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Pajeon (Scallion Pancake)

Courtesy Caroline Choe
Cook Time:
8 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

There are a few scents in the household that signal there’s about to be something amazing on the table — and this is one of them for me. The sounds, scents and sizzle of any kind of jeon is always comforting. In my house, it’s definitely a go-to not only for parties, but any time my family needs a delicious quick-fix meal. It's a staple for Chuseok but it's fit for any occasion.

Technique tip: There are two ways I've made these pancakes: 1) You can cook some of the moisture out of the scallions first and add the batter on top before flipping, or 2) You can put everything together and then cook your pancake in hot oil to keep it crispy. My family usually does the second one, mostly because there's less time involved to wait for the onions to cook. Also, make sure to not over-mix your batter, to ensure the gluten won't be overworked, which would cause the pancake to be on the chewier side.

Swap option: If going the gluten-free route, cornstarch and rice flour work well as flour substitutes (my husband is also a fan of adding rice flour for the chewiness). If you don't have doenjang on hand, miso paste also works well. This recipe is egg-free, but an egg may be added if desired.


Dipping Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey or sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • gochugaru (red pepper flakes; optional)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon doenjang (fermented soybean paste)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 8-10 scallion greens, cut into 5-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • cooking oil, for frying
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the dipping sauce:

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, garlic, chopped scallions, sesame seeds, gochugaru, if using, salt and pepper, and whisk together with a fork.

For the pancake:


Combine the water, flour, cornstarch, soybean paste, sesame oil, scallions and kosher salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk together well, just until the batter runs smooth with no lumps.


Set a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, coating the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 cup of cooking oil. Let the oil heat for about 1 minute or wait until the oil is shimmering to begin frying.


Once the oil is heated, carefully ladle in the scallion batter (being wary of possible backsplash).


Allow the pancake to cook on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes each, or until both sides are crispy and golden-brown.


Turn off the heat and transfer the pancake to a plate. Cut into sections and season the top with salt and pepper.

To serve:

Serve hot with dipping sauce on the side.