These Yachaejeon 야채전 or Korean vegetable pancakes are one of my favourite ways to use up leftover vegetables and I wanted to make something fun for Valentine’s so I made these into heart-shaped pancakes.
In a large mixing bowl, add in all the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Slowly pour in the water while mixing. Mix until you’ve reached a thick batter consistency. If the batter is still too thick, you can add 2-4 tbsp more water. Do note that the batter is thick and should coat the vegetables well.
Mix in the veggies of choice into the batter and mix evenly to coat. See notes for other vegetable options and cooking tips.
Mix everything together and feel free to adjust to your taste. You can easily make this dipping sauce before hand. I recommend to make this before cooking the pancakes.
COOKING THE PANCAKES
Heat a medium/large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Note that the size of your pancake will depend on the size of your pan. IMPORTANT: I highly recommend using a non-stick pan for the best results and so that your pancakes do not stick to your pan. It's also important that your pan has been preheated well and is hot before you add in the oil and the veggies/batter.
Add enough oil to add to coat the surface of the pan. Once hot, scoop some of the batter and veggie mix. Spread these over your pan and get these as thin as possible and then carefully shape into a heart. Repeat for the rest.
Cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat or until the batter starts to dry up. You can also cover your pan if your pancake is thick, this way the vegetables will better cook down.
Once the sides start to dry up, carefully scrape the sides and the underneath of the pancake with a spatula to ensure it hasn’t stuck to the pan. Once it’s golden brown underneath and crisp to your liking, carefully flip the pancake with a spatula. Cook the other side until golden brown and crisp. Repeat this for the rest of the batter.
See notes for more tips.
Slice your pancakes into small squares or bite-sized pieces. This is best enjoyed with a good dipping sauce (recipe here or in the card above)! I also find it a lot easier to cut the pancakes using a pair of scissors.
How to enjoy your jeon? I love mine with a hearty Sundubu Jjigae (Korean Soft Tofu Stew) or Jjajangmyeon. Best enjoyed with some Vegan Kimchi, too!
STORAGE AND REHEATING TIPS
Store the cooked pancakes in an air-tight container and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks. To reheat, pan fry the pancakes on a pan for 2-3 minutes on each side until crisp. You can also heat these in your oven toaster.
VEGETABLES + TIPS
You can really opt to add whatever veggies you have for these pancakes! Other great additions are sweet potato (i add them in raw!), mushrooms, bell peppers, potatoes, etc.
Cooking your veggies: I used all raw vegetables for this, even for the sweet potatoes. They cook down nicely on the pan but be sure to evenly spread them so they can be as thin as possible. You can also opt to cover the pan to be sure the vegetables cook down, especially if your pancake is a bit thick.
Veggies releasing liquid: certain vegetables will release quite a lot of liquid over time as it sits in the batter. If this is the case, you can add an additional 1-3 tbsp of flour and mix it with the batter to thicken it before cooking.
Pancakes not crispy?
I personally like to get my pancakes as thin as possible so both sides are very crisp and it’s thin so you won’t notice the insides being a bit chewy/doughy from the veggies/flour mix.
Do note that as it cools, the pancakes will sog especially as it sits on a plate. It may also be due to the veggies since some veg tend to continue to release extra moisture as it sits after cooking.
A great way to remove excess water is to salt your veggies first and squeeze out excess liquid before mixing it in the batter. This way the extra moisture draws out. This is completely optional and I actually always skip this step but this could help maintain that crisp longer. If doing so, I recommences to skip the salt in the batter or the overall batter mixture may be too salty form the salted veg.
I personally haven’t tried other flour alternatives for this recipe but some have used gluten-free flour mixes, whole wheat flour, and even chickpea flour. Do note that the texture and consistency can change but if you don’t mind then it shouldn’t be a problem!
Since some flours can be dense, you can add an additional 1/4 tsp of baking powder if needed. You may also need to add some more water if the batter is too thick. But ideally the batter should be thick enough to coat the vegetables and not be runny when spread out on the pan.