Recipes

Tuna pancake

Chamchijeon 참치전

I’m pleased to introduce you to this easy and delicious side dish recipe made with a can of tuna. It doesn’t have to be served hot, so it’s good for a side dish at a picnic or in a Korean lunch box (dosirak). My long time blog reader Reinier from Netherlands came to New York in March. I chose this easy tuna pancake recipe for us to make together.

Reinier told me he would film a tuna pancake video when he went back home as a video response. I was going to upload our video as soon as possible, but instead I posted pajeon and mugwort soup recipes. Good quality soft tender mugwort is available only in the spring so if my readers wanted to forage wild mugwort and wild green onions it was the perfect season.

Meanwhile, Reinier went back to his country and emailed me to say that he was finished his tuna pancake video response and posted as unlisted. All he needed was my posting the video. But then YouTube team let me know I was accepted to YouTube Nextup! They asked me to upload a short video that shows my background, nature of my videos, etc… so I had to film my “Maaangchi is Nextup” video instead of editing the tuna pancake recipe. I knew Reinier was dying for my tuna pancake video to be uploaded! But I couldn’t tell him why it was taking so long because I promised YouTube not to tell anyone about my winning until they announced it.

So today, I’m finally posting this video recipe. Reinier and I are going to upload the recipes almost at the same time! Real time! Why are we trying to post these videos at the same time? Simple answer! It’s for fun fun! lol

Enjoy the recipe and thank you Reinier for your patience! : )

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings):
1 can of tuna (5 oz: 142 grams), onion, garlic, salt, ground black pepper,  sesame oil, egg, flour, and canola oil.

Directions:

  1. Strain out the liquid from a can of tuna and place it in a bowl.
    *tip: You can use cheesecloth, paper towel, or just squeeze with your hands to get the excess liquid out
  2. Add ¼ cup chopped onion, 1 minced garlic, 1ts salt, ¼ ts ground black pepper, 1 egg, 1 ts sesame oil, and 1 tbs flour to the tuna and mix it well.
  3. Heat up a non-stick pan and spread 1-2 tbs canola oil.
  4. Scoop a spoonful of the tuna mixture with a spoon and place it on the heated pan.
  5. Press slightly and round the edges with the spoon.
  6. Make 6 small size pancakes with the tuna mixture.
  7. When the bottom is cooked golden brown, turn it over and cook until both sides of the pancakes are golden brown. Total cooking time is 3-5 minutes.
  8. Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and serve with rice.

Here is Reinier’s video response!

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99 Comments:

  1. imlykaspain saudi arabia My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 23rd, 2014 at 6:13 am | # |

    I always cooked this especially for our breakfast meal.

  2. CCStallings Goose Creek, SC My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted April 7th, 2014 at 5:26 pm | # |

    Made this for dinner for my husband and I. My husband is a terribly picky eater and the moment he heard the name and was told that it was made with canned tuna he was immediately reluctant to try it. However, once I made it and he tried a bite of it, he actually loved it! Wonderful recipe. I think next time I’ll try making bigger ones and try putting them on burger buns!

  3. paiyong Singapore My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 24th, 2014 at 9:00 am | # |

    I tried your recipe since I love tuna and was curious to try recipes that use it. It was good and similar to our potato pancake which are usually eaten with our chicken noodle soup (soto ayam). I did add things to suit my palate such as chopped green chillies and 1 teaspoon of coriander.

  4. Inafuko Brazil My profile page joined 2/13
    Posted February 28th, 2013 at 6:50 pm | # |

    Dear Maangchi, the recipe is great! I loved! But, I have a doubt… is it really 1 ts of salt? It got a little bit salty >.<

    thank you ^__^

    • giraffesneigh CA, USA My profile page joined 6/13
      Posted June 22nd, 2013 at 7:37 pm | # |

      Maybe it was the tuna you used. Maybe try buying tuna with half the regular amount or no salt added. (:

  5. JanM Puerto Rico My profile page joined 2/13
    Posted February 12th, 2013 at 8:32 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi, greetings from Puerto Rico.

    I was wondering if its possible to subtitute the canned tuna for canned chicken.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 14th, 2013 at 9:20 am | # |

      canned chicken? why not? : ) It will turn out good! Chop up the chicken and combine with all the ingredients that the recipe calls for and pan fry.

  6. sreyes6 California My profile page joined 12/12
    Posted December 29th, 2012 at 3:42 pm | # |

    OMG! I’ve actually made this exact same dish a few times before. I didn’t know it was a Korean recipe. My family loves them and I serve them with a sweet chili sauce.

