In Korea, there is a popular dish called Yachaejeon 야채전. These are vegan Korean vegetable pancakes that are pan fried. Yachaejeon are a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional pancakes and are perfect for a vegan diet. In this blog post I would like to show you how you can easily prepare these Korean vegetable pancakes vegan and delicious.
Yachaejeon 야채전 – what is it?
You may wonder what Yachaejeon are. Well, they are a Korean style of pancake made with fresh vegetable ingredients. Served with carrots, onions, cabbage, spinach and/or beans, most yachaejeon are a healthy, nutritious meal. You can vary, exchange and replace the vegetables as you wish. For my vegan Korean vegetable pancake version, I used a mixture of cabbage, carrots, zucchini, sweet potato, green peppers, white onions and spring onions. But as I said, you can also use vegetables or vegetable leftovers according to your taste.
Yachaejeon are a tasty and easy way to add more veggies to your diet. You can serve them as a main course or as a side dish. Give it a try and you’ll see why these delicious pancakes are so popular!
Korean for Beginners: Yachae (야채) means vegetable and jeon (전) is the term for pancake in Korean. So both together result in vegetable pancakes or as we Koreans say yachaejeon 야채전.
if you like our vegan Korean vegetable pancakes, you might also be interested in these dishes:
- Chinese pancakes with spring onions
- Beetroot Herb Tabbouleh
- Zucchini and carrot fritters quick, crispy and delicious
- Korean Kale Salad
- Sweet Potato – Power Food Combination
- vegan gimbap- the Korean sushi
Tips for perfect Korean vegetable pancakes
Vegetables: You can really add almost any vegetable to yours! It’s also a great way to use up leftover veggies. As other vegetables, you could also use mushrooms, colorful peppers, potatoes, peppers, kimchi or chili, etc.
Cook vegetables beforehand? I usually use all raw veggies, including for the sweet potatoes. They cook well in the pan, but be sure to slice them evenly as thin as possible. You can also ensure that the vegetables are cooked with a lid on the pan. A lid on the vegetable pancakes also works well if your pancakes have become a bit thick.
Vegetables with a lot of liquid: Certain vegetables give off a lot of liquid, at the latest when they are in the seasoned dough. If this is the case for you, you can add 1-3 tablespoons more flour.
The pancakes don’t get crispy? In our family we like to make the pancakes as thin as possible. This will make both sides very crispy. Also note that the pancakes will release moisture as they cool, especially if they’re on a plate. It may also be the veggies, as some veggies tend to release extra moisture when cooked and seasoned. A good way to remove excess water is to salt your veggies first, place them in a colander, and drain or squeeze the excess liquid. This will draw out the extra moisture. If you do this, keep in mind when salting your dough that the veggies may already be salty.
Flour: I personally used wheat flour for this recipe because we don’t have to watch out for any allergies or intolerances. But if anyone has tried it with gluten free flour mix, whole wheat flour or chickpea flour, let me know in the comments how it works and most importantly how it tasted.
Note that the texture and consistency of the vegan Korean vegetable pancakes may change!
Yachaejeon 야채전 – Korean vegetable pancakes vegan
for the dough:
Vegetables for the pancake (my choice):
- ½ cabbage
- ½ zucchini
- ½ sweet potato
- 1 carrot
- 1 Onion
- 1 green paprika
- 3 spring onions
- neutral vegetable oil to fry
for the soy dip:
- 2 tbsp. Soy sauce*
- 2 tbsp. water
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar*
- 2 tsp. Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. Sesame oil*
- 1 tsp. sesame black/white*
- 1 tsp gochugaru* or chili flakes to taste
- Clean the pointed cabbage and cut into fine strips.
- Wash zucchini, cut lengthways into strips and then into sticks.
- Peel the carrot and cut into sticks or grate.
- Peel the sweet potato and also cut into fine sticks.
- Peel the onion and cut into strips.
- Wash the green peppers, deseed, remove the separating membrane and cut into narrow strips.
- Wash the spring onions, cut some of the green into fine rings and set aside for later. Cut the rest into pieces about 5 cm long and then cut them lengthways into strips.
- In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients well.
- Slowly pour in the water while stirring and mix everything until you have reached a thick but still slightly runny batter consistency.
- If the batter is too thick, you can add more water a tablespoon at a time.
- Note that the batter should be thick to coat the vegetables well.
- Mix the vegetables with the batter to coat everything evenly.
mix the soy dip:
- Mix all the ingredients together and adjust the spiciness to your taste. You can also prepare this dip beforehand and use it for other Asian dishes.
Fry vegetable pancakes:
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of plants to the pan. Once hot, pour in a generous amount of the batter and vegetable mixture, spreading evenly in your pan. Try to make the pancake as thin as possible. I use the back of a spoon to spread them evenly on the pan.
- If there are holes, fill them with some dough and/or vegetables.
- Bake over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until dough begins to set.
- Check to see if the underside is light brown or golden. If so, use a skillful flick to flip the pancake to the other side (or use a spatula).
- If you want extra crispiness, let the veggie pancakes cook on low heat for an additional 3-4 minutes on each side or until dark golden brown to achieve a really nice crispy outside.
- This way, excess moisture will evaporate from the batter and vegetables, and you will end up with crispier and less battered pancakes.
- Repeat for the rest of the dough.
- Serve cut into smaller pieces and enjoy with dip.