Chive pancake

Buchujeon 부추전

Whenever I go to a Korean grocery store, if I find a bunch of good quality chives, I always pick them up. What makes good quality chives? They should be dark green, fresh and not dried out, and without bruises! I have many recipes on my website that use chives: in mandu (dumplings), kimchi, and even hotteok!

But the simplest way to enjoy chives is to make a Korean-style savory pancake like I’m showing you in this recipe. You can serve a hot, crunchy, and gorgeous-looking pancake so quickly. It tastes a little salty with chive aroma, so it goes well with rice. This was one of my most frequent side dishes that I used to prepare for my children’s lunchbox, and they still talk about how good it was! If you want to pack it in a lunchbox, cut it into bite size pieces, usually rectangular, before putting it in.

If you want to make both sides of this pancake crunchy, cook it over high or medium high heat and use a generous amount of cooking oil. And be sure to cook it in a non-stick skillet so that the pancake won’t stick to the pan.


Serves 2


  1. Combine the flour, ¾ cup water, and fish sauce in a medium sized bowl and mix well. Stir in the chives and onion.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the oil to the hot skillet and swirl it around to coat.
  3. Scrape all the chive batter into a mound in the center of the skillet and spread it evenly so that it forms a thin, round pancake, about 11 to 12 inches in diameter. Cook until lightly browned and crisp on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. If your skillet is small, divide the batter in half and cook 2 pancakes one at a time.
  4. Shake the skillet to check its crispness. You should be able to hear the crispy pancake swish around in the nonstick pan.
  5. Turn the pancake over with a spatula and drizzle the remaining 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil around the edge of the skillet so that it runs under the pancake. buchujeon
  6.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, pressing the pancake down occasionally with the spatula until the other side is crisp. Turn the pancake again and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it’s crisp on both sides.
  7. Turn it over one more time and then slide it onto a plate. Serve right away. Or, to serve in a lunchbox, cool for 5 minutes and cut into bite-size pieces. buchujeon (부추전)

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  1. Can I make the batter ahead of time and refriderate it to use later in the day?

  2. Why would someone write this? These recipes are great, I enjoy your videos, and plan on using much of your dishes for cooking for my girlfriend (who loves the Koren cuisine)!

    No wonder it was posted “Anonymous”.

  3. I tried your recipe using breakfast pancake instead of plain flour haha. turned out great! really really good! theres nothing wrong with the recipe! its awesome!

  4. So happy to find your blog showcasing so many yummy Korean dishes. I live in Switzerland (born in Hong Kong)and have no access to a good korean restaurant. I have been to NYC Korean Town, the Korean BBQ there is the best!!! Now if i crave for Korean food I have to cook myself.
    Re: the pancakes, a lot of people use the Korean pancake mix, i tried once. they are good too. DO you use them too? Some ppl say the mix taste even better. What do you think? I have a pajeon post in my blog but using the mix. and i have to drive an hour to get a pack. I will try to make it like yours next time.

  5. 안녕하세요 Maangchi,
    I am Brazilian and live with my Korean husband in Korea. This site is wonderful for me because now I know several cooking traditional food that my husband likes and soon I will get my husband parents here in Korea (theys lives in Bolivia) and hope to please these wonderful dishes.

  6. Ah, I was trying to figure out why the link to the recipe + video wasn’t working… it’s linking back to this page. I think it should be this one, though:

  7. Dominique Echard& has 36 comments

    Made my first jeon last night and they were delicious. I used my usual Organic Unbleached All Purpose flour (American lol) and it was just fine. I am not sure what Christina and Melsamom are referring to about having to use Korean wheat flour. The bleaching process does make gluten more available in the flour as well as making it appear whiter, so maybe the gluten could be a factor in crisping? At the market I forgot to buy green onions so I used extra zucchini to compensate. Also used a little cayenne pepper for subtle heat as we can’t eat very spicy food. It was great with the dipping sauce!
    Don’t do what I did for the first pancake, though, which is add too much oil. The prevented me from flipping it safely and successfully – hot oil would have gone all over! The second time the pancake and flip was perfect.
    Melsamom, the electric burner should not make a difference as long as your pan was properly preheated. The major differences are response to heat change. When you adjust the flame on a gas burner it responds very quickly and the opposite is true for electric. A trick I saw once is to have two burners going so that if you are doing something more delicate you can switch back and forth from a low burner to a med-high burner. And just as in cooking meat, you must leave the food alone for a time for it to release itself from the pan. So in Maangchi’s recipe the 80% cooking on the one side aids in release. You can also slide a spatula under the cripsy pancake to help it release then shake it before flipping to make sure it has released.
    Hope this helps!

  8. La Choi& has 1 comment

    Maangchi, thank you for this amazing site. I’ve been working with your videos for the last month now, and it’s been a great experience. I don’t feel so intimidated about cooking Korean food anymore, and that’s huge for me! Thank you for giving me the confidence to try it! I tried this recepe, and got a tad excited and put some kimchi in there that made it too salty. Next time, I’ll omit the kimchi, or if I do use it I will omit the ts of salt. Thank you again Maangchi for all of us Koreans that only know how to cook western foods. You’re amazing!

  9. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    If the jeon is too soggy, I suggest adding more flour in the mixture.

    I’m copying and pasting my reply made for someone else on this page.

    “To make your pancake crispier, add oil more generously and use your spatula to lift the edge of your pancake so that vegetable oil can reach the center. Press the pancake slightly with your spatula.”

    I use all purpose flour. Good luck with making vegetable jeon!

  10. gabieolie& has 14 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    Even though my soondubu turned out great, my vegetable jeon was pretty much a failure. I followed the recipe exactly, but it turned out too soggy. I don’t know if the flour that I have is the bleached kind or all-purpose kind. I should have read all the comments before trying. I’m going to try again using the Korean pancake mix this time. Wish me luck!

  11. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

    oh, yeah? : ) Thank you very much!

  12. Fantastic Recipe!! I love to watch your cooking for years and your buchujeon and kaktookee were my home’s favorites.
    Thank you for sharing.
    (Buchujeon was my first dinner in Seoul… that made me thinking about you)


  13. dear christina, wow thanks for that information! yes I checked again and I did use the bleached american flour! no wonder why i fail miserably!

    dear maangchi, I tried your recipe one more time using all purpose flour and indeed it turns out great!!!! thankssss!!! *HUGSSS!!!*

  14. we made the same mistake and realized you can’t use american flour(bleached) you have to use the korean wheat flour. we discovered how much chewier and crispier it is!

  15. Maangchi joined 7/08 & has 12,047 comments

    wow, it sounds like you are already good at Korean cooking! Your buchujeon is soggy and didn’t move on the pan? hmm, the mixture of flour and water may be too watery. Put more flour or use less water so that the mixture is going to be thicker.

    To make your pancake crispier, add oil more generously and use your spatula to lift the edge of your pancake so that vegetable oil can reach the center. Press the pancake slightly with your spatula.

    Don’t forget to use a non-stick pan,

    Let me know how your new try turns out.

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