This Korean vegetable pancake (buchimgae) combines a mixed vegetable filling and simple pancake batter for crispy, flavorful veggie pancakes- easy to adapt and perfect for serving alongside a simple dipping sauce!
Thinly slice (julienne-style) or shred all vegetables using a mandoline, shredder, or sharp knife. I shredded the carrot and cabbage and thinly sliced the scallions and mushrooms.
Add all of the ingredients, except the mushrooms, into a medium bowl, add the sesame seeds and mix.
Step 2: Prepare the Korean pancake batter
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, milk, and salt and mix until smooth. The batter should be slightly runnier than regular American pancake batter - add a little extra liquid if needed.
Add the vegetables (without the mushrooms still) to the batter and fold them to thoroughly incorporate them into the batter.Alternatively, you can leave the two separate. When cooking the Korean vegetable pancake, first add the vegetables to your pan and spread out, then add just enough batter to cover the vegetables.
Step 3: Saute the mushrooms
In a large dry pan, cook the mushrooms over medium heat to allow them to release their excess liquid and brown.
Once cooked, you can remove them from the pan, keep them on a plate or bowl and add 1/3 of them to each pancake.
Step 4: Cook the Korean vegetable pancake
Add a little sesame oil to the pan and heat it up then add the mushrooms and pancake batter and cook over medium heat for a few minutes on each side (3-4 minutes) - until the outside is crispy and browned. Repeat with the remaining batter.
After flipping the pancake, press down on it with a spatula slightly to encourage browning/crisping.If you want to crisp it up even further then you can transfer the pancake to a broiler for a minute or two for extra crunch!
Once cooked, transfer the vegetable pancake to a plate, optionally slice it into smaller pieces, and serve with the sauce of your choice. I serve it with homemade gyoza dipping sauce.
How to Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: you can prepare the vegetables and batter (separately) 2-3 days in advance and store, covered, in the refrigerator until it’s time to combine them and make the Korean pancakes. Fridge: store the leftover savory pancake in an airtight container and enjoy it within 3-4 days.Freeze: allow the veggie pancake to cool entirely before transferring to the freezer. If you’ve made a large batch, then you can pile them up with pieces of parchment paper between (to stop them sticking).Reheat: to reheat the Korean vegetable pancakes, you can place them in a non-stick pan, either dry or with a drop of oil, and heat on both sides until warmed through. Alternatively, for a larger batch, warm them up in the oven. Wrap a stack of pancakes in tin foil and bake for around 10 minutes at 350ºF/175ºC or until warmed. Avoid using a microwave; otherwise, you’ll have limp, sad veggie pancakes.
Flour: you can use all-purpose flour. However, for lighter and crispier results, I recommend using cake flour which contains starch, to provide the slightly chewy, crispy results typical of Korean pancakes. Some people even combine the pancake batter in a 1:1 ratio with Korean frying mix (which contains rice flour and baking powder for even crispier results)
Milk: alternatively, you could use water for a less creamy batter. You may even be able to use sparkling water, which yields slightly lighter, fluffier results. Make sure, whichever you use, that it’s cold!
Optional Add-ins & Variations:
Other vegetables: this recipe is fairly versatile in terms of what veggies you can use. I recommend picking ones that don’t need a lot of cooking time; zucchini (gently squeezed to remove excess liquid), bell peppers, leek, potato (I recommend using thawed hashbrown potato), peas, bean sprouts, eggplant, etc.
Seafood: ff you eat seafood, you could add shrimp or squid to the pancake.
For spice: add in some thinly sliced red chilies or a big pinch of chili flakes. Adjust to your personal preference.
Make it vegan: all you need to adapt this recipe to vegan is to use dairy-free milk like oat milk or soy milk or simply use water.
Kimchi: you can adapt this recipe to Korean kimchi pancakes with the addition of kimchi.
Use the spoon and level method: when measuring the flour it’s best to spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife. If you scoop the cup directly into the flour bag, you’ll end up with too much flour and denser pancakes.
Don’t overmix the batter: otherwise, the pancakes can end up chewy!
The scallion texture: I finely sliced the scallions. However, feel free to leave them as longer pieces, if preferred.
To save time: you can buy some pre-shredded vegetables or even coleslaw mix for the pancakes. However, I generally prefer to make my own for the freshest results and no preservatives!
Make the dipping sauce in advance: that way, it’s ready to enjoy as soon as the veggie pancakes are freshly cooked and warm.