Cabbage Pancakes


Cabbage Pancakes
Hello there!!!!
Have I gone too long?
I am so sorry that it took so long to be back, but boy! what a summer I had…
First of all, I traveled to Korea to visit my hometown.
Then, my family had to cross the pacific ocean again to relocate onto a tropical land in SE Asia. Where? well, I will let you know in my next post.
It always takes some time to settle into a new place no matter where you go. I finally was able to put my family onto a routine so that I can come back to blogging.

 So here I am…, introducing a simple dish to start.

But before I start the tutorial of these gorgeous cabbage pancakes, I would like to introduce my lovely hometown, Tong-Young city, of South Korea.


Beautiful, isn’t it?

I used to walk along this road everyday to go to school.

It has changed so much since I left some 20+ years ago.

Fishing is the major industry in this town.

Some random kiddos goofing around 6am in the morning on Nam-mang hill park.

Painted walls in Dongpirang hill. Every house has whimsical paintings on their walls.

The same random kids following me everywhere I go…

Do you speak Korean? Try to read this! So funny!
Such a strong southern Korean accent, they had to put translation on the bottom. Of course I understand the whole thing. In fact I used to talk like that.

This angel looks just like my daughter…

The front door of my house…  Just kidding.
It’s the entrance of the memorial house of Admiral Lee; the most respected general in Korean history.


That’s him!
5 seconds of Korean history; If England has Admiral Lord Nelson who brought victory from the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral lee and his world’s 1st iron boat saved Korea from the Japanese invasion in 16th century. The winning battle happened in the ocean near my hometown.

Traditional Korean architectural details.

I love Korean doors.

The bamboo and the cascading walls remind me of the back yard of my grandparent’s house.

The colors of Korea…  We call it Dan-Cheong.

The famous seafood market in the city.

The most famous seafood out of all from Tong-Young has to be these dried anchovies.
Cleaning the fish for her customer, she tried to wink at me as I took her photo.

People are humorous and sweet in the south…

A lady ripping out the skin of eels. My kids freaked out about this.

Love their visors.

This is one of the best fish stew I ever had in my life. One of my mother’s friend runs a seafood restaurant and this was the dish she served. I finished 2 bowls of rice with this stew. Soooo good!

This is the fish in the stew, called “Galchi”.
You can tell it is from Korean ocean judging from the shine.

 My mother carrying some dried sea products. Of course they are all for me.

Why is she holding an umbrella in a sunny day? That is her secret to maintain the beautiful skin.

Another famous thing in Tong-young is the handcrafted furniture.
This man is a master artist in Korean handicraft. He uses Avalon shells to create beautiful furniture pieces. He kindly welcomed our visit to his studio and taught my kids about his work.

My kids learned how to inlay the Avalon thread into motif.

The master himself was working on his project, the jewelry box.
I asked him how much the jewelry box he was working on. He looked at me and said, “I don’t think you can afford it”. I told him that I would decide whether I can afford it or not. He smiled and saying, ” This will sell for US$5,000″.

Well, I told him immediately that I couldn’t afford it.

This twin chest will run up to $100,000.
It will take the artisan one year to complete.

Another famous handicraft of Tong-Young is these quilted bags. They run from $30-150.

This is Tong-Young style Kimbap. I can eat this every day.
Plain rice wrapped with dried seaweed and served with spicy squid, fish cakes, and radish kimchee.
A must-eat when you visit Tong-Young.

A boat ride to nearby islands. My kids were sharing their shrimp crackers with seagulls.

There are so many tiny islands nearby and they all have a beautiful scenery. This one has a lighthouse on the top.

So how do you think? Would you like to visit Tong-Young next time you go to Korea?
I should get a job with Korea tourism board… ha ha!


Now coming back to my recipe…

This recipe (it is too easy to call it a recipe though) is originated from southern province of Korea.
The sweet mellow flavor of cabbage leaves gets coated with batter and pan fry them. A wonderful snack or lunch on a rainy day for me.
All you need is cabbage and some flour.

Look for small yellowish cabbage hearts instead of huge green bulky ones (those are for Kimchee).


My humble beginning of this recipe is; cabbage, Korean deep fry flour*, plain flour, Korean soy sauce, sesame oil.

*Korean deep fry flour is basically seasoned flour mix for deep fry batter. This will make the pancakes quite crisp to bite on. If you can’t find this, substitute with cake flour mixed with baking powder, onion powder, and salt.

