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These delicious Korean Scallion Pancakes (called Pajeon in Korean) are light, crispy, and bursting with scallion pepperiness. A perfect option for your next brunch or light lunch, dipped into a flavorful soy-sesame sauce. Naturally vegan, these pancakes will get everyone around the table. Serve this with a glass of your favorite Riesling wine, and it’s a party!

slices of Korean scallion pancakes with soy dipping sauce and chopsticks

Why you should try this recipe

scallions, flour, cornstarch, ice water, garlic powder, baking powder, salt and pepper on a wooden table

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The ingredients you’ll need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the end of the post.)

  • Scallions (or green onions) – are the main ingredients of this recipe. They impart a spicy, peppery flavor to the pancakes.
  • All-purpose flour – binds the pancake batter together.
  • Cornstarch (or potato starch) – allows for light and crispy pancakes.
  • Baking powder – prevents the pancakes from becoming dense.
  • Garlic powder – adds a depth of flavor to the pancake batter.
  • Iced water – makes the batter light and crispy by stopping the development of gluten (which makes the pancakes gummy).
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper – to season.
  • Neutral vegetable oil – such as sunflower, avocado, or rapeseed oil, to pan-fry the pancakes.

For the scallion pancakes dipping sauce

  • Soy sauce – I used sodium-reduced soy sauce, but regular soy sauce works too.
  • Rice vinegar (or white vinegar) – for both tanginess and sweetness.
  • Toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds – add a nutty, smoky touch to the dipping sauce.
  • Fresh red pepper (optional) – for some heat.
red peppers, soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds on a wooden table

How to make Korean Scallion Pancakes?

(Note: please see the recipe card below for the complete written instructions and measurements.)

Start by preparing the soy dipping sauce:

  • In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and optional chopped red pepper (seeds removed).
  • Stir and set aside.

Prepare the scallions:

  • Thoroughly rinse and remove the first outer layer of the scallions.
  • Separate the white part from the green. Cut the green parts into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces and set aside.
  • Cut the white pieces into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces, then lengthwise into ¼ inch (0.5 cm) stripes. 

Note: if the white parts of the scallions are thin, just cut them in half, lengthwise.

Make the scallion pancakes:

  • In a bowl, add all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until combined.
  • Add the iced water gradually while whisking dynamically to remove the lumps, until the batter reaches a crepe consistency.

Note: feel free to add more or less water to adjust the batter’s consistency.


  • Add the green onion stalks to the batter and mix until all the stalks are well coated. 
  • The batter should leave a thin film on the vegetables, and you should be able to see each vegetable.

Cook the pancakes:

  • Heat 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of neutral vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, over medium heat.
  • Transfer 1 and ½ cups of batter to the pan, spreading it thinly, about ½ inch (1 cm) thick and 8 inches (20 cm) wide.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil to the pan before flipping the pancake to cook the second side. 

Note: I recommend cooking the pancakes in two frying pans simultaneously to reduce the cooking time by half.


  • It’s ready! Serve immediately with the soy dipping sauce and a chilled glass of Riesling.

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Using iced water makes the batter light and crispy by stopping the development of gluten (which would make the pancakes gummy).
  2. Water quantity: each flour brand is different, and therefore its reaction to water is as well. I recommend adding water gradually to make sure you get the perfect crepe consistency.
  3. Batter consistency: once the scallions are added to the batter, it should have the consistency of creamy coleslaw.
  4. Spreading the batter thinly allows you to fully cook the pancakes, making them light and crispy and not doughy in the center.
  5. Cooking the pancakes in two frying pans simultaneously reduces the cooking time by half.
  6. Pan-frying: let the pancake cook for at least 4 minutes before trying to move it around. The batter will first stick to the pan before releasing its grip when cooked.

a slice of Korean scallion pancake with soy dipping sauce and chopsticks on the side

Wine Pairing for Korean Scallion Pancakes🍷


DRY RIESLING

This amazing grape variety is usually friendly to Southeast-Asian cuisine.

With its candied lemon notes and bright acidity, Riesling will balance the saltiness and heat of the soy dipping sauce while complementing the pepperiness of the scallions.

Riesling wines can be made in a wide range of sweetness levels, from bone dry to sweet. I recommend a dry Riesling to pair with these Korean Scallion Pancakes. Make sure to ask your wine shop, as it is not always written on the label.

