Yachaejeon: Korean Veggie Pancake

What to do with leftover veggies? How about a veggie pancake?

Yachaejeon is an easy to make popular dish made from whatever veggies you have left lying around your fridge, though in my opinion the flavor of scallions and onion are essential. You can follow this recipe, but try it with other veggies too, simply cut them into matchstick size, you need about 2 ½ cups of veggies total. This is a great way to use up an old pepper, or some broccoli or cauliflower stalks.

As a part of National Nutrition Month, the aim is to make food choices that not only provide healthy and nutritious fuel for our bodies, but also choices that benefit the health of our environment, fuel for the future. Finding ways to use leftovers and reduce food waste is one way you can participate. Read more here!

For the pancake:
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
⅓ cup leek (optional), sliced thinly into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces zucchini matchsticks (about 1/2 cup)
1 green chili pepper (or jalapeño), optional, sliced
3 ounces onion, sliced to make half circles
⅓ cup sweet potato or carrot cut into match sticks
1 fresh mushroom (white, baby portobello or shiitake)
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup water
vegetable oil to keep from sticking

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru), optional
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

First, make the dipping sauce:
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, hot pepper flakes (if using) and sesame seeds in a bowl and mix it well with a spoon. Transfer it to a small bowl. Seat aside.

Then make the pancake batter:
Combine green onion, leek (if using), zucchini, green chili pepper (if using), onion and sweet potato in a bowl. Add flour, salt and ¾ cup water. Mix it well with a wooden spoon.

Make a pancake:
Heat up a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. You can use a 12-inch nonstick skillet to make one big pancake, or you can work in batches to make smaller ones. Add about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the skillet evenly. Add the batter to the skillet and spread it out evenly.
Turn down the heat to medium and put the sliced mushroom on top. Gently press them in with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottom turns crunchy light golden brown. Grab the handle of the skillet and twirl it around so the pancake moves and is cooked evenly underneath. Turn or flip over the pancake.

Increase the heat to medium high and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil along the edges of the pancake. Lift up one edge with your spatula and tilt the skillet so the oil flows underneath the pancake. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until both sides turn light golden brown, occasionally pressing down with the spatula. Flip it over one more time and cook another 2 minutes. Makes two servings.

Nutrition facts:
Serving size: ½ pancake
Calories: 336; Fat: 12.3g; Carbs: 49.9g; Fiber: 4.2g; Protein: 7.6g; Sodium: 348.2mg

Recipe adapted from: Vegetable pancake (Yachaejeon) recipe by Maangchi 

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