Kimchi Pancakes from ‘Of Cabbages & Kimchi’

Article | Oct 2023

James Read is on a mission to smuggle bacteria into our kitchens. In Of Cabbages & Kimchi, he takes the 10 greatest ‘living’ ferments – fermented foods that are neither cooked nor pasteurised – and places them under the microscope, before cooking with them in all their delicious versatility.

Here is one of his recipes for kimchi pancakes.


Kimchi pancakes (kimchijeon)

A common and delicious Korean snack.

Who likes pancakes? Oh, that’s right, everyone. This is a pretty common Korean snack and the second most common use for kimchi in my house (after toasted cheese sandwiches). The rice flour, along with frying them in a generous amount of oil, will help to really crisp them up.

Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 pancakes



For the Pancakes

  • 60g plain flour
  • 60g rice flour (or potato starch)
  • 1 spring onion, cut in 2cm diagonal slices
  • 75g baechu kimchi, drained and finely chopped
  • 60g baechu kimchi brine
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar


  1. Combine the flours in a bowl, then add the spring onion, kimchi, kimchi brine, gochujang, egg and 2 tablespoons of cold water. Mix the batter until it’s just combined and refrigerate while you make the dipping sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 80°C to keep the pancakes warm. Combine the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, spoon in half the batter and spread it evenly across the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the edges are just turning golden brown (~3 minutes), then flip (using a plate, spatula or pure confidence) and cook for a further 3 minutes. Keep the first pancake warm in the oven and repeat to cook the second, allowing the oil to heat again (topping it up if necessary).
  4. You can serve the pancakes whole, or (as is traditional) pre-cut into small triangles for handling with chopsticks. Either way, serve with dipping sauce.



James Read author fermentation cookJames Read is the founder of Kim Kong Kimchi, a company that’s made tens of thousands of jars of kimchi distributed through hundreds of stores across Europe.

Kim Kong Kimchi has given James the opportunity to build his own walk-in remotely-monitored fermentarium, write an array of fizz-related spreadsheets and address audiences from London’s Chinatown to Copenhagen on the wonders of fermented foods.

He adores research, reading peer-reviewed papers on microbiota, hunting out ingredient origin myths and running A/B tests on fermenting pineapple cores.

Find out more

Author: James Read


Book Format:

Publisher: Particular Books

ISBN: 9780241455005

RRP: $45.00

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