Korean Bean Sprout Pancakes with Spicy Dipping Sauce

I love savory pancakes, and these are a great Korean version. They are tasty served hot or at room temperature. Serves 6. [Inspired by: Flavors of Korea by Deborah Coultrip-Davis and Young Sook Ramsay.]

Spicy Dipping Sauce

3 Tbsp Gochujang*
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup water
Whisk ingredients together.

Mild Dipping Sauce

3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp white or rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
Whisk ingredients together.

Pancake Ingredients

12 oz. fresh mung or soy bean sprouts
1 bunch (approximately 7) scallions
2 Tbsp Gochujang
1 egg
3/4 cup rice flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-2 cups water
vegetable oil for cooking

*Gochujang (pronounced: go-chew-jang) is a seasoning paste commonly used in Korean cuisine. It is made from fermented rice and Korean hot pepper powder, and has an earthy and mildly spicy flavor. You can purchase it in any Korean market, and many other Asian markets (ask for it by name if the products for sale do not have English writing on them). If you can not find Gochujang, you can substitute brown miso paste mixed with a little bit of Cayenne pepper powder, but I recommend searching for a Korean market. If you live near a large city it should be easy to find one and it’s a fun adventure to see all the different items that you can’t get at a regular supermarket. Plus, the produce is usually high quality and very inexpensive.


Heat a pot of water to boiling. Rinse the sprouts and add them to the boiling water and cover immediately (use a light-weight lid so steam can escape, and turn down the heat to prevent spill-over). Boil the sprouts for 2 minutes, then drain and shock in a bowl of cold water, and drain again.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg and add one cup of the water and the two flours. Mix well. This mixture should be thin like pancake batter. Add more water if necessary. Rinse the scallions and trim off the top 2 inches of the green parts and the roots, then slice finely. Add the scallions and Gochujang to the batter and mix well. Finally, add the cooked sprouts and mix until coated with the batter.

In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil for several minutes until the pan is hot. Use a 1/3 cup measuring scoop to ladle out the pancake mix. As soon as you place a scoop of batter in the pan, use the back of a wooden spoon to spread the mix out and flatten. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the edges are brown and begin to crisp, then flip the pancake and cook for about 2 minutes more. If your pan is large enough you can cook two or even three pancakes at once. When all pancakes are cooked, stack them in piles of 2 or 3 on a cutting board and chop them into pieces approximately 1-inch square. This makes them easier to handle with chopsticks. Serve with the dipping sauces.

Published by Sarah Scully

Sarah is a librarian as well as an avid knitter and occasional knitwear designer. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, reading, painting, and writing with fountain pens.