Grandma-style kimchi pancake

Kimchijeon 김치전

Hi, everybody! I’m going to introduce 2 kinds of kimchi pancakes (kimchijeon) to you today: chopped kimchi pancake and my grandma’s style of whole kimchi leaf pancake.

The kimchijeon made with chopped kimchi is very easy and simple to make. You don’t need any special ingredients as long as you have some kimchi in your fridge. I make this kimchijeon at home all the time. (note: I made an updated version of this recipe here!)


My grandma’s style of kimchijeon is made with whole kimchi leaves and is what I would call upgraded kimchijeon. ; )

Have you ever seen this kind of kimchijeon? I thought it looked very special the first time I saw my late grandmother making it for us. I remember what I thought: “Hmm, grandma treats the kimchi leaf like a slice of fish? Interesting!” But I never said anything, I just watched what she was doing.

I miss my grandmother now. She would be so proud of me if she knew I was posting her recipe here! Which recipe would you like better? : )

In the video, I show you how to cut the big, round kimchijeon (it’s 12 inches wide because my frying pan is 12 inches wide : )) into bite sized pieces, but as I mentioned in the video, you could also serve it right out of the pan without cutting it. It’s usually served as family snack that way. Then you use your chopsticks to tear off a piece of the kimchijeon and eat it. It may be difficult because the pancake might slide around on the plate, and it should stay there so everyone else can eat some too! So one of your family members should grab the pancake with her or his chopsticks so you can tear off your piece more easily. Helping each other is very important when you eat kimchijeon this way!

“Let me eat some, I need someone’s help! Grab the corner of this pancake for me, plz!”

If you cut it into bite sized pieces, it’s usually served as a side dish. It’s a popular side dish for lunch box, too.

Enjo~yee the recipe! : )

Kimchijeon made with chopped kimchi

Yield: 2-4 servings


Kimchi, onion, kosher salt, sugar, flour, vegetable oil.


  1. In a bowl, place 1 cup of chopped kimchi, 3 tbs of kimchi juice, 2 tbs chopped onion, ½ ts kosher salt, ½ ts sugar, ½ cup flour (all purpose flour), and ¼ cup of water and mix it well with a spoon.
    mixing kimchi pancake
  2. Heat up a 12 inch non-stick pan over medium high heat and drizzle about 2 tbs grape seed oil.
  3. Place the mixture of kimchi pancake batter on the pan and spread it thinly and evenly with a spoon.
  4. Cook it for 1 to 1½ minutes until the bottom gets golden brown and crispy.
  5. Turn it over with a spatula or flip it.
    frying kimchi pancake
  6. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 1½ minutes.
  7. Turn it over one more time and cook for 30 seconds before transfering it to a serving plate.
    *tip: Serve it right out of the pan or cool it down and cut it into bite size to serve.

kimchijeon kimchi pancake

Grandma’s kimchijeon made with whole kimchi leaves

Yield: 2 servings


Kimchi, ground pork, tofu, onion chives (or green onions), onion, kosher salt, black ground pepper, toasted sesame oil, egg, flour, grape seed oil.


Prepare kimchi

  1. Prepare 6 or 7 kimchi leaves (6 to 7 inches long, or 16 cm) and ½ cup flour in a plate.
  2. Coat both sides of each kimchi leaf  in the flour by hand.

Make meat mixture

  1. In a small bowl, add 2 tbs ground pork (or beef),  2 tbs tofu (after gently squeezing out excess water with a paper towel), 1 ts chopped onion chives (or green onion), 1 tbs chopped onion, a pinch of salt and black ground pepper, 1 ts of toasted sesame oil, and mix the mixture well with a spoon.
  2. Set aside.

