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Korean Seafood and Green Onion Pancakes (Haemul Pajeon)

Savory and delicious pajeon is a perfect crowd pleaser with any Korean meal. Learn how to make “Haemul Pajeon” (Korean seafood and green onion pancakes). It’s so easy!

Haemul pajeon served on a wooden plate

Today, I’m sharing one of the most frequently requested recipes, Korean Pajeon (파전).

What is Pajeon?

Pajeon is a variety of Korean pancake that uses green onion / scallion as a prominent ingredient. So it is translated as green onion pancakes or scallion pancakes.

Other than green onions, it is also made with homemade or pre-made Korean pancake mix, water, egg and commonly, a mix of seafood.

The Korean name for this seafood and green onion pancakes is Haemul Pajeon (해물파전). I normally just add in squid / calamari and prawns, but you can throw in any seafood kinds you like here such as clams, mussels, and oysters etc.  

If you are allergic to seafood or a vegetarian, just omit the seafood and cook with the rest of the ingredients. Some people also add a small amount of minced beef, but I much prefer seafood as the main source of protein in this recipe.

Korean pajeon (seafood and green onion pancakes) paired with Korean sweet tangy soy dipping sauce

Jeon (전) vs. Buchimgae (부침개)

If you translate these two words – Jeon and Buchimgae in English, they both mean Korean pancakes. But how are they different?

I’m not 100% on this, but as far as I can gather based on the little information available in the Korean online community – Naver, the main difference between them is the “cooking technique“.

For Buchimgae all prepared ingredients (e.g. flour, water, vegetables, meat etc) are mixed in a large mixing bowl then they are scooped out with a ladle then cooked.

For Jeon, the main ingredients (e.g. vegetables and meat) are individually coated with flour mixture then placed onto a frying pan separately, maximizing the shapes and contents of the individual ingredients.

Though you may notice that many Koreans use the wording buchimgae and jeon interchangeably as well.

seafood pancake and chopsticks laid on top

Another Famous Pajeon: Dongnae Pajeon (동래파전)

As for the pajeon, another famous variety is Dongnae Pajeon (동래파전), which originates from Busan, South Korea. Based on this video (produced by Busan metropolitan city), you will notice that Dongnae Pajeon is quite different to my recipe.

Surprisingly though, some people don’t like Dongnae Pajeon as its texture is quite different to a regular pajeon. Apparently, it has a more soggy wet texture rather than crispy texture.

How To Serve Pajeon

Typically Dongnae Pajeon is served with Cho-gochujang (초고추장: sweet, tangy and spicy Korean dipping sauce). But regular pajeon is served with sweet and tangy Korean pancake dipping sauce, which is so delicious! I hope you get to try my pajeon and pancake dipping sauce recipes!

My Pajeon Making Tips

  • Based on my experiment, a good quality sparkling water can make your batter crispier. But it will make your batter a bit thicker, so it won’t spread as easily on the pan compared to the water. But I think it’s worth trying it given the increased chance of having crispy Korean pajeon!
  • Cooking temperature can vary depending on the heat elements (e.g. gas cooktop, electric cooktop etc) and also the types of pan you use. Adjust the heat level accordingly as the pancake can get burnt easily. Likewise, if the cooking temperature is too low, the batter will absorb excessive oil and it will turn out soggy and not crispy.
  • If you want to serve the dipping sauce with these pancakes, prepare it before you start making the pancakes. This is so that you can enjoy the nice, warm and crispy pancakes straight after cooking it.
  • If you don’t use up the ingredients on the same day you prepare it, you can keep them in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Keep the pancake mixture, seafood and vegetables all separately in an air tight container.
  • You can reheat the cooked pancake in a microwave, over the stove or in an air fryer. 

P.S. Do you have too much green onions at hand? Then find out how to store them better from this article; How to store green onions (With this method, my green onions last 5 to 6 weeks easily and what is more, no planting is involved!)

Sliced pajeon served with dipping sauce

More Korean Pancake Recipes

Do you want to try different Korean pancakes? Try these!

Watch How to Make Korean Pajeon

 

Ingredients for Korean Seafood and Green Onion Pancakes, Yields 2 pancakes

(enough for 4 servings as an appetizer)

  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 & 1/8 tsp fine salt
  • 1 & 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 & 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup icy cold water or sparkling water
  • 12 green onion tops (green part), cleaned and cut lengthways to fit your skillet
  • 100g / 3.5 ounces calamari, cleaned and cut into little finger sized pieces
  • 100g / 3.5 ounces prawns, cleaned and cut into smaller pieces
  • A few sprinkles ground black pepper, to marinate the seafood
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • (optional) 1 red chili, thinly diagonally sliced
  • 6 Tbsp cooking oil, (approx. 3 Tbsp per pancake), I used rice bran oil

* 1 cup = 250 ml, 1 Tbsp = 15 ml

** This recipe is made from scratch using plain flour and other seasonings. If you choose to use Korean pancake mix (pre-mix) instead, omit the flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

How to Make Korean Seafood Pancake

1. Prepare a medium size bowl and add flour, cornstarch, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and the icy cold water. Whisk it well. Transfer the pancake batter into a measuring jug (for easier pouring).

a collage picture of making Korean pancake mix

2. Preheat the frying pan on high heat until the bottom of the pan is well heated. Add cooking oil (approx. 3 Tbsp) and ensure the oil is spread all the way around the pan. (Watch out for oil splash.)

