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Here’s how to make gamjajeon, the beloved Korean potato pancake, the easy way! Enjoy the perfect balance of golden-brown crispiness and tender potato goodness in every bite.

Golden brown gamjajeon with dipping sauce on a white plate.
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Simple Korean Potato Pancakes

“Gamja” means potato and “jeon” means pancakes in Korean. It is a simple and affordable dish that has stood the test of time, delighting generations of Koreans with its irresistible texture and comforting flavors.

And while traditionally gamjajeon is made by grating potatoes by hand, I find that way too time-consuming and tedious!

So here’s how to make the most delicious Korean potato pancakes, the easy way!

Hungry for more Korean appetizers or snacks? You MUST try this Korean veggie pancakes and Mandu (Korean dumplings)!

Ingredients

3 potatoes and half of an onion on a plate.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Potatoes – the best varieties to use are russet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, or Idaho potatoes.
  • Onion (optional) – this will help prevent discoloration
  • Dipping sauce – This is the sauce we enjoy with all Korean pancakes, like this Korean vegetable pancakes. It’s a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and garlic.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage showing how to prepare the pancake batter.
A two image collage of potato batter on the left and 3 mini pancakes cooking on the right.
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Peel the onion if using and cut into quarters (if using). Add to a food blender along with water.
  2. Blend until you get a fairly smooth texture. do NOT over-blend!
  3. Drain the potato in a mixing bowl lined with a strainer. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes to allow for the potato starch to sick to the bottom.
  4. Carefully drain off the water, saving the white potato starch layer at the bottom.
  5. Add the potato back in and mix together. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Take a scoop of the potato mixture with a spoon and drop it into the pan, shaping it into a pancake with the back of the spoon. It should sizzle. You can make them small or large, depending on your preference. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy immediately!

Variations

While the classic gamjajeon recipe features plain potato pancakes, here are some delicious variations to try!

  • Haemul gamja jeon (seafood potato pancakes): add chopped shrimp or squid along with potatoes.
  • Kimchi gamja jeon: adds a tangy and spicy kick.
  • Gamja buchimgae (potato pancake with vegetables): Try adding grated zucchini, carrots, onions, or sliced green onions into the potato batter for a vibrant mix of flavors. Add a small amount so it doesn’t overpower the potatoes and make the batter wet.
  • Cheesy potato pancakes sprinkle on top of the potato pancakes while they cook, allowing it to melt and create a savory addition to the dish.

Tips for Success

  • You can grate the potatoes by hand if you don’t have a food blender. Just be sure to grate right before you plan to cook them.
  • Be sure to press out as much liquid as possible from the potatoes. Otherwise, you will end up with mushy pancakes.
  • Do NOT throw away the drained water immediately. Instead, let it sit for 10 minutes or so. The water will separate from the potato starch, eliminating the need for flour or powder starch.
  • If you want extra crispy pancakes, make sure your pan is well-heated and use an ample amount of oil.

Serving Suggestions

A close up shot of Korean potato pancake on a plate.

Enjoy as an appetizer, side dish, or a quick snack. These gamjajeon are best fresh out of the pan when they are warmest and crispiest.

Having said that, while the pancakes will get soft once refrigerated, they will still be tasty. My kids love these cold, and they make for an easy addition to their school lunchboxes.

Equipment

You can use any food blender for this. However, getting a high-speed blender will change your life, seriously!

I’ve had my Vitamix for 7+ years and it’s worth every penny. I use it to make all my baby and toddler muffinsdips/sauces, smoothiesveggie nuggetsbaby pancakes…it’s hands down my number one workhorse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do Korean potato pancakes discolor?

It is due to enzymatic browning, which occurs when the enzyme called polyphenol oxidase present in potatoes reacts with oxygen in the air. There is lower chance of discoloration when the potatoes are blended vs. grated.

If you decide to grate the potatoes, I recommend grating some onion (about 1/4 small onion is enough) first and combining it immediately to grated potatoes.

Can I make gamjajeon in advance?

It is best to enjoy it fresh and hot. But you can make them in advance if needed. Prepare the batter and keep it refrigerated for a few hours before cooking. Be sure to give the batter a good stir before using it. You can also cook them and refrigerate for 2-3 days. Keep in mind that the pancakes will discolor, but they will still be tasty.

What is the best way to reheat gamja jeon?

Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat. Add some oil to make them crispy again. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until they are heated through and crispy. I do not recommend microwaving as it will get too soft.

More Korean Recipes

5 from 1 vote

Gamjajeon (Korean Potato Pancakes)

Here's how to make gamjajeon, the beloved Korean potato pancake, the easy way! Enjoy the perfect balance of golden-brown crispiness and tender potato goodness in every bite.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Equipment

Ingredients 

For the pancakes

  • 500 grams Russet potatoes (or yukon gold or Idaho potatoes)
  • 1/4 small onion (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • neutral oil for frying
  • Dipping sauce

Instructions 

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Peel the onion if using and cut into quarters (if using).
  • Add to the blender along with water. Blend until you get a fairly smooth mixture. do not over-blend!
  • Drain the potato in a mixing bowl lined with a strainer. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes to allow for the potato starch to sick to the bottom.
  • Carefully drain off the water, saving the white potato starch layer at the bottom. Add the potato back in and mix together. Season with salt to taste.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Take a scoop of the potato mixture with a spoon and drop it into the pan, shaping it into a pancake with the back of the spoon. It should sizzle. You can make them small or large, depending on your preference.
  • Fry for about 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy immediately!

Video

Notes

It is best to enjoy immediately, but you can refrigerate the pancakes for 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat. Add some oil to make them crispy again. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until they are heated through and crispy. 

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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