Let’s celebrate the spring of 2018 with yachaejeon, a Korean vegetable pancake!
I introduced this recipe to you in 2007 when I first started YouTube, but it wasn’t exactly yachaejeon because I used seafood. The video is here if you’re interested to see it. This time let’s make a real yachaejeon!
We’ll use a couple different kinds of vegetables and you can add your own, too. I didn’t use perilla leaves (kkaenip) or asian chives (buchu) this time, but they work well in yachaejeon.
These pancakes remind me of my grandmother on my mother’s side, who passed away a long time ago. When I was young, during school vacation my mother used to send me and my siblings to her mother’s house in a small village in the countryside.
Whatever she made, it was so tasty! I remember she made vegetable pancakes all afternoon because she had to feed so many family members. While she was cooking the pancakes, we all waited and eagerly watched what she was doing. Once she brought it out, we ate it very fast!
For a large 12 inch pancake
About 2½ to 3 cups 0f sliced vegetables
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch long
⅓ cup leek (optional), sliced thinly 1 inch long
3 ounces zucchini matchsticks (about 1/2 cup)
1 green chili pepper (or jalapeño), optional, sliced
3 ounces onion, sliced
⅓ cup sweet potato
1 fresh mushroom (white, baby portobello, or shiitake)
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Make dipping sauce:
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper flakes (if using), and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix it well with a spoon. Transfer it to a small bowl. Seat aside.
Combine green onion, leek (if using), zucchini, green chili pepper (if using), onion, and sweet potato in a bowl. Add flour salt, and ¾ cup water. Mix it well with a wooden spoon.
Make a pancake:
Heat up a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. I use my 12 inch non-stick skillet to make one big pancake, but if your skillet is small, you can work in batches to make smaller ones.
Add about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the skillet evenly. Add the batter to the skillet and spread it out evenly.
Turn down the heat to medium and put the sliced mushroom on top. Gently press them in with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottom turns crunchy light golden brown. Grab the handle of the skillet and twirl it around so the pancake moves and is cooked evenly underneath.
Turn or flip over the pancake.
Increase the heat to medium high and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil along the edges of the pancake. Lift up one edge with your spatula and tilt the skillet so the oil flows underneath the pancake.
Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until both sides turn light golden brown, occasionally pressing down with the spatula.
Flip it over one more time and cook another 2 minutes.
Transfer it to a large plate and serve right away with the dipping sauce.