  7. Julnyes Brooklyn My profile page joined 10/12
    Posted October 22nd, 2012 at 5:24 pm | # |

    Made these last night and they came out quite tasty. I used half as much salt since I find tuna pretty salty to begin with and I was thrilled with the result. I look forward to trying more of your recipes :)

  8. Bekkah Alberta My profile page joined 10/12
    Posted October 13th, 2012 at 6:00 pm | # |

    OMG!! I have the exact same shirt as you!! Lol.

  9. Sali My profile page joined 6/12
    Posted September 29th, 2012 at 3:46 pm | # |

    I made these with my brother, we had a lot of fun while cooking them. Easy and delicious! We made a simple “poor student” version without garlic and sesame oil, and left out the extra salt because canned tuna already has a lot of flavor. Also, we made a discovery… to make delicious tuna burgers, put these pancakes between slices of toasted bread. :D So versatile, and easy! Thank you Maangchi!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 14th, 2013 at 9:22 am | # |

      “I made these with my brother, we had a lot of fun while cooking them.” Cooking together and sharing the food together is really fun, yeah? : )

  10. khimmy South Korea My profile page joined 7/12
    Posted July 18th, 2012 at 6:57 am | # |

    WHOA!!!!
    This really easy easy and yet very delicious food :)
    I watched your video almost everyday. I’m not a good cooker but I loved to cook and invent sometimes :]) It was kinda fun en I enjoy :D
    I made this today’s dinner, I just finished cooking when he arrived from work.
    I did’t taste it, his the one who taste it first. And guest what ___???
    awesome! he really really LOVES IT! I’m so happy.. Before I make kimchi jjigae, kongnamul muchim and dried anchovy.. HE REALLY LIKE IT :]) I’m really happy because it was my first time to cook korean food. I’m a filipina almost 3mos. now here in korea, and married to a very good korean man :)
    he is good in making and designing cake he had two licenses and many certificate and have his own bakery shop. He graduated in Baking.. But, his employed at the government :D hihihi .. thanks maangchi for inspiring us :) God Bless! mwuaapz
    I take pictures and post it to my new tumblr account :)
    http://khimmyou16.tumblr.com/

  11. janicedale Australia My profile page joined 2/12
    Posted May 23rd, 2012 at 3:14 am | # |

    I like your Tuna Pancake , it looks terrific and very tasteful. It is perfect in everyday lives. I am going to prepare this for my family. It is very easy and I am sure my friends and my family would like it too. What do you think would be the perfect sauce for this?

  12. QueenEmilie Norway My profile page joined 5/12
    Posted May 21st, 2012 at 6:41 am | # |

    I have made these tons of times!! I absolutely loved them :)
    I also blogged about them here: http://curiousgazelle.tumblr.com/post/23473958260/tuna-pancakes-original-recipe-from-maangchi-i

  13. Simone West Hartford My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted May 8th, 2012 at 8:48 pm | # |

    This is great. I love tuna, it’s so delicious! I have to try this recipe. Thanks, Reinier!

  14. pastelcolors Phillipines My profile page joined 5/12
    Posted May 3rd, 2012 at 10:56 pm | # |

    can i substitute the sesame oil from olive oil?

  15. fluffycakes The Netherlands My profile page joined 4/12
    Posted April 28th, 2012 at 7:42 am | # |

    I made this yesterday. My family loved it! Whilst I was putting the pancakes in the pan though, it kind of fell apart. I wasn’t able to make pretty round shapes. Perhaps I should practise more! It still tasted fantastic, don’t worry! I also made a few spicy pancakes with chili paste and chili oil. Spicy, spicy! Thank you so much for the lovely dinner.
    I also have a non-food related question: usually you always mention the music you use in your videos, and this time you haven’t. It would make me very happy to know who sings the song at the beginning of this video. It sounds familiar to me! :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 3rd, 2012 at 11:49 pm | # |

      ” it kind of fell apart..” Add a little more flour, then it won’t fall apart. I made this song in garage band. Great!

  16. seohyun000 Philippines My profile page joined 2/12
    Posted February 16th, 2012 at 6:05 am | # |

    Is it ok if I will replace sesame oil and canola oil??

    Thank You! ^_^

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 16th, 2012 at 12:54 pm | # |

      Sesame oil is important for this recipe for me because it adds much better flavor when it’s mixed with the ingredients. Happy cooking!

