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 (check the ingredients as some varieties include fish)
- 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.
Just meh to be honest. The pancakes were pretty bland but the dipping sauce was very good.0 Helpful
LOVED the sauce. I thought the pancake was great, my husband thought it needed way more salt. The cauliflower was great for something different!0 Helpful
My husband never had such good cauliflower 😂 and we loved the pancakes! Although the sauce was too spicy and the kids wouldn't try anything.0 Helpful
This had a little bit of kick to it and tasted great. I don’t like cauliflower rice, but I know it’s healthier. Mixed in 3x the kimchi (spicy) to spice it up a bit and it tasted pretty good.0 Helpful
Simple and easy. Not 5-star restaurant quality, but very good!0 Helpful
Absolutely delicious. The first on the griddle was a distaster, so I added the veggies to the batter for the next few. Not really practical as leftovers.0 Helpful