The Dish: When East Meets West – Tasty Variations on the Pancake

The longer I live in Busan, the more connected I feel to Korean culture. When holidays come around, I realize that the relationship between Korean families and the traditional foods that define said holidays bears a striking resemblance to that of the Jewish family I hail from. In a conversation with my close friend Jae, I told her that the onset of spring made me nostalgic for my mom’s cooking and the foods I associate with Passover and Yom Kippur; namely, potato latkes. For Jae and her family, spring represents that last of the kimchi that was made in the fall (the most flavorful), which is used to prepare kimchijeon. The following are recipes that have been strongholds in Jae’s and my family traditions. I might try to talk Jae into letting me come to one of her family gatherings this spring to get my pancake fix.

Roni’s Potato Latkes

Makes 20-24 Latkes


  • 4 large potatoes (grated)
  • 1 small white onion (grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • ? cup all purpose flour
  • ? cup breadcrumbs (a substitute for matzoh meal)
  • 1 tsp each of salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)


After grating the potatoes, use a cheesecloth or colander to squeeze all of the excess water out. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat them. Mix the rest of the ingredients in the bowl until the mixture is even and sticks together. Heat oil in a pan until it starts to bubble. Each latke should be a whopping tablespoon on the mixture, probably 4-5 per pan. Let one side cook until they are golden brown and then flip. Drain the oil in paper towel. Serve with sour cream.

Jeom Ja Park’s Kimchijeon

Makes 4-6 large pancakes


  • Small Block of tofu
  • 1 cup of jeon (boochim) flour
  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • 3 sprigs of green onion (diced)
  • 2 eggs
  • Soy sauce (for dipping)
  • 1 hot red pepper (diced, for dipping sauce)


Get rid of all the water in the tofu and mash it. Mix the flour with the mashed tofu until the consistency is thick. Mix kimchi, eggs and spring onions with the batter. Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium flame and when it is hot, fill the pan with a thin layer of batter. When the underside of the pancake is brown, carefully flip it. Drain on paper towel. Mix 1 tsp of diced pepper into ? cup of soy sauce for dipping.

Main image courtesy of Relative Taste.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Twice-weekly updates to your inbox

The Latest

Watch the Trailer for “The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful”

With over one million viewers in just its first four days at the theaters in Korea, director Lee Khan's "The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful" is off to a great start at the box office.

Busan’s Plan to Host 2030 World Expo Progressing

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy reported on a plan to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan during a weekly cabinet meeting held in the port city Tuesday and presided over by President Moon Jae-in.

Korea Destinations: Five Reasons to Give Gimhae a Visit

Located along the Nakdong River, the half-million residents that call it home have plenty of things to see and do in this bustling city. Here are five reasons to give it a look if you're looking for a quick day trip out nearby.
clear sky
8.5 ° C
10 °
7 °
18 %
0 %
10 °
16 °
17 °
20 °
15 °

Dine & Drink

Eat Like a Local: Savory Korean Full-Course Meals – Gugane Hanjeongsik

In Mangmi-dong, Suyeong-gu, Gugane offers an awesome Korean traditional meal at a reasonalble price. You can enjoy the fine collection of well-known Korean side dishes carefully made by the owner/chef.

Chillhops Brewing Tap Takeover at HQ Gwangan This Friday

On Friday, November 15th, Chillhops Brewing in Seosan are going to come down to HQ and take over their taps with some craft beer greatness beginning at 7 p.m.