Cut cabbage leaves from its base. If your leaf curls up like mine…

Just tap the white stem part with back of you knife until it gets flat.

Now she is as flat as pancakes. Well, she will become a pancake if not…

In a shallow bowl (I used a pie dish), mix flours and some water…

The batter will be runny like a crepe batter.

This is Korean soy sauce (for soups). It is DIFFERENT than regular soy sauce.

It is more translucent and salty, almost like fish sauce, but there is no fish involved in the sauce.
(If you are serious about Korean cooking, you better get this soy sauce because I am using this sauce quite often.)
Add a little bit to the batter.

Add a drop of sesame oil.

Whisk everyone well in the batter…

Heat up the pan and add some oil. I like to use brush when I make Korean pancakes.

First coat cabbage leaf with a little bit of flour.

And coat with the batter, drizzle out extra.

Place on the pan and don’t bother her for the next 3-5 minutes.
Adjust the heat so it doesn’t burn her. Medium heat is alright for me.

Flip and fry the other side of her. You will see the nice golden crust on her appearance.

If the pan seems to be dry, just drizzle a little more oil  around the edge.
She will taste divine the way she is now, but if you must have a dipping sauce with her…

Chop some green onion and chilies and mix with regular soy sauce (preferably low sodium), rice vinegar, and a little water.


You might think it is just plain boring pancakes made out cabbage,
but these are surprisingly good.
Do not underestimate the cabbage power…
It is good for you.


Cabbage Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10 pancakes


  • 10 napa cabbage leaves
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup Korean deep fry batter flour (-Tuigim garu-)*
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp Korean soy sauce for soup
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup flour for coating
  • some canola or grape seed oil for frying
  • For the dipping Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 green onion minced
  • 1/2 fresh chili minced
  • * Tuigim garu: 1 cup cake flour + 1/4 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp onion powder + pinch salt


  1. Flatten the cabbage leaves with back of you knife by tapping on the white stem part. Set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl (such as a pie dish), mix flours, water, soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk well. The batter will be as thin as crepe batter.
  3. Heat non stick skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp of oil.
  4. Coat each cabbage leaves with flour and drench with batter mix drizzling out the extra in the bowl. Place the battered leaf on the skillet and fry for 3-5 minutes. Do not move it around. It will sear the surface nicely golden and crispy. Flip to the other side and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

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  1. 1

    Aboxofkitchen says

     Welcome back, Holly!! I really missed reading your posts! I`m really glad that you and your family have spent such marvelous time visiting your hometown. The pictures of your hometown are amazing! I totally agree, you should work for Korean tourism board 😀 By the way, it never occurred to me to try Korean soy sauce since I thought it was similar with the Japanese shoyu, but now I know it`s time to give it a try. And the cabbage pancake looks interesting! Can you call it Jeon?

  2. 3


    Hi Holly, Welcome back! Korea is such a wonderful place. Last year we spent our Christmas there, I love all the food they prepared for us.I enjoy bibimbap too, very.Looking forward to learn some Korean food from you.

  3. 5

    Laure says

    Hi Holly, it's good to have you back ! I really missed reading your posts.  I
    usually never comment on here, but I love your site, actually it's the
    one that got me started cooking korean food.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. Your hometown is such a beautiful place.

  4. 7

    beyondkimchee says

    Traditional Korean soy sauce is quite different than regular soy sauce. It is made from fermented soy and has a little more pungent flavor. As for clarity it can be similar to Japanese shoyu but saltier. We mostly used it for seasoning soups, stews, and many vegetable side dishes. Some even add to Bulgogi.

  5. 8

    beyondkimchee says

    Smoky Wok (Tastes of Home)
    I love your new blog name. When did you change it?
    No, I am not in Singapore. Good guess though.

  6. 12


    I stumbled across this blog a few weeks ago and have been eagerly awaiting new updates. So glad to see you're back to blogging! I love that you provide more than just a recipe. Your stories give the dish a whole new dimension! And, as I told my friends, reading your blogs makes me feel like I have my own Korean mother telling me how to make something. Thanks omma! 

