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, kosher salt, ground black pepper,  sesame oil, egg, flour, and canola oil.


  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 kosher salt, ¼ ts ground black pepper, 1 egg, 1 ts toasted 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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  1. Chae Rin South Korea joined 7/19 & has 2 comments

    Wow Maangchi thank you for this! I always eat tuna to help with migraines! Omega-3 is great for them! This was a fun way to help with them thank you!

  2. Madhu1010 USA joined 11/19 & has 3 comments

    I made this today but with an Indian twist! I added three garlic cloves instead of 1, added 1 tsp of ginger, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala. Everything else is the same. This tasted sooo good! Inspired me to buy more tuna cans and try more variations! Thanks, Maangchi <3

    See full size image

  3. MUCOUS SE GEORGIA joined 4/18 & has 3 comments

    Fantastic. Easy to prep/cook, ready in minutes. Served 2(three each) with slices of roma tomato on lettuce leaves. Loved it!

  4. Quick, easy, fairly inexpensive, high in protein, and most of all, delicious!!! What more could you want? A great addition to a meal or lunch box. These are one of my favorite post workout snacks as well.

  5. korea4me South Korea joined 10/09 & has 55 comments

    What a glorious and delicious pancake! Simple to make and very satisfying. Happy 2017 xxxxx

    • davidj Fargo, North Dakota joined 4/23 & has 1 comment

      Is ts a teaspoon? I found this too salty. I just want to know the recipe called for 1 teaspoon of salt before reducing it. I keep on verifying. I could be stupid and can’t read.

      • korea4me South Korea joined 10/09 & has 55 comments

        The recipe calls for kosher salt and this is something I have never seen for sale in the UK. I tend to use sea salt and that works fine. However, recipes can be modified and adapted. If you find it too salty then just don’t add it. ^_^

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 515 comments

        Please adjust the amount of salt to your liking. 1/2 teaspoon will be good and serve as a side dish for rice.
        In the past, we used a lot of salt to season side dishes, but nowadays we’re more conscious of our salt intake. As this is one of my oldest recipes, I plan to update it soon to reflect current dietary preferences.

  6. anita tan Indonesia joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi, Maangchi..
    i would like to say that you are awesome in cooking..thumbs up..but i wanna ask can i used fresh tuna fillet rather the tuna can? if so, is that any different for the measurement of the salt maybe? thanks before..

  7. Jerome Denmark joined 9/14 & has 2 comments

    These are so delicious! In Denmark we have something similar to this. It is made from ground pork and it’s called frikadeller (roughly translated into English, it would be meatballs), but the tuna is a great substitute for pork and a good and easy way to eat some fish during the week. I also added chili pepper and it was so delicious!

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