Adding oil in a skillet

3. Wait until the temperature of the oil is ready to cook (about 1 minute). To check, drop a bit of pancake batter into the pan. If it sizzles, it is ready. Reduce the heat to medium high heat. Pour out the pancake batter (from step 1, use just less than half a cup) and spread it evenly and thinly around the pan.

Pouring over pajeon pancake mix

4. Place 6 green onion tops on the pancake batter parallel to each other and pour out a little bit of the pancake batter onto and between the green onions, filling the gaps. Reduce the heat to medium.

green onions laid on top of pancake mix

5. Place some calamari, prawns and red chilies (optional) sparingly on top of the green onions.

calamari, prawns and red chilies laid on pancake mix

6. Use a spoon to drizzle half of the beaten egg over the top of the pancake. While cooking, move the pancake in a circular motion from time to time, so the pancake doesn’t get stuck to the pan.

Adding beaten egg on pancake mix

7. Turn the pancake over when you see the top of the pancake partially cooked. (This makes it easy to turn the pancake. It takes around 4 minutes). Add more cooking oil around the edges of the pancake circle if necessary to release. Press the pancake with the spatula a couple of times to sizzle and make it crispy. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer onto a plate or a cutting board.

golden crisp, flipped over pajeon

8. Repeat step 2 to 7 for the remainder batter to use up the ingredients.

9. Slice the pancake into bite size pieces. Serve it with Korean pancake sauce.

holding a pajeon piece with a pair of chopsticks

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Haemul pajeon served on a wooden plate

Korean Seafood and Green Onion Pancakes (Haemul Pajeon)

Learn how to make "Haemul Pajeon" (Korean seafood and green onion pancakes). It is a perfect crowd pleaser with any Korean meal and it is so easy to make!
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: green onion pancake, haemul pajeon, korean pajeon, korean seafood pancake, pajeon
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 pancakes
Calories: 783kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/8 tsp fine salt
  • 1 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup water , icy cold or quality sparkling water
  • 12 green onion  tops (green part), cleaned and cut lengthways to fit your skillet
  • 100 g calamari (3.5 ounces), cleaned and cut into little finger sized pieces
  • 100 g prawns (3.5 ounces), cleaned and cut into smaller pieces
  • A few sprinkles ground black peppers , to marinate seafood
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1 red chili (optional), thinly diagonally sliced
  • 6 Tbsp cooking oil (approx. 3 Tbsp per pancake), I used rice bran oil

Instructions

  • Prepare a medium size bowl and add flour, cornstarch, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and the icy cold water. Whisk it well. Transfer the pancake batter into a measuring jug (for easier pouring).
  • Preheat the frying pan on high heat until the bottom of the pan is well heated. Add cooking oil (approx. 3 Tbsp) and ensure the oil is spread all the way around the pan. (Watch out for oil splash.)
  • Wait until the temperature of the oil is ready to cook (about 1 minute). To check, drop a bit of pancake batter into the pan. If it sizzles, it is ready. Reduce the heat to medium high heat. Pour out the pancake batter (from step 1, use just less than half a cup) and spread it evenly and thinly around the pan.
  • Place 6 green onion tops on the pancake batter parallel to each other and pour out a little bit of the pancake batter onto and between the green onions, filling the gaps. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Place some calamari, prawns and red chilies (optional) sparingly on top of the green onions.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle half of the beaten egg over the top of pancake. While cooking, move the pancake in a circular motion from time to time, so the pancake doesn’t get stuck to the pan.
  • Turn the pancake over when you see the top of the pancake partially cooked. (This makes it easy to turn the pancake. It takes around 4 minutes). Add more cooking oil around the edges of the pancake circle if necessary to release. Press the pancake with the spatula a couple of times to sizzle and make it crispy. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer onto a plate or a cutting board.
  • Repeat step 2 to 7 for the remainder batter to use up the ingredients.
  • Slice the pancake into bite size pieces. Serve it with Korean pancake sauce.

