Eat Veggies for Breakfast: Korean Crispy Pancakes

Hi from Chattanooga, Tennessee! Our family has been on the road for two days, hightailing it to the great state of Florida, where we’ll spend a week with Jaden and her man and boys. So exciting! I’ll be sure to send along all the deets.

We’ve traveled through Kansas and Missouri, the tip end of Illinois and the rolling green highways of Tennessee. It’s been a stunning drive, the scenery robust and emerald green. Good heavens, I need more trees in my life.

The hubby and I have enjoyed hours of chatting and reading and pondering the great unknown’s of life. Today saw a delicious hour spent, phone pressed to ear, in warm conversation with one of my favorite people in the wide known world. Then a second hour (give or take) found the hubby and I deep in negotiations with BF Russell, who has tried (almost successfully) to talk us into veering his way before we head home. What’s a few hundred miles between friends, he asked. Straight up.

We’ve eaten double cheeseburgers, waffles and oatmeal for breakfast, fried chicken for dinner. I’m so over road food. So wishing I were home to make Pajun, these Korean Crispy Pancakes, which are filled with so many veggies, they’ll make you cry. Not to mention, so full of flavor they’ll make you laugh until you’re high.

My friend KiYung Kim brought plates of pajun to our home last year, when we were hosting a Korean exchange student. She couldn’t bear the idea of him feeling homesick, so would bring bowls and boxes of homemade foods, profferred with the teensiest bow in KwanYong’s direction. Kamsahamnida, she’d say. Thank you. Even though she was the one bringing the food.

We loved pajun right away. I called her one day after my children devoured a heap of her Crispy Pancakes and begged her for the recipe. “It’s easier I show you,” she replied. So she showed me how to make pajun, pressed in her little kitchen apartment. There was precise julienning, a cautious sprinkle of salt, she knew the process by heart, took great pride in each step.

Since bringing her recipe home, I’ve simplified it for my own kitchen. The recipe you’ll find below is an Americanized version of hers, though it tastes nearly identical to KiYong’s.  You’ll need a few gluten-free items for this recipe, as well as a food processor or truly phenomenal blender. I mixed all of my ingredients in my Vita-Mix. I know, I mix everything in my Vita-Mix. When are you going to get one?

Though this recipe is traditionally a dinner accompaniment, I happen to serve it for breakfast. It’s a great way to sneak some serious veggies into your morning routine. An even better way to nix the rise and fall of sugar-cravings that come when you being your day with a super-sweet, high carb breakfast. A plate of cooked pajun refrigerates well and stores for up to two days…if you can make it last that long. Chances are, it will be snapped up before you know it.

Even by those picky veggies eaters of yours. No…especially by those picky veggie eaters of yours.



Korean Crispy Pancakes (Pajun)


3 small red potatoes, diced
1/2 small onion
1/2 mild or medium pepper (optional)
2 eggs
1 medium zucchini, thinly julienned
1/2 cup grated carrots
2-3 bunches green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh green beans, sliced thin (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4-1/3 cup brown rice flour
A splash of soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil


Place the potatoes, onion, and pepper in a food processor. (If you're using an industrial-strength blender, just toss the potatoes, onion, pepper, and both eggs in our blender then puree).

Transfer the potato mixture into a large bowl. Add the eggs, zucchini, carrots, green onions and green beans in the bowl. Toss in a 1/4 cup of tapioca flour and 1/4 cup brown rice flour, add a splash of soy sauce (just a bit!). Stir until well mixed. The mixture should have the consistency of thin pancake batter. Add a more tapioca and brown rice flour by the tablespoon, if you need to thicken your batter. If you need to thin it out, add a splash of water.

Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, spoon a heap of batter into the skillet. Cook until golden brown (about 2 minutes) then flip your pajun to the other side and cook until golden brown around the edges. Serve immediately with a bit of soy sauce or Sriracha for dipping.