients together. Adjust to your tastes.