2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups ice-cold club soda
1 medium egg yolk
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 bunches scallions, cut into 2-inch batons (if the scallions are thick, cut the white parts lengthwise in half before cutting into batons)
5 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil for frying
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. To make the batter, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, doenjang, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well to blend. Add the club soda, egg yolk, and garlic and mix gently using a whisk. Do not whisk too much, or extra gluten will form in the batter, making it too thick and doughy. Whisk about 10 times, then let the batter rest for 10 minutes in the freezer so any remaining small clumps of flour can dissolve and blend into the mixture by themselves.
  2. When you’re ready to make the pancakes, line a sheet pan with paper towels and set aside. Fold the scallions into the cold batter.
  3. Set a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan over high heat and add about 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer and just barely smoke, add 1 cup of the scallion batter to the center of the pan. Using a spatula, spread it out to form a 7-inch pancake. (You don’t want the pancake to touch the sides of the pan, or the edges may burn before the center is cooked through.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the bottom of the pancake has set. Once it has set, gently slide your spatula under the edges of the pancake and lift them, tilting the pan, so some of the hot oil runs underneath the pancake. Then cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the bottom is a deep golden brown and crisp. You can check the color by gently lifting an edge of the pancake with your spatula. Flip the pancake and cook on the other side for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is golden brown on the second side and cooked through. Transfer to the prepared sheet pan to drain. Wipe out the pan, set it back over high heat, add another tablespoon or so of oil, and repeat until all of the pancakes are cooked. The finished pancakes can be kept in a low (200°F) oven on a clean sheet pan while you cook the remaining batches, but it’s best to eat them right away.
  4. Cut each pancake into quarters and serve with small bowls of the sauce and ice-cold makgeolli.

    Pajeon sauce

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Use immediately, or store for up to 2 weeks in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Shake or stir well before using.