Korean Pancakes with Spinach
and kimchi cauliflower
This is the first time we've included Korean scallion pancakes (Pajeon) in a meal plan, but it's long been a favorite dish for the Cook Smarts team. Over the years we've also had a number of members request this savory, vegetable-packed meal.
Smarts: Pajeon are thin and should be cooked at a fairly high temperature so that the batter gets golden and crisps around the edges. If you have a griddle, use it so that the batter has room to spread.
- Cauliflower - 1 lb, chopped
- Kimchi - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- Beans, garbanzo (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained and rinsed
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Gochujang - 2 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, rice - 1 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
- Green onions - 6, chopped into 2" / 5 cm lengths, green and white parts combined
- Eggs - 1
- Water, cold - 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup
- Flour, all-purpose - 1 cup
- Cornstarch - 3 Tbsp
- Sesame seeds, white - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Sugar - 1/4 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp, plus more for cooking pancakes
- Baby spinach - 5 oz
- Make dipping sauce - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Whisk together Gochujang, soy sauce, vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. Taste and add more Gochujang if you’d like it spicier. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Cauliflower / Kimchi - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green onions - Chop into 2" / 5 cm lengths.
- Beans - Drain and rinse.
- Heat oven to 450F / 232C.
- On a sheet pan, toss cauliflower with oil (portion for cauliflower), chopped kimchi, and some salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Once cauliflower is in the oven, make pancake batter by whisking eggs with first portion of water. Add flour, cornstarch, sesame seeds, salt, and sugar and whisk until smooth. Add second portion of water a little at a time until the batter is thin and pours easily (you may not need all of the second portion of water). Set batter aside.
- Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Add cooking oil (portion for pancakes) and then spinach. Saute until spinach wilts and all moisture has cooked off, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with some salt. Set cooked spinach aside.
- Add a thin layer of oil to the griddle. Scatter about 1/8 of the green onions over the oil, then 1/8 of the cooked spinach, and then pour 1/8 of the pancake batter over top. The batter will spread out but you can cook several pancakes at a time if there is room. (Note: This is for 4 servings; adjust if customizing, making about 2 pancakes / serving.)
- Cook pancakes on one side until the bottom is crisp and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a spatula to flip and cook on the other side until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes more. Continue with remaining green onions, spinach, and batter, until all of the pancakes have been cooked.
- When cauliflower is nearly finished cooking, gently stir in beans and return the pan to the oven. Cook until beans are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Slice pancakes into wedges and divide between serving plates.
- Serve pancakes with dipping sauce. Enjoy with cauliflower and chickpeas on the side.
Y'all... My 3 year old asked for seconds. He ate everything but the cauliflower. It wasn't as big a hit with my husband or myself but if the boy's gonna ask for more spinach "dippin' things" we'll eat it until he moves out!0 Helpful
I really wanted to rate this higher to encourage more recipes like this from CookSmarts. We loved the kimchi cauliflower (omitting the beans). We used ground flax in lieu of eggs. The first batch, we put the spinach/green onion on the bottom of the pan as suggested, but for the rest of the batch, mixed it in. We struggled with thickness, doneness, but that could have been with the type of pan we had to use to cook them. Sauce was delicious (we go through so much Gochujang in this house!)0 Helpful
My kimchi burnt completely and added nothing. I just tossed the cauliflower with some oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and gochugaru when I cooked the recipe another day. Used a premixed Korean pancake mix I already had instead of the recipe here, so can't comment on that beyond that I put down a layer of batter before adding the vegetables, and then topped with the remaining batter.0 Helpful
This came together pretty fast and was delicious! I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour and arrowroot starch as I can’t have corn and flax eggs as can’t have eggs. Somehow I had sriracha gochujang and it was delicious in the sauce. I had a Costco-sized vat of spinach and wish I had cooked up more! I did just add all the filling into the batter by the last pancake and that worked out much better than trying to place in the pan then apply batter. Yum!0 Helpful
We are used to Chinese-style green onion pancakes, and this was nice to try, a different texture. I made two huge pancakes with the 4 serving, and that worked fine. I do think in general, that green onion pancakes are not for everyone. In our house we love them. The more green onions the better! :) Next time we'll definitely put even more onions and spinach. I noticed another review here that added shrimp, and now I'm super curious to look up all the variations on google!0 Helpful
I’ve had these once before so I knew what I was targeting, and mostly they turned out great! I’ve never personally cooked with kimchi so I was a bit nervous but I liked the side a lot (Altho I used riced cauliflower since I missed getting a head at the market). Sauce was delicious and my husband asked me to make some just to keep on hand for other dishes.0 Helpful