WINE APPELLATION SUGGESTIONS

  • Dry Riesling from Rheingau (Germany): look for “Trocken” (Dry) on the label
  • Dry Riesling from Finger Lakes (United States)
  • Dry Riesling from Alsace (France)

chopsticks dipping a slice of Korean scallion pancake in a soy dipping sauce

FAQ

What to serve with Pajeon?

I like serving these Korean Scallion Pancakes for brunch with a fresh Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi-Muchim) and Asparagus, Burrata, and Goat’s Cheese Crostini.

Can this be made in advance?

You can prep the scallions and pancake batter and store them separately in the fridge until ready to eat. Then, mix them together and cook as written in the recipe. The dipping sauce can be made in advance, except for the toasted sesame seeds, which are best added at the last minute.


How long do these pancakes keep? 

You can store the Pajeon in the fridge, covered with cling film, for up to 4 days. To reheat them, place them in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until heated and crispy.

Other Delicious Southeast-Asian-Inspired Recipes


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four slices of Korean scallion pancakes with soy dipping sauce and chopsticks

Korean Scallion Pancakes (Pajeon)

These delicious Korean Scallion Pancakes (called Pajeon in Korean) are light, crispy, and bursting with scallion pepperiness. A perfect option for your next brunch or light lunch, dipped into a flavorful soy-sesame sauce. Naturally vegan, these pancakes will get everyone around the table. Serve this with a glass of your favorite Riesling wine, and it's a party!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Korean
Diet Vegan
Servings 3 8-inch (20 cm) pancakes

EQUIPEMENT

  • Whisk
  • Non-Stick Frying Pan
  • Kitchen Knife

INGREDIENTS
 

For the scallion pancakes

  • 9 ounces (250 g) scallions (about 15 stalks)
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (60 g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons (5 g) garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) iced water adjust more or less to reach a crepe consistency
  • neutral vegetable oil such as sunflower, avocado or rapeseed oil, to pan-fry

For the soy dipping sauce

  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) soy sauce (I used sodium-reduced soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fresh red pepper seeds removed and thinly chopped (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by preparing the soy dipping sauce:

  • In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and optional chopped red pepper (seeds removed).
  • Stir and set aside.

Prepare the scallions:

  • Thoroughly rinse and remove the first outer layer of the scallions. Separate the white part from the green.
  • Cut the green parts into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces and set aside.
  • Cut the white pieces into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces, then lengthwise into ¼ inch (0.5 cm) stripes and set aside. 

Make the pancake batter:

  • In a bowl, add all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk together until combined.
  • Add the iced water gradually while whisking dynamically to remove the lumps, until the batter reaches a crepe consistency.
  • Add the green onion stalks to the batter and mix until all the stalks are well coated (the batter should leave a thin film on the vegetables).

Cook the pancakes:

  • Heat 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of neutral oil vegetable oil in a non-stick pan, over medium heat.
  • Transfer 1 and ½ cups of batter to the pan, spreading it thinly, about ½ inch (1 cm) thick and 8 inches (20 cm) large.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil to the pan before flipping the pancake to cook the second side. 
  • It's ready! Serve immediately with the soy dipping sauce and a chilled glass of Riesling.

NIM KEYS - USEFUL TIPS

  1. Using iced water makes the batter light and crispy by stopping the development of gluten (that would make the pancakes gummy).
  2. Water quantity: each flour brand is different and therefore its reaction to water is as well. I recommend adding to water gradually to make sure you get the perfect crepe consistency. 
  3. Batter consistency: once the scallions are added to the batter, it should have the consistency of a creamy coleslaw. 
  4. Spreading the batter thinly allows you to fully cook the pancakes, making them light and crispy and not doughy in the center.
  5. Cooking the pancakes in 2 frying pans simultaneously reduces the cooking time by half.
  6. Pan-frying: let the pancake cook for at least 4 minutes before trying to move it around. The batter will first stick to the pan before releasing its grip when cooked.

NUTRITION

Calories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 8gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1553mgPotassium: 366mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 876IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 162mgIron: 4mg
Keyword green onion pancakes, Korean scallion pancakes, pajeon, scallion pancakes, soy dipping sauce, vegan savory pancakes
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