I’m excited to release another easy and delicious recipe for you today. Let’s make baechujeon, Korean cabbage pancake! It’s easy, fast, simple and cheap and most of all you will be surprised how good it tastes!
This baechujeon is made with napa cabbage (baechu) which is what we use to make traditional kimchi, too. So the next time you make kimchi keep some cabbage leaves on the side for this recipe. Or if you’re too curious about the taste, pick one up today and try this out. These days baechu is much more widely available than before. As soon as I saw this beautiful green cabbage in Whole Foods recently, not too big and not too small, my heart was beating. I picked it up right away.
I didn’t know much about baechujeon while growing up because it’s made widely in north of Gyeongsang province in Korea. But over the years some of my readers and viewers have suggested it to me. They said “Have you ever tasted baechujeon? It’s very delicious!”and some of them even gave me their recipe!
To make this pancake more delicious, make a delicious batter with good stock. A cabbage by itself will be slightly crispy and sweet, which is good, but the taste is enhanced with a good batter, which is why I never skip it. I sometimes use vegetable stock and sometimes anchovy kelp stock, and this time I used some of my homemade vegetable stock that I had frozen. You also can use beef or chicken broth. The batter should be thin and a little runny: if it’s too thick it will clump, so the ratio is important. Be sure to use up all the batter.
Are you vegan? Then simply modify the batter by skipping egg, and add egg-sized amount of extra vegetarian stock (about 1/4 cup) to the batter.
Be sure to use a generous amount of cooking oil so the pancake will be crunchy. And as soon as it’s cooked it should be served, because even 5 to 10 minutes later it will be a little soggy. What Koreans do is one person cooks and everyone else sits and eats the pancakes as soon as they come off the pan. Don’t worry too much if you are the one cooking: you’ll get an entire, good-looking pancake all to yourself at the end.
- 8 ounces napa cabbage leaves (4 to 5 leaves), washed, pat dried, with a few slits at the bottom so they lay flat
- vegetable oil for cooking
- 1 cup stock (vegetable stock, anchovy-kelp stock, or chicken broth)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅔ cup all purpose-flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon gochu-garu (Korean hot pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Make the sauce
- Combine the soy sauce, gochu-garu, vinegar, green onion, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
- Mix well and set aside.
Make the batter and fry the cabbage leaves
- Combine the stock, salt, flour, and the egg in a large bowl. Mix together well.
- Heat up some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Swirl to coat evenly.
- Dip a cabbage leaf into the batter, making sure to coat the whole leaf. Place it in the skillet.
- Repeat with another leaf.
- With a spatula, press down on the slitted white parts of the leaves for about 10 seconds to flatten them out. Cook until lightly crisped on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
- Flip and add more oil if necessary. Cook another 2 minutes, until the other side is lightly crisp, too.
- Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until both sides are crisp but not brown.
- Transfer to a plate and serve right away with the dipping sauce. Work in batches with the rest of cabbage and the batter.
How to eat:
- Cut the pancake into bite size pieces with kitchen scissors.
- Add some dipping sauce and eat.