Make the pancakes

  1. Place 1 egg in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt. Beat it with a fork.
  2. Add some of the meat-tofu mix on one side of a kimchi stem. Add some flour on top of the mixture.
  3. Put some of the meat-tofu mix on the rest of kimchi leaves.
  4. Heat up a non-stick pan and add some grape seed oil (or vegetable oil).
  5. Coat each kimchi leaf with beaten egg mix and place on the heated pan.
    *tip: the meat mixture should be bottom of the pan
  6. When the bottom of the kimchi pancake turns golden brown (1 or 1½ minutes), turn it over and cook another minute.
  7. Turn it over one more time and cook another 30 seconds before transfering it to a serving plate.
    *tip: you can serve it as it is or cut it into bite size before serving



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  1. Raine Fort Collins, CO joined 5/13 & has 3 comments

    Maangchi ssi! I am not a cook and I found your website in the process of teaching myself about the wonders of the kitchen. Because of this recipe I can now flip pancakes. I’ve made it SO many times. I recently added some garlic and some soy sauce to the chopped kimchijeon recipe and it is delicious! I love trying your food and learning how to cook. I realized that with my pan and my stove I had to cook the pancakes a little longer on each side. I used to ALWAYS follow recipes exactly.

    Next week a friend and I are going to make a huge batch to split to try some other kimchi based recipies. A local ahjumma made some tasty radish kimchi I might try out as well.

    I’ve also tried the full leaf kimchi. It took me a few attempts to make it less messy, but it ALWAYS tasted good. 감사합니다!!!!

    (PS I LOVE your make-up and your style.)

  2. misspeiqi Singapore joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    Today i tried the first kimchijeon recipe and my entire kitchen smelled like a korean restaurant!
    Two problems though: the pancakes kinda disintegrated however cooked they alr were and were not as crispy as i like them to be. How can i improve this?

  3. oksipak California joined 1/11 & has 72 comments

    So for 2013, the first Korean Dish I made was Kimchi Pancakes! Delicious! Today is January 9, 2013. Happy New Year everyone! :D

  4. n4rit4 Montclair, NJ joined 11/12 & has 10 comments

    Annyeong Maangchi!!! I stumbled upon your page while trying to figure out how to store my store-bought kimchi in my fridge so it won’t smell so bad. Anyhoo, I figured that out and I found your recipe for homemade kimchi which I’m always curious of. And now I read your kimchijeon and I will try it definitely first thing in the morning. One big question for you, with your halmeonni’s recipe, since I don’t eat pork, can I subsitute with something else? 구멉습니다!

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

      “One big question for you, with your halmeonni’s recipe, since I don’t eat pork, can I subsitute with something else?..”
      How about using ground beef?
      “definitely first thing in the morning..” : ) I think you are really getting into Korean cooking and you started with store-bought kimchi! Soon you will make homemade kimchi.

  5. aloneytx houston joined 1/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I am a new follower of your website. I absolutely love your site. I recently became enamored with kimchee after watching kimchee chronicles
    I saw there was a bean cake that is made with mung beans and kimchee, but the beans were light colored, I found some that were dark green are they the same? What can I subsitute for mung beans, sorry about the long question, but I really want to make as authentic as possible.

  6. frlavoie Canada joined 1/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!

    I discovered your site while preparing a trip to Korea and thought it was a great site! I’m a big fan since then. Thanks for all those recipes. This one is the first one I tried from your Website. It instantly became a favourite. I do it at least once a week. It goes with anything and it’s so good.

    There are also many variations you can do!

    Continue making videos and your Gapshida idea was awesome!


    Francis from Canada

  7. DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09 & has 36 comments

    This is my second time making kimchijeon. Such a fast, easy and delicious recipe. I’m making extra to freeze and also so I can free up my kimchi container. That was the last my my old kimchi. Time for a new batch!

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

      Now you will understand why people make 10 pounds of kimch. When you make kimchi pancake, kimchi is gone so fast. : ) You can make kimchi soup, stew, fried rice with kimchi. Good luck with your new batch! Have you already made it?

      • DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09 & has 36 comments

        Yes, ma’am! I made a batch yesterday with 6 pounds of baechu. I had some leftover kimchi juice so I saved it as a “starter” for my new batch. When everything was getting mixed together I added the sour kimchi juice, about 3/4 C. Going to take some to my friends at work who are so amused by a Westerner knowing more about Korean cooking than they do! LOL Also, my friend Robi needs to see that good kimchi is not too salty and will not raise his blood pressure – that is what he said happened when he used to eat a lot of it. But I asked if it was store bought, he said yes! I told him no way he should eat store bought. Try mine! I’ll give it to them tomorrow.

