Savory Korean Breakfast Pancake {Breakfast Bindaetteok}

Savory Korean Breakfast Pancake {Breakfast Bindaetteok}

Savory Korean Breakfast Pancake
Breakfast Bindaetteok

Mung Bean Pancake (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb)
Nappa Cabbage Kimchi, Scallion
Topped with a Sunny-Side-Up Egg
Gochujang Sauce

It’s those savory caramelized bits of kimchi that make this pancake so irresistible. Dried-peeled-split mung beans are soaked overnight in water, then pureed in a blender to produce a pale yellow batter that yields a tasty low-carb, gluten-free pancake with an interesting slightly chewy texture.

The pancake is topped with a sunny-side-up egg. Gochujang sauce made from fermented red chilis, is spicy and slightly sweet and makes the perfect condiment for this breakfast which is a twist on the popular Korean appetizer called bindaetteok.

Savory Korean Breakfast Pancake Recipe

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Buchu Jeon {garlic chive blossom pancake}

Buchu Jeon {chive blossom pancake}
Buchu Jeon


{garlic chive blossom pancake}

A popular Korean ahn-joo (snack enjoyed while drinking), Buchu Jeon is a savory garlic-chive pancake often paired with makkoli (rice wine) and served with a soy dipping sauce. My unusual addition of pungent chive blossoms makes for a pretty presentation while enhancing the garlic-onion flavors of the jeon.

I’ve heard that the invitation to go enjoy buchu jeon on a rainy day is synonymous with “let’s go have a drink” for Korean adults. Hopefully this crispy-chewy pancake with petite white flowers will help brighten your stormy days…Cheers!

garlic chives, buchu jeon
Buchu Jeon Recipe

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A Smoky Old-School Korean Bar (in LA)

dan sung sa

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Korean pub scene, in fact I’ve only been to this one. But here, my older brother Bill and I were transported to what I imagine to be a secret hideaway in a back alley somewhere in Seoul. He served in the military in Korea and was happy to accompany me as I reviewed a dozen restaurants for a Korean restaurant publication. We began our experience at Dan Sung Sa with a complimentary seaweed soup, perhaps served for drinking stamina? And positively addictive shoestring potatoes curiously sprinkled with sugar.

dansungsa korean pub
We were warned that Dan Sung Sa is not easy to find. It has no exterior signage in English, adding to the mystery and charm.

Dan Sung Sa
3317 W. 6th St.
Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA

This is a bar. Trippy, authentic, hip, smoky. We loved it. Definitely not a fine dining establishment by any means. If you are looking for a place to imbibe and experience what could be Seoul’s cultural underbelly, this is the place. We drank Hite and soju, we ate esoteric ahn-joo. The service fit the atmosphere, the music was perfect. By the way – it was smoky…and not just from the grill.

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mind-blowing appetizer: kimchi jeon (kimchi pancake)

kimchi pancake recipe
kimchi pancake / kimchi jeon 


I’m obsessed with a pancake. Korean Kimchi Jeon. How does a simple combination of flour & water plus kimchi produce such a sublime pancake? It is kimchi’s spicy, salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami, fermented flavors when added to a basic pancake batter that result in an extraordinary snack. Complex in flavor with textures ranging from chewy to crispy and a delightful orange-hue, guests can’t get enough of this popular ahn-joo.

With a jar of kimchi in the refrigerator and the rest of the ingredients pretty much standard pantry items, in 15 minutes or so I can serve a mind-blowing appetizer. Pair with cold beer or makkoli (rice wine) to get the party started!

Two ways to enjoy ~ choose either the partially burnt caramelized kimchi pancake or the crispy/chewy version ~ same ingredients, different method.

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Enigmatic Korean Pancakes

korean pancake, bindaetteok
Korean Pancakes

korean embroidered tablecloth
Mrs. Lee’s Embroidered Tablecloth

Gina Lee tells her Korean Pancakes story:

“She was a fabulous cook. When Scott and I were first married she would often bring Korean dishes over to our house, including these wonderful savory pancakes. I would ask her: What is this? It’s so delicious.  I’m good at figuring out the ingredients in a dish.  What’s in the batter? Is it egg, or corn meal? I’m Italian, I thought about polenta…What makes it yellow?

But my mother-in-law would just smile.



I gave up trying to figure it out and just enjoyed them over the years. Fast forward, my husband made Korean pancakes at home as a test for our restaurant menu. And it was then I finally learned the secret. Mung beans? Mung beans and water. Really?”

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