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.


  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!




  1. tsukihime91732 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!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 18th, 2011 at 10:19 am | # |

      Yes, corn flour will work well! : )

  2. Duri 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 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.

  3. Maha Jordan 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

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 18th, 2011 at 10:22 am | # |

      I can do anything for my readers to make them laugh. No I shouldn’t say that. : ) lol

  4. CurlVixen NYC 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.

  5. mokpochica Michigan joined 1/09
    Posted May 16th, 2011 at 4:09 pm | # |

    Made this yesterday with my kids. Easy and delicious.

    • Maangchi New York City 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!

  6. Libelle Germany 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. *^.~*

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

      ” *^.~*” Does it mean you are smiling? : )

      • Libelle Germany joined 10/09
        Posted May 18th, 2011 at 2:37 am | # |

        It’s a winking smiley. The Chamchijeon turned out delicious by the way! *^.^*

  7. seraph74 Sydney, Australia 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 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.

  8. Justme Denmark 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

  9. scarryvictoria Singapore 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:))

  10. korea4me South Korea 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 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!

  11. soko2usa Minnesota 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!


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 14th, 2011 at 8:50 am | # |

      yummy! I will post your tuna pancake photo soon!

  12. JamieF New Zealand 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 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! : )

      • Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09
        Posted May 19th, 2011 at 4:14 pm | # |

        Yes, the bloopers where amazing! i laughed soooo much!

  13. cobugi Davis, CA 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!!!

  14. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands 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!!

    • Ina Maryland,USA joined 10/08
      Posted May 13th, 2011 at 4:37 pm | # |

      Totally agreed,Reinier..You & Maangchi are both really fun to watch.

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

    Boong boong! What a fun and easy recipe :D

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 14th, 2011 at 8:53 am | # |

      You remembered the word! yummy yummy boong boong!

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