  8. snowberry HongKong joined 11/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi ^^
    I tried to cook the kimchi pancake by following your recipe, however I find that the pack of instant kimchi that I bought from supermarket do not have enough much kimchi juice to make it to 3 table spoon. Just wondering what things should I substitute for kimchi juice when I am making the pancake? Because I try to substitute it for 3 table spoon of water and the pancake turn out become too soft =(
    Thanks! :D

  9. Larissa Kyoto joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    Hello Maangchi,
    I was wondering if Kimchijeon still tastes good after it cooled off, if I can use it for a doshirak the next day.
    I know Kimchi tastes great cold and pancakes are still delicious the next day, is it the same for kimchijeon?

    Thanks for all the great (and simple!) recipes so far!!!

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

      yes, it will still be delicious. Kimchijeon is one of my favorite side dishes for my doshirak (Korean lunch in a box). But it’s most delicious right after making it when it’s still warm.
      You are making doshirak everyday? yum yum!

  10. DominiqueEchard North Carolina joined 5/09 & has 36 comments

    I had a very hard day today, very emotional. So when I finally got home around 9 PM all I could think about was comfort food. Not mac and cheese (even though I’m a vegan!), not mashed potatoes or chips, cookies, or ice cream. I had to make kimchijeon for the first time and eat it all by myself. The kimchi I have in my fridge is about 4 months old, perfectly sour and delicious. I’ve discovered I like it best either JUST made or nice and sour like this. While making the batter I couldn’t stop munching on ice cold kimchi, and only a double batch would do – I have to have some leftovers :D I’m old hat at making jeon now, but I think kimchijeon is my new favorite. My asbestos fingers kept picking away at the searing hot edges before the jeon even came out of the pan. Since I love to dip I made a sauce for other jeon – the extra sugar complements nicely. Thanks for a great recipe and making my evening.

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

      It sounds like your kimchi pancake helped you remove your stress! While you are cooking, you will forget about your woes and when the dish comes out delicious, you will be delighted. That’s called cooking therapy! lol “My asbestos fingers kept picking away at the searing hot edges before the jeon even came out of the pan..” cute! : )

  11. Mi ok VN joined 10/11 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi , hi , i’m new mem ! I love kimchi pancake but I don’t have grape seed oil ! What should I do ?

  12. littlez Boca Raton, FL joined 8/11 & has 11 comments

    I have another question that I forgot to ask in my last post. I think my husband would like these, but he’s gluten free. Would rice flour work in place of all purpose flour?

  13. littlez Boca Raton, FL joined 8/11 & has 11 comments

    Maangchi… these are fantastic!!! I had some Kimchi in my fridge (for a while) that I was still a little skeptical about tasting because I had never tried it before. I was a llittle embarrassed when I asked a friend if it was still good, and she laughed at me! I found your pancake recipe and thought it was perfect for my first attempt. Boy, was I ever right!!! I had a little too much oil in my pan to flip it like you did, but it came out just like your video (except in 2 pieces! lol!) I have a neighbor who loves when I experiment with cooking and he’ll literally eat anything. I ran right over there and he loved it just as much as I did. Thanks so much!! I love your website. Keep up the good work! :)

  14. Maangchi!,
    My Grandma Is Korean And I Remember Growing Up, She Would Make This For Me All Of The Time And I Loved It! Making This Brought Back Beautiful Memories And Tasted Amazing! Thank You!!

  15. gamei1105 Malaysia joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I’m your new reader and I’d made this kimchijeon with my homemade kimchi ( according to your recipe ) today and it was a success! I’d added chopped bacon into it and seasoned with some fish sauce, sesame oil and sesame seed for more flavour. It turned out well and I love the bacon crips along with the kimchi! Thanks for the recipe!

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

      Adding chopped bacon sounds great to me!

      • Jenshan01 AUSTIN TX joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

        Hi Maangchi,
        I’ve been a silent reader and follower for a very long time. I loveeee your site and your passion and devotion to teaching people how to cook Korean food. However, what I love the most about you is you are really sincerly care for all of your fans. Even after being so well-know and famous, you still responds to our questions and emails. I hope to see you on Food Network soon and wish you the very best. You are so deserve it… Way to go….

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