  17. DebC California My profile page joined 11/11
    Posted November 20th, 2011 at 8:13 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I love this simple recipe! It was my first time making this but I ran out of onion so I substituted it with canned corn. The finish product was tasty, however, I felt like the consistency is not quite as thick as yours and mine do not shape a nice form like yours… :<
    how cam I make it better so all ingredients "stick" together??
    thanks~~

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 21st, 2011 at 1:31 am | # |

      Use chopped onion please. It will be more tasty. This recipe is simple but you really need to use onion which makes the pancake juicy.

  18. ktek SF Bay Area My profile page joined 11/11
    Posted November 5th, 2011 at 1:17 am | # |

    Tonight at 9:15 my husband was hungry. Earlier I watched your video and Reinier’s video as well and thought – let’s give chamchijeon a try! I had all the ingredients on hand and by 9:45 we were enjoying this delicious appetizer. I doubled the recipe, my daughter had 2, I had 3 and my husband finished the plate. Now I have to worry about his mercury levels. But what a way to go!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 5th, 2011 at 9:12 pm | # |

      Thank you for your funny story relating this food! It makes me smile! I love to read my readers’ experience about Korean cooking.

  19. edrea Vancouver, Canada My profile page joined 11/10
    Posted July 26th, 2011 at 2:41 am | # |

    maangchi unnie…
    this is my second time following your recipe =D
    This one is so easy and so good for a student with little time to cook like me..

    http://edreasjourney.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/tuna-pancake/

    kamsahamnida unnie! =)

  20. mimi88 germany My profile page joined 8/10
    Posted July 10th, 2011 at 9:29 am | # |

    a couple days ago, i made lunch for a few friends and made chamchijeon (which came out delicious :) ) but the only thing was, that as soon i announced i was going to make korean tuna pancake, everyone looked a bit disgusted until i said it was more of a tuna-FRIKADELLE than pancake. then they were definitely more eager to try them.
    i know this seems silly, but perhaps the name should be adjusted?

    • Urahara Canada My profile page joined 8/11
      Posted August 29th, 2011 at 1:47 pm | # |

      “Jeon” is the korean word common to all the “korean pancakes” there is. Hobakjeon, chamchijeon, deongtaejeon, gochujeon, kimchijeon etc. Since it’s made with eggs and flour, it is indeed a pancake… Changing the name would mean changing the meaning of “jeon”
      At least that’s what I think?

  21. Moxiesoup Atlanta, GA My profile page joined 7/10
    Posted July 4th, 2011 at 10:40 pm | # |

    Brought these to lunch today at my Korean in-laws house… they liked them, but they looked at them oddly, and said “in Korea, they do not make pancakes with tuna”. They’re from Seoul. Are these a regional thing?

    • Marc1021 Scranton, PA My profile page joined 12/11
      Posted January 7th, 2012 at 10:29 pm | # |

      I know you posted this in July but I will share with you my experience cooking these…I made them and posted a photo on my facebook and my friend from Gwangju told me her mom makes these too. Shortly afterwards my friend from Guri which is next to Seoul told me she loves these and makes them all the time…it might depends on the family I guess…but two people from different parts of the country do eat them…maybe your in laws left before canned tuna became popular?

  22. ywchocolate Singapore My profile page joined 7/11
    Posted July 3rd, 2011 at 12:45 pm | # |

    What did you put in the sauce?

  23. kwonwon singapore My profile page joined 2/11
    Posted June 30th, 2011 at 12:23 pm | # |
  24. seraph74 Sydney, Australia My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted June 20th, 2011 at 6:26 am | # |

    Such a fantastic recipe… though I have to say I enjoy it so much more if I add 1 tbsp of spicy chilli flakes to it!! Then goes even better with tomato and cucumber!!!

  25. meimei50 Wisconsin My profile page joined 4/11
    Posted June 8th, 2011 at 8:32 pm | # |

    I was a little dubious because I’m not too fond of canned tuna but these pancakes are fantastic! Making them was quick and easy and such a great addition to my doshirak stash! It was hard not to eat them all up! I froze 6 slightly smaller pancakes and will heat them up in a toaster-oven at work. Can’t wait!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 9th, 2011 at 9:50 am | # |

      You are right. I don’t like canned tuna either, but this pancake is very tasty especially as a side dish in a lunchbox.

  26. ebibei Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia My profile page joined 6/11
    Posted June 8th, 2011 at 4:00 am | # |

    Trying this dish to go along with my japchae tonite! Thanks maangchi!