Notes

  1. 2 pancakes will be enough for 4 servings as an appetizer.
  2. 1 cup = 250 ml, 1 Tbsp = 15 ml
  3. This recipe is made from scratch using plain flour and other seasonings. If you choose to use Korean pancake mix (pre-mix) instead, omit the flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 783kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 324mg | Sodium: 1773mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1067IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 6mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

Written by: Sue

Last Updated:

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Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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44 thoughts on “Korean Seafood and Green Onion Pancakes (Haemul Pajeon)”

  1. Thanks lot Sue, I really like how you explained the steps so cleary, not only because of the pictures, but also how you tell the important points that matters for us.
    Tried the recipe, we loved it. Even the ‘diluted’ version with a bit of water as we cut too much veggies. Thanks for sharing! Cheers, Irma

    Reply
  2. Hello Sue you have become a very loved chef in our house 🙂
    Your pancake is now quite popular for lunch and in between snack. We grow our own green onion in our yard so there is abundance to make from.
    Thank you for your easy to follow recipe !
    shampa mum

    Reply
  3. Question, is there a gluten-free flour you would recommend to replace the regular flour? Rice flour? Looks so good! And your puppy in the newsletter is SO cute, and if that’s your daughter with the pup on instagram, she’s also adorable.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Thank you! 🙂 I haven’t tested with GF flour or rice flour. I would think the texture will change a bit, but the pancake should still work.

      Reply
  4. Hi, I would be interested in a recipe more ‘from scratch’ i.e. no pre-made mixes. What does korean pancake mix usually consist of?

    Reply
    • There are slight differences between brands, but typically it consists of wheat flour, salt, potato starch, garlic powder, onion powder, ground peppercorn, sugar, baking powder, etc. I haven’t worked out the best ratio yet, but it’s on my to do list. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Hi Sue, this was a blockbuster last New Year’s day! I had to be patient in making this one on the day, although I wasnt able to achieve the crunchiness I was looking for, the serving plate on the table was empty after the party. So I guess flavor wise, it was really great! Thank you Sue, my family was very impressed, I told them I’m following your recipes, the menu of the day! Korean Cuisine! Happy New Year Sue!

    Reply
  6. Thank you for this great recipe, Sue.

    Since Korean food is not that common in Germany I tried to find a dish to start with to get a glimpse of the Korean taste.

    Your recipe was great though I used spelt flour instead of the pancake mix you recommended. Had nothing else at home 😉

    The pajeons turned out to be as crispy as they should be I guess. Will definately try your other recipes.

    Greetings from Cologne (Germany),

    Anni

    Reply
  7. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
    I will try to make it soon, since I have been interested in making this dish for quite some time now.

    Reply
  8. Made this today and quartered the recipe. Sub the veg with 1 whole large onion, a handful of prawns and 1/4 carrot thinly sliced. It turned out beautifully!! Thank you for this recipe!!!

    Reply
  9. May i know the sauce for the seafood pancake. Did you made it from scratch or can buy it from the store, if so what brand would you recommend? TIA ☺

    Reply
  10. I love cooking and baking. I found your blog awhile ago and I absolutely love it. I’ve been wanting to try out some recipies but our international supermarket is kinda far and my parents were hesitant to let me buy Korean ingredients. I’m finally on winter break (I’m in middle school, 13) and so I tried japchae for lunch and I made simple pajeon as a snack earlier. Both were amazingly just as delicious as your pictures look. 🙂 I really appreciate the recipe and the context behind the translations. I was feeling kind of lazy so instead of following this recipe, I used standard mix with some water in it (I did use cold water though) but I decided to add some left over shiitake mushrooms that I had from your japchae recipe. I used the same marinade and saluted them for a bit, then added the green onion and the simple mixture on top. I DEFINITELY recommend adding in the mushrooms. I didn’t feel like making a sauce either (lol I’m really tired after that japchae) and having the marinade is great. This is a simple variation. Next time I’ll be sure to follow your recipe properly. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  11. Hi Sue,

    Thanks for the recipe and the explanation of the English translation of Korean pancakes.

    I have a small question: What is the purpose of using ice water in the recipe?

    Thanks,
    KP Kwan

    Reply
  12. Your recipe for Korean Pancakes is absolutely amazing! I thank you so much for sharing. My wife is Korean and has been missing this dish for quite some time. She said I did an excellent job making it lol. The only reason I did so well is because I followed your recipe. Can’t wait try your bibimbap next! Your website is awesome please know it is much appreciated.

    Reply
  13. Beyond excited to find this recipe!! I LOVE KOREAN PANCAKES!! And I LOVE getting your tips for the pancake mix you use! I’m going to hunt this down. There is a korean store near my mum’s house and I always make it a point to go. They even have amazing homemade lunch packs I am obsessed with. I always go a little nuts when I go.

    I CAN’T WAIT TO MAKE THESE!!

    Reply

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