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Scallion Pancakes (Pa Jun, Pajeon) with a Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

Scallion Cakes (Pa Jun, Pajeon)

Scallion Cakes (Pa Jun, Pajeon)

My Great Korean Food Adventure continues… Last week I brought you Japchae, delicious sweet potato noodles with seitan and fresh veggies. Today I bring you Scallion Pancakes, also known as Pa Jun or Pajeon. These are incredibly simple, created with ingredients you probably already have (especially if you’re re-growing your scallions!), and most importantly: DELICIOUS!

These only take a few minutes to prepare and cook- the longest part is the 10 minutes that the batter has to rest. And they’re great! Simple yet flavorful- by not adding a ton of spices you can really taste the fresh bite of the scallions, and the little bit of chili paste gives it a little extra *pop*. You can add other vegetables too! Mushrooms, carrots, onions, zucchini… I could go on and on! When I was first collecting ideas for MGKFA, I looked at a couple different recipes for these cakes… some used eggs, some didn’t… but other than that they were all pretty much the same- except for a few that got funky with their veggies! Me, I chose to get funky with the chili paste 😉

Then you can serve them as an appetizer with my Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce (recipe below), or as a side dish. If you have extras, wrap them in foil and throw them in the fridge- then reheat them in a frying pan for your next meal.

Scallion Cakes (Pa Jun, Pajeon)

There is some oil required for frying them, but if your pan is hot enough they wont absorb too much. I also placed mine on paper towels after cooking to get rid of the excess oil. There’s not so much that you’ll feel heavy afterwards.

Scallion Pancakes (Serves 5-6 as an appetizer or side dish)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups cold water (to start, you might add more)
  • 2 t chili paste (Korean or Thai will work, they’re pretty similar)
  • Pinch of Turmeric
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 bunch scallions, halved lengthwise then sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • Oil for frying


  1. Mix everything together but the scallions, and let sit for about 10 minutes. The batter should be thinner than if you were making pancakes, but not watery. If it’s thicker than your usual pancake batter, mix in water a T at a time. Then add your scallions and give it one last stir. (If you want to get fancy, you can add the scallions directly to the pan, then pour the batter over them!)
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat with a VERY THIN layer of oil (I used canola). You just want the thinnest of coatings- we’re not deep frying these suckers! Pour about 1/4  of your batter into the pan, creating a thin pancake.
  3. Cook for 4-5 minutes, flip and give it another 2-3 minutes on the other side. You want it to be golden brown but not burnt. Keep a close eye, especially on your first batch, to make sure you get the timing right. The amount of oil you started with, along with the power of you stove will effect the required cooking time.
  4. As the batches are finish, place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil, then slice them with a knife or pizza cutter into any shape you’d like.
  5. Serve hot with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce!

Sweet & Spicy (Asian) Dipping Sauce (Plenty for dipping one batch of Scallion Pancakes)


  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1.5 T agave
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T plus 1 t chili paste (or more if you want to up the spiciness!)
  • 1 T scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 t garlic powder


  1. Mix everything together and serve cold or at room temperature.


Scallion Cakes (Pa Jun, Pajeon)

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Heather March 19, 2012, 7:02 am

    THANK YOU for shring this, Scallion Pancakes are Justin’s favorite. Your recipe is so easy, the one and only scallion pancake recipe I tried years ago ahd so many resting and rolling stages that it took like 3 hours to make and the pancakes were just okay – I can’t wait to try this!

    • Barb March 19, 2012, 1:15 pm

      Oh wow, I probably would’ve given up! I hope you like these!

  • vegancharlie March 19, 2012, 2:14 pm

    I have everything needed to try this and I love scallions…here’s my problem though…How do you get them so thin!? lol I am amazed by that. I am so heavy handed I would end up making them as thick as a waffle LOL

    • Barb March 19, 2012, 2:16 pm

      As long as your batter is thin, the cakes should turn out thin. My first batch came out thicker though! Trial and error, like most things in life… 🙂

  • Carrie March 19, 2012, 6:18 pm

    Yum! I used to order something similar at a restaurant in my vegetarian days. This looks just as delicious!

    • Barb March 20, 2012, 12:11 pm

      I had never had them before this… can’t believe how long I was missing out!

  • Connie Fletcher March 20, 2012, 10:52 am

    EXCITED TO TRY THIS!!!!! And guess what’s up in my garden!??!!

    • Barb March 20, 2012, 12:11 pm

      Ummmm…. scallions? 😉

  • JuliaRad March 20, 2012, 7:14 pm

    Yum! Scallions are something I always buy, I love them and I love the re-growing thing, I’ve been meaning to try that!

  • Connie Fletcher March 22, 2012, 12:55 pm

    I wonder if I could use chives??? Whatcha think?

  • Connie Fletcher April 15, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Well…chives be really good!!!

  • Michel Campbell January 4, 2014, 5:04 pm

    I needed to add a ton more water to get a consistency like runny pancake batter. In the end they were really gummy. Did I do something wrong?

    • Barb January 4, 2014, 9:52 pm

      It sure sounds like it! Sorry, I can’t say what, tho…

    • Sarah August 28, 2015, 6:13 pm

      I had the same problem. Very gummy even without the extra water. I slowly added more and more water hoping to thin out the batter but I didn’t have any success.

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