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Ah.. can you feel it? The holiday season is near.

Holiday equals party. Party equals food. Food equals happiness.

I grew up in a home where my parents would often open our house and have families and friends over. It will be filled with plenty of love, laughter, fellowship and most importantly delicious food.

My mom told me that my grandpa (her dad) used to do the same when she was younger. Now that I’m a (self proclaimed) adult, I’ve somewhat inherited their spirit of hospitality.

The perfect appetizer or snack. Crispy outside, light & fluffy inside with delicious kimchi in each bite. Find out the trick to making it crisp, light & fluffy.

For parties or even just small get togethers, I’m always trying to crank new ideas for good appetizers. I believe that appetizers are like first impressions. Fail and you’ll be remembered (badly) for life. Succeed and they will make a good lasting imprint on the hearts and tummies of your guests. Mainly tummies.

As good as an appetizer should be, it should also be easy to make. Holiday entertaining is hard work itself and I’d like to enjoy our guests instead of fretting over the food. That’s why this Savory Korean Kimchi Pancake is the perfect appetizer.

Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside with delicious kimchi in every bite. I guarantee these pancakes will be gone in the blink of an eye.

The perfect appetizer or snack. Crispy outside, light & fluffy inside with delicious kimchi in each bite. Find out the trick to making it crisp, light & fluffy.

The trick to making the pancakes light and fluffy is seltzer water. No leaveners are used at all.


I got myself some Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water at Ralphs. They come in three flavors – Original, Mandrin Orange, and Lemon Lime. For this recipe, I used the original but if you’re adventurous, you can try the other two flavors.

What’s great about seltzer water is that it’s effervescent and bubbly which helps lift the pancake. Plus, it’s great that it’s all natural, unsweetened with zero sodium. That way, I can control the amount of sugar and salt in the pancakes. Plus, it’s zero calories like water. So, in theory, these pancakes won’t make you fat (fingers crossed).

The perfect appetizer or snack. Crispy outside, light & fluffy inside with delicious kimchi in each bite. Find out the trick to making it crisp, light & fluffy.

So head over to your nearest Ralphs (or other Kroger stores near you) and get yourself some Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer Water. You can find them at the bottled water aisle (not the juice and soda aisle).

Canada Dry Seltzer Water

Oh and if you’re a Korean Food Fanatic (KFF – I made that up), today is your lucky day. You’ll never need to order another Korean pancake anymore. This trumps all Kimchi Pancakes out there.


1. Seltzer water makes pancakes light and fluffy. Make sure it’s cold. Cold liquid helps make pancakes crispier.

2. Rice flour absorbs less oil and helps make pancakes crispy. It also adds a distinct flavor like no other.

3. Cornstarch absorbs less oil and browns well too. Brown = flavor.

4. Make sure that there is sufficient oil, the batter is cold and that the pan is hot (so no non-stick pans here).

The perfect appetizer or snack. Crispy outside, light & fluffy inside with delicious kimchi in each bite. Find out the trick to making it crisp, light & fluffy.

Can’t get enough of savory pancakes? Then you’re going to love this Okonomiyaki. Delightful savory Japanese pancakes made from an easy to make batter, cabbage and bacon topped with Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce.


Also, if you haven’t already, check out my last post Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops. Tender & juicy smoky lemongrass marinated pork chops with a special dipping sauce. Cooks in 10 minutes & made from common ingredients.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Chops


Savory Korean Kimchi Pancake
Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside with delicious kimchi in every bite. I guarantee these pancakes will be gone in the blink of an eye.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 8-12
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup rice flour
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup (tightly pack) sliced kimchi
  • 2 tbs kimchi juice (will add spiciness to the pancake)
  • ¾ cup cold Canada Dry Sparkling Seltzer water, Original flavor
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 thin green onions, cut into 1" length
  • 1 red chili, sliced

  • Dipping Sauce
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp rice vinegar
  • ½ – 1 tsp water
  • ⅛ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt and white pepper.
  2. Add the kimchi, kimchi juice, seltzer water, egg, and half of the green onions. Using a spoon, mix to combine until there is no visible flour.
  3. Pre-heat a 10" cast iron pan over medium heat. Add 2-3 tbs of oil. When the pan is hot, pour half the batter into the pan. You should heard sizzling (if not the pan is not hot enough and won't be crisp). Spread the batter and kimchi to even thickness. Top the pancake with half the remaining green onions and half the red chilies.
  4. Fry the pancake for 3 minutes. Carefully flip and fry for another 3 minutes. Remove and place it on a wire rack while you cook the rest of the batter. Slice the pancakes into squares or wedges. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
1. If the pancake has cooled and lost its crisp, heat and crisp it right back up by popping it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn't burn.



