There are certain food items I keep in my freezer for those "I don't know what to make" days. I always make sure to have a loaf of bread, frozen dumplings, and, of course, scallion pancakes. Not sure of what to make for the side? Just heat up a couple of scallion pancakes with egg. Sometimes, when I'm feeling fancy, I'll make a stack of Korean spicy pork pancakes to stash away. These pancakes are different from the norm, filled with spicy sizzled pork, but different in the best possible way. And they freeze wonderfully!
Korean Spicy Pork Pancake
Korean spicy pork pancake
- ½ lb ground pork
- 2 tablespoons gochujang
- 1 ½ teaspoons gochugaru
- 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons mirin
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 tablespoons oil divided
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (148 grams)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups ice cold water
- 14 whole scallions white ends trimmed
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 large eggs divided
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru
- Marinade pork. Mix gochujang with gochugaru, brown sugar, soy sauce, mirin, garlic, sesame oil, and black pepper until well combined. Add marinade to pork and mix until well combined. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and gochugaru in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until caramelized and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Whisk together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, and ice cold water in a medium bowl until smooth and well combined. Add cooked ground pork and beansprouts and stir until combined.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Arrange 7 whole scallions in a row. Pour half of pancake batter on top in an even layer. Beat 1 egg and pour over pancake in an even layer. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until golden brown.
- Flip pancake over and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Flip pancake over once more and increase heat to high. Cook for 1 more minute or until browned and crispy. Remove from heat and keep warm. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Serve Korean spicy pork pancakes with dipping sauce.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I always love a good food mashup and that's exactly what we have here with these Korean spicy pork pancakes. Combine traditional scallion pancakes with spicy marinated ground pork and you have one flavorful side dish.
Koreans love to add a touch of sweetness to their meats. Bulgogi, kalbi, and even this spicy pork are all a little sweet with the addition of brown sugar. In this instance, the sweetness counteracts the spicy in the most perfect way.
To prepare the meat filling, combine the marinade ingredients and toss them together with the ground pork. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste while gochugaru is a Korean chili powder. The spice level does vary according to the brand but this recipe makes a mild version. You can find both products in most Asian markets.
I used ground pork for these pancakes but you can use ground chicken, turkey, or beef instead.
While the pork is marinating, prepare the dipping sauce. This is a fairly standard pancake dipping sauce consisting of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and yes, more gochugaru. You can omit the Korean chili flakes if desired.
After about 30 minutes, cook the spicy pork until browned and caramelized about 5 minutes. You need to cook the pork before adding it to the pancake batter because otherwise, it won't cook properly.
Mix together the ingredients for the pancake batter and stir in the cooled cooked pork and beansprouts.
Next, heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Arrange 7 scallions with the white ends removed in the pan. Carefully pour half of the Korean spicy pork pancake batter on top, spreading it into an even layer.
Then, pour a beaten egg directly on top and let the pancake cook for a few minutes.
Carefully, flip the pancake over and continue to cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. It's times like these when you realize which of your pans are truly non-stick. If it's a true non-stick pan, the pancake should easily slide off.
After flipping the pancake, you may have noticed that the top is not crispy. So we're going to flip the pancake over once more, increase the heat, and let it crisp up.
Remove the pancake and repeat with the remaining ingredients. If you're planning to freeze these, cool them completely, tightly wrap them in plastic and freeze them for up to 1 month.
Serve the Korean spicy pork pancakes immediately with the dipping sauce and enjoy!
These pancakes were exactly what I was imagining. Crispy on the outside, filled with flavorful pork, and delicious. The pork's intense flavors do dull down a bit when mixed with the pancake batter but they are still present. The vinegar dipping sauce adds a little acid, completing the entire dish. You'll be glad you have a stack of these stowed away in your freezer too!
For more Korean dish inspiration check out this Korean spicy chicken bowl recipe!