  7. 14

    Jux says

    Darling Holly!!!
    10000times Welcome!!!
    I've been visiting your kitchen, from time to time, imagining when you would be back… i even took a look in the post from 2010 to see when you came back from your trip to Europe – btw, it was in septemeber… so september is gone, ocotber almost ending…
    And… Surprise!!! Here you are!!!
    I must confess: when you published your last post in july, telling us about the summer trip with your kids – whose destination was a secret – believe or not, I felt you had travelled to Korea, to be with your clan!
    And I was right!!!
    I'm so happy to read about your trip, see the gorgeous photos and feel glad for your time with your mom… I remember some very sweet posts in which you mentioned how you missed your mother… I understand you so well, cause I miss my mother too. These wonderful women that brought us to this life!
    Family and health are the most precious treasure of life!
    Long and healthy life for our families!!!
    Big hugs and, once again, welcome back!!!
    Jux… a very happy Jux to see you again!

  8. 16

    Caroline in San Francisco says

    Thanks for the great photos of Korea! One forgets there is so much more to Korea than Seoul. Your photos make me want to go back there. 

  9. 17


    Tong-Young DOES look delightful–I would love to visit!  So many beautiful sights and interesting things to learn there.  Thank you for sharing with us about your home!  I went to Korea for the first time this summer, but unfortunately it was very brief and I only had time to see a few sights in/near Seoul.  Glad you had a good trip! ^_^

     And the Cabbage-jeon look so yummy!  I am also glad you are back, because I love seeing your pictures and reading your posts!

  10. 18

    tofuturkey says

    I'm so happy you're back! You're one of my favorite blogs to read; it was really nice seeing the photos of Korea. 

  11. 19

    beyondkimchee says

    Good to hear from you, too. I have been thinking about you, too.
    Yes, I had a great time with my mother. Most of all I was so happy to see my children spending time with her. You are so right. There is nothing that can be more valuable or replaceable than your family.
    How are you doing there? Having a good time?

  12. 20

    beyondkimchee says

    Thank you for your sweet comment. I am glad that my blog makes someone to feel as comfortable as their own mother's instruction in the kitchen. Hope to communicate with you more.

  13. 21

    LucyL says

    I'm soooo happy to see you back! Have missed reading your blog, I log on every few days to see if there are updates! Your home town looks lovely, thanks for sharing the photos!

  14. 22

    Rachel says

    Hi Holly

    Good to hear that you are back to blogging again. Love those pictures of your hometown. They are beautiful. And the cabbage pancake looks pretty and easy to make too. Thanks for sharing, Holly!!


  15. 23


    I am so happy you're back to blogging! Have missed your posts! By the way, I've been using your Kimchi recipe and everyone who's tried it, loves it. The only thing I've changed is to up the amount of garlic. Thanks for the great recipes! 

  16. 24


    I'm so glad you're back to blogging, have really missed your posts! By the way, have been making using your Kimchi recipe and evryone who has tried it, loves it! The only change I've made is to up the amount of garlic. Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. 27

    Nuvo says

    Your hometown is so picturesque, I am sure your kids had a great time too (btw love the pic of them goofing around). I love korean food, and can’t wait to try out the recipes! Thanks for sharing :)

  18. 29

    Carol Rode says

    Hi Holly! You have a beautiful blog! I know i will enjoy reading it. I used to write a food blog awhile back but just lost interest. I was actually looking for Korean travel blogs in English when I stumbled upon your blog, and what a gem it is! This post especially grabbed my attention as I was looking for a nice fishing village to visit during my visit to Seoul next month. There’s not much info out there about places like these. Tong-Young city looks gorgeous, and even though it looks quite modern, I can feel the calm and peacefulness from your excellent photography. How far is Tong-Young from Seoul? I’d love to visit if I can.. Thank you for sharing Holly ;D

    • 30

      Holly says

      How Carol
      Tongyoung is about 4 hr drive from Seoul. The city is known for one of the most scenic harbor town of Korea. Very popular place among Koreans. Hope you get to visit there and enjoy the scrumptious seafood and the scenery.

  19. 31

    sun says

    When i was a little girl my mom used to cook it often.
    You’re right! i confirm it’s absolutely more than a simple cabage pancake!
    I’ll cook it when i find this cabbage.
    It’s not easy to find it in Italy:((
    Thanks for your recipe!

  20. 32

    Valerie says

    I love your blog and recipes! I have been using your recipes for a couple years now. I used to lived in Korea and taught English and I really miss the food! Glancing over this post today I saw that you are from Tong-Yeong! This is the town where I taught, I had such great experience there!!

    • 33


      Wow, that is so cool! I am so glad to hear from someone who’s been to my hometown. I miss there a lot, especially all the great seafood! Hope you had enjoyed an abundant seafood there. Thanks for the comment. It is always nice here from my readers.


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