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!




Rate this recipe:

So far this recipe is rated 5/5 from 10684 votes

Be the first to rate this recipe.


  1. afrah America joined 3/16 & has 1 comment

    Mmm, delicious, great recipe for a student living alone like me who does not have too much time/equipment to cook. Make sure you check if your tuna already has salt in it and if it does, reduce or omit the salt.
    I did not have onion on me so I substituted leek/green onion. I also added 1 chopped red chili for extra flavor and a little color. It tasted very good and was super easy with little dishwashing. Everything went into one bowl and I washed it while the tuna was frying.
    I am eager to try this next time maybe with some diced cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
    I bought sesame oil finally so I could do these recipes. One of the best decisions of my life :)

  2. deCombys joined 12/15 & has 3 comments

    Thanks for the recipe! It was great.

    I did this little modification : I grated the onion and garlic (because I don’t like the texture of onion and garlic bits). It made the dough a little wet but I didn’t want to squeeze out the onion juice because it tastes good. So I put in a little more flour and it was perfect! The texture was crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Yum!

    Because I’m allergic to wheat, I used a mix of buckwheat, millet and tapioca flours which is my usual “all-purpose” mix. I also cooked in olive oil because I always do. Those two adaptations weren’t very perceptible taste-wise. Also, my tuna was pretty salty to begin with so I only put 1/2 tsp of salt as another reader suggested. It was the right amount.

    It is somewhat similar to a local fish pancake we make here but which has an appreciable amount of pre-cooked grains (like rice or bulgur) instead of a small amount of flour, needs to be cooked longer and is messier to make. Like this pancake, we usually make it with tuna, but I have tried it with canned sardine fillets and it was delicious, so I suppose that this recipe would be great with them too. I might try next time.

    For some reason I got the urge to eat them with mock tartare sauce (mayo with honey and chopped cornichons), but when I finished the sauce I ate them as is and thought it was a waste to use such a strong sauce on them (might be indicated for a sardine version though).

    I will try putting a square of gim on one side while cooking I think. This recipe is so easy and tasty that it makes me want to make infinite variations so I can have it every day XD (Maybe chopped northern shrimp instead of fish?)

  3. fadoua89 joined 10/15 & has 1 comment

    it’s delicious i made some changes depend on my taste i added a little of thyme, cheese, mortadella and since i hadn’t sesame oil or sesam seeds i just add a 1/2 cs of butter and it’s really awesome thank you for your recipe. XD

  4. miladyjean joined 4/11 & has 2 comments

    These are also great when made with canned salmon for people like myself who hate tuna and adding 1-2 diced serrano peppers if you like things spicy like I do, if you only like things a little spicy use 1-2 de-seeded jalapenos.

  5. Oxide California joined 2/15 & has 47 comments

    I made this recipe, again, today for lunch. But I did it a little different. I made a big pancake that would fit on a toasted sandwich roll. Melted a slice of provolone cheese on top. Combined with mustard, mayo, lettuce and sliced tomato. I call it tuna-pancake-sandwich-with-cheese. It was very good.

  6. Oxide California joined 2/15 & has 47 comments

    I made this for lunch, today. I did a couple things different — (1) I dialed back the salt to 1/2 tsp because the soy sauce is salty. It was the perfect amount of salt. (2) I combined all of the ingredients, except the tuna, and mix it well. Than I added the tuna and mixed to coat it. The sauce was amazingly easy to make but very flavorful, complimented the tuna pancakes perfectly.

    The brand of tuna I used is Wild Planet. It is available at Costco. It is just tuna, no water and no oil added. While in the can about 1 tsp of liquid comes out of the tuna. Just pour it off and the tuna is ready to be made into pancakes.

    Oh, is that your natural hair color? No? But it looks just so natural on you.

  7. imlykaspain saudi arabia joined 7/14 & has 2 comments

    I always cooked this especially for our breakfast meal.

  8. CCStallings Goose Creek, SC joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    Made this for dinner for my husband and I. My husband is a terribly picky eater and the moment he heard the name and was told that it was made with canned tuna he was immediately reluctant to try it. However, once I made it and he tried a bite of it, he actually loved it! Wonderful recipe. I think next time I’ll try making bigger ones and try putting them on burger buns!

  9. paiyong Singapore joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    I tried your recipe since I love tuna and was curious to try recipes that use it. It was good and similar to our potato pancake which are usually eaten with our chicken noodle soup (soto ayam). I did add things to suit my palate such as chopped green chillies and 1 teaspoon of coriander.

  10. Inafuko Brazil joined 2/13 & has 2 comments

    Dear Maangchi, the recipe is great! I loved! But, I have a doubt… is it really 1 ts of salt? It got a little bit salty >.<

    thank you ^__^

  11. JanM Puerto Rico joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi, greetings from Puerto Rico.

    I was wondering if its possible to subtitute the canned tuna for canned chicken.

  12. sreyes6 California joined 12/12 & has 2 comments

    OMG! I’ve actually made this exact same dish a few times before. I didn’t know it was a Korean recipe. My family loves them and I serve them with a sweet chili sauce.

  13. Julnyes Brooklyn joined 10/12 & has 6 comments

    Made these last night and they came out quite tasty. I used half as much salt since I find tuna pretty salty to begin with and I was thrilled with the result. I look forward to trying more of your recipes :)

  14. Bekkah Alberta joined 10/12 & has 1 comment

    OMG!! I have the exact same shirt as you!! Lol.

  15. Sali joined 6/12 & has 12 comments

    I made these with my brother, we had a lot of fun while cooking them. Easy and delicious! We made a simple “poor student” version without garlic and sesame oil, and left out the extra salt because canned tuna already has a lot of flavor. Also, we made a discovery… to make delicious tuna burgers, put these pancakes between slices of toasted bread. :D So versatile, and easy! Thank you Maangchi!

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.