Delicious Haemul Pajeon Recipe (Savory Korean Seafood Pancake)

Seafood and Green Onion Pancake. Haemul-pajeon. | Daecheol

Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than our delicious Haemul Pajeon recipe, a savory Korean seafood pancake that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Seoul.

Packed with a medley of fresh seafood and infused with the flavors of Korea, Haemul Pajeon is a popular dish that combines the rich umami of seafood with the perfect balance of savory and crispy. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of creating this delightful pancake from scratch, ensuring that you achieve the same authentic taste and texture as the ones found in traditional Korean eateries.

Using only the finest ingredients and expert techniques, our recipe promises to deliver a mouthwatering dish that will impress your family and friends. Whether you are a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is guaranteed to become a favorite in your household. So, put on your apron, grab your spatula, and get ready to experience the irresistible flavors of Haemul Pajeon.

History and Cultural Significance of Haemul Pajeon

Before we delve into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the history and cultural significance of Haemul Pajeon. Pajeon, meaning “green onion pancake,” is a traditional Korean dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is believed to have originated during the Joseon Dynasty and was initially consumed during special occasions and ancestral rites. Over time, Pajeon became a popular street food in Korea, with various regional variations and adaptations.

Haemul Pajeon, specifically, is a seafood variation of Pajeon that emerged as a coastal specialty. The Korean peninsula is surrounded by the sea, making seafood an integral part of the country’s cuisine. Haemul Pajeon showcases the abundance of fresh seafood available in Korea and reflects the nation’s deep connection to its maritime resources. Today, Haemul Pajeon is enjoyed as a delicious appetizer or main course, both in Korea and around the world.

Haemul Pajeon Recipe


To create the perfect Haemul Pajeon, it is essential to gather the right ingredients. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. All-purpose flour: 2 cups
  2. Cold water: 2 cups
  3. Eggs: 2
  4. Salt: 1 teaspoon
  5. Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
  6. Sesame oil: 2 tablespoons
  7. Vegetable oil: For frying
  8. Green onions: 4 stalks, thinly sliced
  9. Assorted seafood: 1 cup (e.g., shrimp, squid, clams, mussels), cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  10. Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  11. Korean chili flakes (gochugaru): 1 tablespoon (optional for added heat)
  12. Dipping sauce: Soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame seeds for serving

Make sure to source fresh seafood and quality ingredients to enhance the flavors of your Haemul Pajeon. You can find most of these ingredients at your local Asian grocery store or online.


Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making Haemul Pajeon:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cold water, eggs, and salt. Whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.
  2. In a separate bowl, prepare the dipping sauce by mixing soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame seeds. Set aside for later.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium heat and add a generous amount of vegetable oil, ensuring the entire surface is coated.
  4. Once the pan is hot, add the sliced green onions and minced garlic. Stir-fry for a minute until fragrant.
  5. Add the assorted seafood to the pan and cook until they are almost done. Be careful not to overcook the seafood, as it can become tough and rubbery.
  6. If desired, sprinkle Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) over the seafood for an extra kick of heat.
  7. Pour the prepared batter over the seafood and green onion mixture, spreading it evenly to cover the entire pan. Cook for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Carefully flip the pancake using a wide spatula or by tossing it in the air if you’re feeling adventurous. Cook the other side until it turns golden brown and crispy as well.
  9. Once the Haemul Pajeon is cooked to perfection, transfer it to a serving plate and drizzle sesame oil over the top for added flavor.
  10. Cut the pancake into smaller pieces and serve hot with the dipping sauce on the side.

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Haemul Pajeon

Creating the perfect Haemul Pajeon requires attention to detail and a few tips and tricks. Here are some suggestions to ensure your pancake turns out crispy, savory, and delicious:

  1. Cold water is essential for achieving a light and crispy texture in the batter. Make sure to use chilled water when preparing the batter.
  2. Resting the batter allows the gluten in the flour to relax, resulting in a softer and more tender pancake. Don’t skip this step!
  3. Adjust the thickness of the pancake based on your preference. If you like a thinner pancake, use less batter and spread it thinly. For a thicker pancake, increase the amount of batter and cook it for a longer time.
  4. Use a non-stick frying pan or skillet to prevent the pancake from sticking. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, make sure to use enough oil to coat the surface.
  5. Don’t overcrowd the pan with too many ingredients. This can make it difficult to flip the pancake and may result in uneven cooking. Cook in batches if needed.
  6. Serve the Haemul Pajeon immediately after cooking to enjoy it at its best. The crispy texture is lost over time, so it’s best to eat it while it’s hot and fresh.

