Easy Chive Pancake: Buchujeon Recipe

Chives are my zucchini-cross to bear – I have more than I know what do with, “volunteers” showing up all over my garden and on the eternal quest for recipes that call for copious amounts (read: not a sprinkle on top of a baked potato). Several ideas floated around including pesto base, dumplings, Vietnamese bánh xeo (crepe-like), kimchi and finally, a version of a favorite Korean dish, pajeon or green onion pancake. Pajeon is chock full of green onions/scallions. Why not chives? A quick google confirmed this indeed was a real thing and thus the chive pancake was born. “Buchu” means garlic chive and, as you may have surmised by now, “jeon” means pancake. Best part = ~ 3 cups of scapes required! This recipe makes 2 large (~8 inch diameter) pancakes, which is more than enough for two people as main dish or more people to share as a side or appetizer.

There are several different types of chives, ranging in flavor and sturdiness. My chives are your basic onion-flavored Allium schoenoprasum (purple flowers) but there are also garlic-flavored Allium tuberosum (white flowers), also known as Chinese chives, that are more sturdy/less delicate. Naturally, everything that grows well in my life is also bordering on noxious weed status…. Sigh, I still love chives with their pretty oniony purple flowers and evergreen presence.

Buchujeon Chive Pancake


About 4 total cups of chives/onions/garlic….

  • 3 cups roughly chopped chive scapes, either onion or garlic
  • ½ cup green onion (optional, I had them lying around)
  • Approx. ¼ cup thin sliced shallot (again, had them lying around)
  • 1-2 chopped/minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru, optional)

Extra add-ins if your hubby cries when there is no meat

  • 6-8 medium shrimp, deveined and sliced in half, so thinner
  • Alternatively, could toss in bay/chopped scallops or pork


  • Use a commercial Korean pancake mix: follow their instructions, and add an egg (our preferred method)
  • Make your own mix: try ½ cup flour, 2/3 cup water, 1 tsp salt, 1 egg
  • OR try search around for other variations, everyone has their favorite and an opinion on which flour to use…
  • Next time I might get all multi-cultural and use a bánh xeo batter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Dipping Sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1-2 teaspoon honey


  • Don’t let the long appearing list of ingredients scare you.
  • Prepare the chives. I chopped them into about 2-3 inch lengths; rough chopped the random green onion etc.
  • Mix all the “greens” in a medium bowl, toss in garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
  • Prepare the shrimp.
  • Mix the batter according to instructions, adding a well beaten egg. Batter needs to be a bit runny so it pours easier. Thin with additional water as needed.
  • Combine the chive mix with the batter in large bowl, ideally with a pour spout, for your ease.
  • Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large fry pan on medium to medium high heat.
  • Place half of the shrimp in the hot pan, then pour half of the chive batter mix over the shrimp in the pan. Cook your pancake for about 3 minutes each side, until cooked and golden brown.
  • Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Serve hot and top with some petals of the purple chive flower. They are most definitely edible and have an intense chive flavor, but mostly look pretty.
  • Don’t worry if they aren’t round! Each pancake is unique.

You can also make this basic pancake with just kimchi and probably just about anything… dare I say zucchini?

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