30 Responses

  1. Isabelle @ Crumb

    Thank you for the lovely flashback… I used to live near Toronto’s Koreatown for a few years, and there was a restaurant that served these pancakes that I was totally obsessed with (that and the place a few doors down that made these little stuffed cakes shaped like walnuts… so good!).
    I’m on the other side of town now, so I rarely get a chance to indulge, but I’ve been meaning to try making them at home for a while. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Shihoko

    Yummmm Korean pancakes, I love Korean pancakes as much as Okonomiyaki! and now I know the secret of crispy outside and fluffy inside Korean pancakes:Seltzer Water which I have never heard of before. I am going to try it. Thank you for sharing your secret.

  3. Sabrina Modelle

    Kimchi + crispy pancakes? This looks like the tastiest thing of all time. I am definitely going to try a gluten free version of this at home. Saved and Pinned!

  4. Ramona W

    I have always wanted to make these Korean pancakes and the fact you put kimchi in them… Wow!! Love it!! I love spicy food so these are making my mouth water. 🙂

  5. Jessica {Swanky Recipes}

    Our family has an open door policy during the holidays too. Now that I live away from home, the holidays are spent with friends and it feels home-ish to me since we’ve been doing friends and family holidays forever. Love what you did with the kimchi pancakes. I’ll have to give it a try and love what you did with the cornstarch!

    • AiPing
      Ai Ping

      Thanks Jessica. When I commented on your snickers post, I didn’t realize this but I went over to your blog again (this time it brought me to your homepage) and this time I realized that you and I, we both use the same theme. 🙂 I get what you mean about being away from the family but hanging out with friends definitely does the trick to feel home-ish.

  6. Mary

    I love kimchi (I’m another KFF)! I can’t wait to try these pancakes. They look awesome.

    • AiPing
      Ai Ping

      We have so many KFFs. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all be in the same place just to binge eat Korean food together?

  7. Lynn | The Road to Honey

    The Mr. is on a flight back from Asia as we speak. One of the countries he visited was Korea. . .and since that visit all he has been talking about is the divine kimchi he had (and all the other delicious food in China and Japan). I’m thinking this Kimchi pancake would be a nice surprise for him once he finally arrives back in Boston. Do you make your own Kimchi? Or do you buy the pre-packaged stuff?

    • AiPing
      Ai Ping

      Awww I was secretly hoping that you’ll say Malaysia as one of the countries he visited. :p No, I don’t make my own kimchi (yet). Maybe I’ll give it a go in the future. My sister in law is a Korean and her mom makes kimchi at home. Apparently, it’s pretty easy. For now, I buy the prepackaged ones since I live very near Korean Town here in LA. When you do buy kimchi, look at the ingredients to make sure there’s no MSG in there. Let me know how things go with the hubs. I’d love to see the look on his face. 🙂

  8. Dalia

    Ai Ping I am a KFF too!!! And one of my bestie is Korean and she usually comes over and cooks for us these amazing Korean meals, while I take notes and try to learn. And Korean pancakes are simply the best! I love that you made yours thin and crispy. Love it!

    • AiPing
      Ai Ping

      Thanks Diana. I’m not a sweet tooth person. So I really love my savory stuff like this pancake and meat pies too. Even better if they’re spicy. 🙂

  9. Dini @ The Flavor Bender

    I am for sure a KFF! 😀 My favourite restaurant as a student was a korean bbq and kimbap restaurant! I love the tips you have given too, and this will definitely be making it to our menu. But I can’t promise it will be an appetizer – It might end up being dinner with us eating double the amount! 😀

  10. Sarah

    Kimchi pancakes are one of my favorite foods and yours looks beautiful and crispy! Pinning your okonomiyaki recipe for later!

  11. Noel

    what a good idea … pancakes as appetizers … and savory pancakes at that! it’s a real change from my usual sweet breakfast food!

    ps – beautiful photo of the angled slices!

  12. Christine | Vermilion Roots

    Seltzer water, what a neat trick! I love kimchi so I know this will be popular with ME. I agree that appetizers are important to make a good first impression when entertaining. Sometimes I feel like we should just do parties with appetizers because that way you get to eat many different things. Maybe I’m just greedy. 🙂

    • AiPing
      Ai Ping

      Yea right? Who know seltzer water were useful. Yes. We should just have an appetizer party. I’m greedy too.