Jijimi (Korean Vegetable Pancakes)

When I thought about moving to Korea, I imagined that I would become an expert on cooking Korean food. I knew I’d have a kitchen and full access to all the ingredients I might need to make just about any Korean dish I wanted.

I didn’t really think about the fact that I might not feel like making Korean food every day, or that what I’d end up craving about 80% of the time would be comfort foods from home (including things I never really even ate when I was still in America). But instead of making my own kimchi or perfecting bulgogi, I have been sticking to pretty basic non-Korean food.

I saw jijimi (also called buchimgae, according to my students) listed on a few menus (mostly drinking places, because apparently it’s usually a bar snack), and thought it sounded like something that was worth a try. I did a little web research, and ended up making this, which seems to be a cross between Japanese okonomiyaki and jijimi. There are numerous possibilities for adapting this recipe to include different vegetables and toppings, and I fully intend to experiment with it some more. I think it’s pretty tasty dipped in soy sauce mixed with vinegar or topped with kimchi, and of course, a nice cold beer would be a welcome accompaniment.


1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup water
a generous pinch salt
2 c thinly sliced cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp vegetable oil

for serving:
soy sauce and rice vinegar

Whisk together the water and egg, and gently stir in the flour and salt. Fold in the vegetables and sesame seeds. It won’t look like typical pancake batter, it will probably look more like coleslaw.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high. Swirl the pan so the oil is evenly distributed. Pour the cabbage mixture into the pan and spread to the edges so it is evenly thick.

Cook 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until golden brown. If the bottom begins to burn but the top is still very runny, turn the heat down.

Flipping can be a bit of a challenge. If you need to, slide the pancake, cooked side down, onto a plate, and then invert back into the pan to finish cooking. When cooked through and golden on both sides, cut into quarters to serve.

Mix the soy sauce and rice vinegar in a one-to-one ratio for dipping, or top with kimchi.



17 Responses to “Jijimi (Korean Vegetable Pancakes)”

  1. 1 Emily September 17, 2009 at 8:47 am

    These look really good! We have a little deli near where I work that serves inexpensive Korean food and I’ve been branching out and trying many new things.

  2. 2 Chelsea September 17, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Just putting this out there, but I think Jijimi would be a japanese term? I’ve never heard JUN called Jijimi. Looks good though. We usually used the prepackaged Jun (cheon) mix, it sounds bad; but that’s the only thing that tastes better than homemade! 😉

  3. 3 Chris September 17, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Hottest food I’ve had in my life was Korean (which is a good thing!). This looks so great – you’ve enticed me to check out some Korean cookbooks. Thanks!

  4. 4 Debbi September 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Try blending some crushed garlic in with the vinegar & soy… mmmmmm. You can make a bunch of the sauce and save it in the fridge for next time!!

  5. 5 Eralda September 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    The pancakes look delicious! I am not a fan of breakfast, sweet pancakes, but give me savory ones any day and I’ll be a happy girl. I have a few zucchini that need cooking. You just gave me a great idea. 🙂

  6. 6 gaga September 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    I usually use the korean pancake mix, but this looks totally doable…and delicious!

  7. 7 Natasha September 18, 2009 at 12:50 am

    This looks wonderful. I’ll have to give it a try with gluten-free flour!

  8. 8 Kerstin September 18, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Mmm, savory pancakes sound delicious, I can see why they’re bar food, they sound really comforting!

    And, happy anniversary!

  9. 9 Mary September 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I had a 24 hour layover in Korea on my way to Thailand this year….and fell in LOVE with bi bim bap. Didn’t have any Korean food I didn’t love…these look fabulous!

  10. 10 The Baking Dentist September 19, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Jijimi! Wow I haven’t heard that term in so long! It’s actually also called bu-chim-gae.
    They can also be made using ground mung-beans in place of flour. It gives a really good texture.
    But these look awesome! 🙂

  11. 11 Erin Cottrell September 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Looks interesting, and yummy!

  12. 12 Ricki September 24, 2009 at 6:37 am

    These look fantastic–and sound so do-able! I mut give them a try. 🙂

  13. 13 Caroline in San Francisco October 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Just made these pancakes using some squash I had in the refrigerator. Very good indeed! Good way to get my toddler to eat vegetables. Thanks!

  14. 14 wendthere July 3, 2010 at 2:35 am

    hello! I tried making them and it turned out fine but it wasn’t crispy. It tasted like normal pancakes, like the ones eaten for breakfast at macs. How do I make them cripsy on the outside without burning them?

    • 15 Cate July 3, 2010 at 9:48 am

      If you add a little extra oil to the pan and make sure it’s hot before you add the batter, they might get a little crispier. Mine weren’t totally crispy, but I like them that way!

  1. 1 Today’s TasteSpotting « Sweet Ginger Trackback on September 21, 2009 at 9:54 am
  2. 2 Okonomiyaki « Cate's World Kitchen Trackback on April 16, 2010 at 5:27 am

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