  27. misgreenphreak California My profile page joined 6/11
    Posted June 1st, 2011 at 9:50 pm | # |

    I came home from work today and sat down at my computer to watch some Youtube videos and relax. I saw a lot of NextUp videos had been uploaded and one of the first ones I watched was JoshSunquist’s NextUp rap! He says a line about you teaching us how to cook Korean food. I had no idea someone like you existed on Youtube!! I wish I knew about your channel a long time ago but I am here now and I am ready to enjoy your recipes.

    I watched your video for Tuna Pancakes and I had to try them. So I jotted down the recipe and went straight to my kitchen. They are very simple and very delicious! I would have made a boring dinner if I hadn’t found your channel today. So I thank you for being amazing and sharing these recipes. I can’t wait to try more!

  28. Ikkin-bot edmonton My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted May 30th, 2011 at 8:28 pm | # |

    So, easy and delicious. I made mine with summer salad rather then with rice! I will be making these again.

    Check it out here:
    http://ikkin-bot.blogspot.com/2011/05/cooking-korean-chamchijeon-tuna.html

  29. paul My profile page I'm a fan! joined 4/10
    Posted May 28th, 2011 at 11:16 pm | # |

    ya these were bomb maangchi!

  30. shinyprettythings United States My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 25th, 2011 at 9:59 pm | # |

    I made these today! Turned out great and they taste so good!!! Usually I can’t really cook lol but I was able to successfully make these ^_^ thanks for the easy recipe! there are pictures of them on by blog =] http://shinyprettythings9.blogspot.com/2011/05/tuna-pancakes.html

  31. MariskaLim Jakarta, Indonesia My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/11
    Posted May 21st, 2011 at 8:52 am | # |

    i cooked this today! awesome and very simple dish! *thumbs up

  32. Erin My profile page joined 4/11
    Posted May 21st, 2011 at 1:25 am | # |

    maangchi….i very very say thanks with you….and next time i doing for my family …and i show my teacher maangchi see and i look you doing very easy thanks alot..muazhzhhz

  33. Pei Sze My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 20th, 2011 at 5:19 am | # |

    Is it possible to make these without egg? My son is allergic to egg.

  34. meneerIM My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 19th, 2011 at 8:55 pm | # |

    Meneer Reinier – your video is amazing and your Korean culinary skills are equally impressive. so where were you the past 3 years when we lived in Rotterdam (Kop van Zuid area) We had many LEKKER Korean dinner parties as my wife is quite the Korean chef – her repertoire is awesome, and surely we would’ve invited you if we had known about you and your passion for Korean food. I assume you shop at the KTDC on Varseweg? I miss Rotterdam very much.
    well…beste wensen en fijn dag!

    • Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/09
      Posted May 20th, 2011 at 12:18 pm | # |

      Thanks! I live in Katendrecht… so that was a 5 minute walk! Where are you now? It would have been nice to meet you. Yes KTDC is awesome. Greets from sunny Rotterdam!

  35. Sylvia My profile page I'm a fan! joined 9/08
    Posted May 19th, 2011 at 1:32 pm | # |

    Hi Reinier
    Great to see you with Maanchi!

    Sylvia

  36. Jason Nato Philippines My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 19th, 2011 at 10:43 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi!.I’m Jason, and I’m a male college student. Thank you a lot for the tuna pancake recipe! I cooked it for my family tonight and they liked it a lot. I feel happy when I cook for my family. There was only one problem: it wasn’t enough!!! Haha. I guess one can of tuna is not enough for four hungry people!! Thanks again. You’re video was good too. It is not boring, and is fun to watch!!

  37. animefreakpanda london My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 19th, 2011 at 9:12 am | # |

    hi! Maangchi…i’ve been reading your recipes for now 3 months…and i love you for all those recipes..and thank you as well…i love foods and cooking….it’s been few months that i’ve gain interest in korean food…ever since u’ve uploaded tuna pancake recipe..i’ve cooked it 4times..and me and my family love it…Thankyou so much for sharing it!!..xoxo…

  38. eve Germany My profile page joined 6/10
    Posted May 18th, 2011 at 3:09 pm | # |

    i just made a batch that was supposed to be for my bf, but i ate almost everything myself..so right now, im doing a second one haha :D

    its sooooooooo delicious and easy to make! this is definitely one of my favorites now that i need to cook at least once a weak!

    thank you so much maangchi!!!

  39. eahn4u My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 18th, 2011 at 1:56 pm | # |

    Hi.Maangchi:
    Is there print-friendly version of all your recipes? Maybe just recipes and pictures only? or just recipes?

  40. tsukihime91732 My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 18th, 2011 at 9:49 am | # |

    hi maangchi! i’m a long time reader, currently in south korea ^^ i love your recipes–thank you for all the work you put in your site and videos!!

    i do have a question please: in the chamchijeon recipe, can i substitute corn flour for the regular flour??

    thsnk you again!!