Variations and Toppings for Haemul Pajeon

While the classic Haemul Pajeon recipe is already a culinary delight, you can also experiment with variations and toppings to add your personal touch. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Vegetable Pajeon: Add a variety of thinly sliced vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms, to the batter for a vegetarian twist on the dish. The combination of fresh vegetables and the savory pancake base creates a delightful contrast of flavors.
  2. Cheese-Stuffed Pajeon: For an indulgent twist, insert thin slices of cheese between the layers of the pancake batter. As the cheese melts during cooking, it creates a gooey and delicious center.
  3. Kimchi Pajeon: Incorporate the beloved Korean staple, kimchi, into the batter for a tangy and spicy twist. The fermented flavors of kimchi add depth and complexity to the pancake, making it a popular choice among kimchi lovers.
  4. Toppings: Enhance the presentation and flavors of your Haemul Pajeon by adding a variety of toppings. Some popular choices include sesame seeds, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, or even a drizzle of spicy Korean chili sauce.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients and flavors. Haemul Pajeon is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences and dietary restrictions.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions for Haemul Pajeon

Haemul Pajeon is delicious on its own, but it can also be served with various accompaniments to create a complete meal. Here are some serving and pairing suggestions to elevate your dining experience:

  1. Dipping Sauce: Serve the Haemul Pajeon with the traditional dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame seeds. The tangy and savory flavors of the sauce complement the pancake perfectly.
  2. Banchan: In Korean cuisine, banchan refers to a variety of side dishes that accompany the main course. Serve your Haemul Pajeon with a selection of banchan, such as kimchi, pickled vegetables, or seasoned seaweed, for a truly authentic Korean dining experience.
  3. Rice and Soup: Enjoy your Haemul Pajeon with a bowl of steamed rice and a comforting Korean soup, such as Doenjang Jjigae (soybean paste stew) or Miyeok Guk (seaweed soup). The combination of flavors and textures creates a satisfying and balanced meal.
  4. Korean Drinks: Pair your Haemul Pajeon with traditional Korean drinks, such as Makgeolli (rice wine) or Soju (Korean distilled spirit). These beverages complement the savory flavors of the pancake and enhance the overall dining experience.

Remember to serve the Haemul Pajeon hot and fresh to ensure the best taste and texture. The combination of crispy edges, tender seafood, and savory flavors will leave you craving for more.

Health Benefits of Haemul Pajeon

While Haemul Pajeon is undeniably delicious, it is also worth mentioning some of the health benefits associated with this traditional Korean dish. Here are a few reasons why you can enjoy Haemul Pajeon guilt-free:

  1. Seafood Goodness: Haemul Pajeon is packed with a variety of fresh seafood, such as shrimp, squid, clams, and mussels. Seafood is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is also low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.
  2. Fiber and Antioxidants: Haemul Pajeon often includes green onions and other vegetables as ingredients. These vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, which promote digestive health, boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  3. Probiotic Benefits: Fermented ingredients, such as kimchi, often used in Haemul Pajeon, contain probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support gut health, aid digestion, and strengthen the immune system.

While Haemul Pajeon can be a nutritious dish, it is important to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Pair it with other nutrient-dense foods and maintain portion control to reap the maximum health benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use frozen seafood for Haemul Pajeon?

Yes, you can use frozen seafood for Haemul Pajeon. However, make sure to thaw it properly and pat it dry before adding it to the pancake batter. Using fresh seafood will yield the best results, but frozen seafood can be a convenient alternative.

  1. Can I make Haemul Pajeon gluten-free?

Yes, you can make a gluten-free version of Haemul Pajeon by using gluten-free flour or a combination of alternative flours, such as rice flour and potato starch. Experiment with different gluten-free flour blends to achieve the desired texture and taste.

  1. How do I store and reheat leftover Haemul Pajeon?

To store leftover Haemul Pajeon, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, you can either pan-fry it again for a few minutes until crispy or warm it in the oven at a low temperature.

  1. Can I make Haemul Pajeon vegan?

Yes, you can make a vegan version of Haemul Pajeon by omitting the seafood and eggs. Instead, you can use a combination of vegetables, such as zucchini, mushrooms, and onions, to create a flavorful vegan pancake. Adjust the seasoning and spices to suit your taste.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to make delicious Haemul Pajeon, a savory Korean seafood pancake that will impress your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant streets of Seoul. By following our step-by-step guide and incorporating the tips and tricks provided, you can create a mouthwatering Haemul Pajeon that rivals the ones found in traditional Korean eateries.

Remember to gather the freshest ingredients, take your time to prepare the batter, and cook the pancake to a crispy golden brown. Whether you choose to stick to the classic recipe or experiment with variations and toppings, Haemul Pajeon is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.

So, put on your apron, grab your spatula, and let the delightful flavors of Haemul Pajeon take center stage in your culinary repertoire. Invite your family and friends to savor this Korean delicacy, and watch as their taste buds dance with joy. Haemul Pajeon is more than just a dish; it is a gateway to experiencing the rich flavors and cultural heritage of Korea. Enjoy every morsel and savor the memories created around the table.