Do you like shrimp?

I think pretty much all seafood lovers will accept a shrimp, if offered. Korean cuisine has many recipes that use shrimp, and I love them all, but today I’m going to show you how to make shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: saeu means shrimp and jeon means pancake) from jumbo shrimp.

Yes, I said jumbo shrimp! When you make saeujeon, you need to make them from jumbo shrimp, even though it’s more expensive. It will be worth it!

Whenever you buy seafood, of course the first thing to do is check the freshness. Shrimp is no exception, and even flash-frozen shrimp is better than old shrimp. How do you know if shrimp is fresh?

First of all, it looks firm and shiny. Secondly, it won’t be smelly at all. It may smell like the ocean a bit – that’s a beautiful smell! – but it won’t be stinky. When shopping at the fish market, smell the shrimp as fast and indiscreetly as you can, otherwise no fishmonger will be happy to see a weird customer sniffing his shrimp.

You may ask: “Can I make it with smaller shrimp? I can’t afford to jumbo size, guys!”

My answer is: “Of course you can! Make 2 or 3 shrimp in one pancake, if you insist.”

But it will take more time to shell tiny shrimp. If I see someone shelling tiny shrimp one by one, I usually joke: “Don’t cook the shrimp with your hot fingers!”

Yes, our body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius! Excess handling of seafood and shrimp can actually spoil it faster.

Saeujeon tastes sweet and succulent and has a chewy texture. When cooked, the shrimp look gorgeous!


Serves 4

  • 16 jumbo size shrimp (or 1 pound shelled and heads off shrimp)
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • cooking oil (grape seed, corn, or vegetable oil)
  • kosher salt

For mustard paste:


For dipping sauce:


How to shell, clean, and butterfly cut shrimp:

  1. Twist off the shrimp heads and peel off the shells with your hands. Save the heads for broth.jumbo shrimp-frozenjumbo-shrimp
  2. Leave the tails on but remove the sharp thing right top of the tail (telson) by pushing it up. Koreans call it a “shrimp water pouch” because that spot has always a little amount of water. Put the cleaned shrimp on the cutting board.
  3. Remove the intestines of the shrimp by making a slit along the middle of each shrimp’s back. There will be a long dark line inside, pull it out by hand. Make a deeper cut to along the curve of the belly,  but be sure not to cut all the way through. If you find any dark stuff near in there, remove it, too.Shrimp-deveined
  4. Score the shrimp on both sides so that it won’t shrink when cooked.
  5. Rinse in cold water, drain, and pat dry with a paper towel.

shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전)shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전)

Make dipping sauce:

  1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, chopped green onion, and sesame seeds in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Make mustard paste:

  1. Mix the mustard powder with water in a small bowl.

Season the shrimp:

  1. Put the shrimp on a large plate, belly side up and side by side without touching each other. Sprinkle 2 pinches of salt and ½ teaspoon ground white pepper over top, evenly.
  2. Dip your finger into the mustard paste and put a bit on each shrimp, just like painting.shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전)
  3. Coat the inside of the shrimp with flour shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전)
  4. Beat 2 eggs with a pinch of salt in a bowl.

Pan fry the shrimp:

  1. Heat up a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add some cooking oil to the pan. Dip the shrimp into the egg and put the shrimp in the pan, coated part down. Repeat this with the rest of the shrimp but don’t crowd them in the pan.
  3. Cook for a few minutes until the bottom of the shrimp turns a little light golden brown, pressing down slightly with a spatula every now and then. Turn them over and cook another couple of minutes until both sides are light golden brown.shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전)
  4. Remove  from the heat and serve as a side dish or snack with the dipping sauce.

shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전) shrimp pancakes (saeujeon: 새우전)

What to do with the shrimp heads

Shrimp heads are full of flavor, and a broth made from them is a great substitute for water in any Korean stew (but especially doenjang-jjigae), or to substitute the water you use in the porridge for kimchi. It always turns out delicious.

  1. Collect the shrimp heads and wash a couple of times.
  2. Put them into a pot and submerge them in fresh water, enough to cover them completely with an inch left over.
  3. Boil over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes until all the delicious stuff is infused into the water.
  4. Strain (or squeeze) before using.


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  1. CarlosFromTexas Houston TX joined 9/18 & has 1 comment

    Looks delicious Maangchi! I will try to make this with rice flour or cornstarch as I cook for someone who cannot eat wheat flour. Any suggestions welcome!

  2. rosi jeddah, k.s.a joined 9/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi, Mam Maangchi,
    I am very impressed about your cooking, especially Seafoods, Pancakes and Permented veggies like Kimchi, actually I love them all your recipes… I very Proud of you! Can I have a favor to ask, because I really Loved Korean foods and TV intertainment and dramas, how about if you give as Korean to English name your menus or recipes. Just like Saeo- Shrimp, jeon- pancake, Wow…next time I will a picture the one I will cook from your recipes. Thank you so mam Maangchi and God bless you more.

  3. bbbtae Middle east joined 12/16 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi!! I always try your recipes and they always end up so delicious. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us :))
    I have a question too. Can I use smaller shrimps and just make them like a batter to stick together and make the pancakes for this recipe? Would it still work? Or does it have to be bigger ones?

  4. Hi Maangchi,
    Started following your channel since last year and I love your videos a lot! Your video has been a great inspiration for me to cook and taste Korea food especially for people living in other countries where it hard to find nice Korean food. But with your video, I can recreate them easily at home. I tried making Korean food for my parents and friends and they really like it! Now I am constantly cooking dinner for my parents with some of your recipe!!! And I thought I couldn’t get your cooking book in Singapore! But luckily I found them and it was the last piece. I know they are going to stock up the book, but I have to get them asap because I couldn’t wait any longer!

  5. animemaga Canada joined 3/15 & has 3 comments

    Hi, i was just wondering where you got that basket from?
    ive been looking for one for vegetables and i havent been able to find one.

  6. aTrueRedHead Germany joined 8/14 & has 17 comments

    Hello Maangchi
    You did it again, another great recipe!

    I just finished eating this and I can only say: fabulous.
    I made this with regular mustard powder (becasue thats all I ihad) and I wish I had more shrimps. It tasted so great. And it is so easy and fast to make. I just have to practise the butterfly cut :-). Is there is a difference between Korean and regular mustard powder?

    See full size image

  7. xelloss1989 United States joined 1/13 & has 15 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I am living in Seoul now, and at this season there are so many stands selling cases and cases of 매실. Could you post a recipe of making 매실주 and 매실 extract? I now can only buy made ones from the traditional market. Thank you!

  8. Tosin_Oc London, UK joined 3/15 & has 40 comments

    OMG these look out of this world! I must try it!!!

  9. Ssagazi joined 6/15 & has 1 comment

    Hi, it’s my first time to meet you online.
    I met your food online a few days ago and I got to love your cooking.
    After that time, i watch your videos every single day.
    I like your recipe and would like to follow all your way.
    I have a question.
    Where did you buy your cutting board, I love it , so I want to buy one like yours as much as I can.

  10. stirbar New York City joined 3/15 & has 14 comments

    Maangchi, this looks amazing! I’m super excited to make this for a dinner party next week. :) Thanks so much, your recipes mean the world to me :)

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