  41. Duri My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 17th, 2011 at 12:47 pm | # |

    Maangchi!! You and Rienier make a good cooking combo :)!

    I have followed your blog for a long time and finally registered so I could comment ^_^. I tried making the tuna pancake today it was delicious! I think next time I might try cooking the onion first before putting it in the tuna mix because I don’t like the raw taste of onions, but otherwise, great recipe!!! I love all your recipes!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 18th, 2011 at 10:21 am | # |

      I would cook longer over lower heat instead of cooking onion first. If you fry onion, the mixture will fall apart easily.

  42. Maha Jordan My profile page joined 12/10
    Posted May 17th, 2011 at 12:02 pm | # |

    your video is really great & funny & interesting … i laughed so much :-) & Reinier’s video is great too

  43. CurlVixen NYC My profile page joined 4/11
    Posted May 16th, 2011 at 9:06 pm | # |

    I made these as appetizers tonight and they were so good! I ran to get my camera in the next room and my family had demolished them and were smacking their chops when I returned. Yum, I’ll have the camera close by next time lol.

  44. mokpochica Michigan My profile page I'm a fan! joined 1/09
    Posted May 16th, 2011 at 4:09 pm | # |

    Made this yesterday with my kids. Easy and delicious.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 16th, 2011 at 9:56 pm | # |

      Cooking with your family is great! Your children will always remember cooking together when they grow up!

  45. Libelle Germany My profile page joined 10/09
    Posted May 16th, 2011 at 8:20 am | # |

    Awwwwwwww another Maangchi video with Reinier…always nice to see! :D Thanks for the lovely recipe, Maangchi unni,it will be a great banchan for dinner tonight. *^.~*

  46. seraph74 Sydney, Australia My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 16th, 2011 at 4:41 am | # |

    Do these keep well in the fridge? And should they be then eaten cold or reheated? I can’t wait to try these!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 16th, 2011 at 10:01 pm | # |

      Yes, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days but you will have to reheat it before eating.You can reheat it in the microwave oven, or pan fry.

  47. Justme Denmark My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted May 15th, 2011 at 7:51 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi :D
    I can’t seem to find sesame oil anywhere.
    Can i use something else?

    – lots of love from Denmark! :D

  48. scarryvictoria Singapore My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/11
    Posted May 15th, 2011 at 2:09 am | # |

    Hooray!! Gonna make this for pot luck lunch on this Tuesday.
    Was scratching my head hard.. Thanks for idea:))

  49. korea4me South Korea My profile page I'm a fan! joined 10/09
    Posted May 14th, 2011 at 2:47 am | # |

    I am SOOOO going to try making this recipe! By the way, Mangchi, I can’t WAIT to make Korean food when I am living and working in Korea! No more problems finding ingredients and I really really want to make my own soondubu jjigae! ^__^

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 14th, 2011 at 8:49 am | # |

      Yes, that’s so cool! You won’t have to worry about Korean ingredients anymore! I imagine that you are busy teaching English to Korean students and also learning and cooking Korean food in Korea. I’m very happy for you!

  50. soko2usa Minnesota My profile page joined 4/09
    Posted May 13th, 2011 at 7:01 pm | # |

    Looks wonderful! I’m going to make it later today! It was good to see Reinier too! The chewing scene at the end was so serious!

    Kerri

  51. JamieF New Zealand My profile page I'm a fan! joined 1/11
    Posted May 13th, 2011 at 5:37 pm | # |

    I love this video! You put the bloopers at the end that I really wanted to see and it did make me laugh! I am going to make this dish as soon as possible. You are Reinier are excellent onscreen together :) Thanks as always Maangchi :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted May 14th, 2011 at 8:52 am | # |

      Yes, I kept laughing loudly while editing the video! Reinier emailed me yesterday to say he was crying because it was so funny! : )

  52. cobugi Davis, CA My profile page joined 5/10
    Posted May 13th, 2011 at 4:10 pm | # |

    Maangchi! I absolutely love that little animation in the beginning of this video! How cute!!!

  53. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands My profile page I'm a fan! joined 2/09
    Posted May 13th, 2011 at 1:25 pm | # |

    This was soooooooooo fun to watch, i laughed so much. Thank you Maangchi for the great time and recipe!!

  54. leahangel Seattle, WA USA My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted May 13th, 2011 at 12:08 pm | # |

    Boong boong! What a fun and easy recipe :D


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