Try these super easy Korean tuna pancakes at home! It is a popular Korean side dish, which can be made with readily available ingredients from your pantry and fridge. This side dish is also popular for kids and adults alike!
What are Tuna Pancakes
The Korean name for tuna pancakes is chamchijeon (참치전). Though they are different to a typical Korean pancake as there isn’t much ‘batter’ so to speak, but it holds well without falling apart.
Typically, it is made with canned tuna, eggs, finely diced vegetables, a bit of flour, fine sea salt and black pepper. But in today’s recipe, I added a dollop of mayonnaise to moisten the tuna. If you are not fond of mayonnaise you can certainly skip it but it does add value.
Korean tuna pancakes rely on egg as a gluing agent. You can even visually spot the yellow egg color in the pancakes.
Unlike typical tuna cakes or tuna patties, you don’t pre-shape the batter before you cook it. You actually shape it as you cook it by using a spoon to gently place the scoop of tuna veggie mixture. You will have to gently tap to flatten while it’s cooking.
As with many Korean traditional pancakes, tuna pancakes are also best served with pancake dipping sauce. It’s really good! One of my readers recently told me that this pancake dipping sauce really tones down the fishy taste of the pancakes and bring out more savory pleasure.
So I hope you give this a try soon!
P.S. If you like using canned tuna, you should also check my gochujang mayo tuna patty recipe as well. This recipe was developed as a spin off from today’s tuna pancake recipe, but its taste and texture is quite different. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
INGREDIENTS FOR TUNA PANCAKES (YIELDS 9 to 10 SMALL PANCAKES)
- 185g/6.5 ounces canned tuna, well-drained
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 30g/1 ounce green onions, finely chopped
- 45g/1.6 ounces onion, finely diced
- 20g/0.7 ounces red bell peppers or cayenne chili, seed removed & finely diced
- 20g/0.7 ounces green bell peppers or cayenne chili, seed removed & finely diced
- (optional) 1 Tbsp mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s brand)
- 2 tsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- A few sprinkles of ground black pepper
- Some cooking oil (I used rice bran oil)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce, regular
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
* 1 Tbsp = 15 ml
** If you want to get more creative with the dipping sauce, be sure to check my Korean pancake sauce recipe.
HOW TO MAKE KOREAN TUNA PANCAKES
1. Make the dipping sauce by whisking all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine all the prepared main ingredients (excluding the oil) in a mixing bowl and mix them well.
2. Preheat a skillet over medium low heat and once heated add some cooking oil across the pan. Scoop out the tuna mixture with a spoon (heaped), and gently place it onto the pan (each spoonful mixture makes one pancake). Cook for 2-3 mins. Flip them over and cook another 2-3 mins, or until golden brown.
You can also tell it is ready when no egg liquid seeps out when you gently press the mixture down with a spatula.
Remove from the pan when both sides of the pancake are cooked. Repeat this until all the remaining mixture is used up. You may need to add more cooking oil between the batches.
3. Serve with the dipping sauce. Also with cooked rice and other Korean side dishes.
Love Korean food? Browse lots of other Korean recipes from my easy Korean recipe collections. And subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 162IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg