Haemul Pajeon (해물파전) or Haemul Buchujeon (부추전), is a popular dish to order at restaurants among both my Korean and non-Korean friends. It’s a crowd-pleaser and a great introduction to Korean food for newbies. People order as an appetizer, side dish, or anju (food you eat when you drink).
This recipe is super easy to make and can be made exactly as is in the directions or you can pretty much substitute with any leftover veggies you have on hand.
What is Haemul Pajeon?
Haemul Pajeon means Korean seafood pancake made with scallions. If you want to learn a bit of Korean, here’s the breakdown:
- Haemul (해물) means seafood, and is primarily shellfish.
- Pa (파) means scallion or green onion and is the more popular way to make it.
- Jeon (전) means fried dish made by coating your ingredients in a batter before pan-frying. It’s a type of buchimgae (부침개), which is the broader category of Korean pancakes. You can make jeon with seafood and scallion like this recipe or any other ingredient you want. It can also be either savory or sweet.
- Buchu (부추) means garlic chives, which my mom prefers (buchu) instead. You technically call it haemul buchujeon. You can really make it with either, but chives have a milder flavor.
Haemul Pajeon or Korean Seafood Pancake RecipeCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Easy
2 cups chopped squid and shrimp
3 cups Asian chives or scallions, chopped into 1 inch
2/3 cup julienned carrots
1 Korean red chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
1 cup Korean pancake mix (see below if you want to make this from scratch)
- Add one egg to a measuring cup, and fill the rest of the measuring cup (1 cup) with water.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your water and egg, and pancake mix. Then you can either individually coat the veggies and seafood or mix it into the bowl, depending on how much batter you like.
- Fry the batter until light brown on the bottom and then flip until the other side is brown.
Mom’s Notes + Substitutions
- You can use any seafood or veggies of your choice.
- In the US, Pajeon you order tends to have more batter than veggies, but in Korea, it has more veggies than batter. We love the fried batter here, but it’s all in your preference.
- The pancake mix you buy from the store is fantastic, so we usually get that. If you want to make everything from scratch you can use 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp salt with your egg and water. Some people use flour with additional rice flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder, but we haven’t tried any of those combinations yet. The pancake mix is already so good!
- If you want it crispier, try using ice-cold water or sparkling water. You can also use a 1:1 ratio of frying mix (twigim garu/튀김 가루) and pancake mix (buchim garu / 부침가루). The one we linked is already a mix of pancake and frying mix.
- You can make them any size you want, but we like making them smaller since they’re easier to flip.
If you don’t use up all the ingredients, you can store the batter in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Have you tried making Haemul Pajeon / Korean seafood pancake before? What did you think about the recipe? Do you have a favorite you tried at a restaurant?
If you haven’t already tried kimchi fried rice, check out our recipe here. If you happen to make this recipe and post on IG, be sure to tag us @momskorean, or you can also follow us for directions on reels.