Korean Pumpkin Pancakes

by Beyond Kimchee on March 7, 2013 · 33 comments

Korean Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin is, perhaps, the trademark vegetable of Autumn and here I am… posting one pumpkin recipe in the spring time.

(Oh, Holly! Be aware of season! )

I went to a grocery store to buy zucchinis but came home with a piece of pumpkin instead. All because, when I saw a few displayed on the shelf, I felt bad that I didn’t eat enough pumpkin last fall.

I bet I am the only weird cook who felt bad about not eating enough pumpkin during fall/winter season in the beginning of March. Or maybe I just wanted to hold on to the time of past and not being ready for the changes that are coming ahead (=a sign of aging).

Anyway, I gave some thoughts on what I am going to do with my pumpkin friend and decided to make 늙은 호박전(neulgun hobak jeon), which translates to “the aged pumpkin pancakes”.

Yes, an aged pumpkin works the best which holds fully developed flavor and texture. When a Korean pumpkin gets older(?) the skin holds white powdery surface over their beige-sh orange color.  I used Australian pumpkin (similar to Kabocha pumpkin) that was available in the store. Any pumpkins should work fine.

This is slightly sweet and savory pancakes which can be whipped together so fast. The only drawback is you need to slice the pumpkin to thin matchsticks. But if you have a food processor the whole thing can be put together within a blink of an eye. Just saying…

Had an enough pumpkin in the fall? Then, put a bookmark on this page and wait until next fall.


Behold! Here is a piece of pumpkin that is still bold and beautiful!


Remove seeds, peel the skin, and picture these orange-y thingy entering to your stomach…


Slice thinly, about 1/8″, then cut into match sticks. You can go thicker, no big deal.

I could use my food processor but I hate washing the 5 compartments of it afterward. Beside slicing pumpkin is quite fun to do.


Now, put them in a bowl, sprinkle 2 Tbsp of sugar (more if you desire sweeter) and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. Mix well and let it sit.


After 10-15 minutes you will see some moisture coming out of pumpkin. DO NOT drain!!!!  You NEED that liquid. In fact it is the only liquid you need for this recipe.


Add 1/2-2/3 cup of flour and mix well. (Adjust the amount of flour depends on the moisture in the pumpkin)


Let it sit for 5 minutes. Your pumpkin batter is ready to cook.


Heat oil in a skillet over med-low.


Spread out the pumpkin batter to a thin layer. Any size you desire.


If you have a piece of green chili, adorn with it just for fun. Not mandatory… Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side.


Flip and you will see a slight golden crust is formed. Drizzle a little more oil around if needed.


Press gently with spatula to help sear the other side. Cook 2 more minutes. You will feel that pumpkin is getting soft.


Flip back to check if it is done. Yup, done!


Serve hot. Dipping sauce is an optional. With or without, the pancakes are good either way.

Slightly sweet yet fully loaded with natural pumpkin flavor, this makes comforting pancakes to savor.


I had an unfortunate event happened a few days ago. I was driving my car and got stuck in a traffic on the way to pick up my son from his after school activity. I was attacked by a motorcyclist robber. He banged passenger side window of my car to snatch my purse. Luckily I left my purse on the floor and he couldn’t reach to the purse. (He has to have an elastic arm to reach to the purse that was left on the floor of an SUV vehicle from his scooter type motor bike. I don’t know what he was thinking!)

After all, he gave up and drove off. I couldn’t chase him down due to being caught in the traffic. The whole thing happened within 3 seconds, the longest! Lightening fast! I was left stunned, speechless, and helpless.

Fortunately I was unharmed and my purse was safe, but the passenger side window was broken with million pieces of glass covering the seat. I heard about this type of “smash and grab” robbery many times from other people and I finally got my story to tell.

However, I am very thankful that I was safe. It could have been worse. Because I had my Nikon camera in the purse, so if the purse got stolen, I wouldn’t be able to post any recipes in my blog for who knows how long.

Well, isn’t life full of surprises?

Stay safe, guys!


With love,




Korean Pumpkin Pancakes

Korean Pumpkin Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 lb (450g) pumpkin, seeded and peeled
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ to ⅔ cup flour
  • 2-3 tablespoon for frying
  • 1 green chili, sliced, optional
for the dipping sauce:
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ½ green chili, seeded and minced
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Slice pumpkin thinly and cut into ⅛" thick matchsticks.
  2. Put pumpkin slices in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar and salt, toss together, and let it sit for 15 minutes to extract moisture. Do not drain.
  3. Add flour and mix well. Adjust amount of flour depends on the amount of liquid extracted from pumpkin. let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over med-low heat. Spread 2-3 tablespoonful of pumpkin batter to thin layer (Adjust the size of pancakes as you desire). Place chili slices on top, if using.
  5. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until you get slight golden crust on both sides and the pumpkin gets soft. Press with a spatula gently to sear the surface as you flip to the other side. Drizzle more oil when needed.
  6. Serve hot with dipping sauce. The pancakes is good either way, with or without the dipping sauce.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

scui March 8, 2013 at 12:54 am

Holly, that motorcycle robber story is TERRIFYING! I am so so glad you are safe and didn’t even end up having your purse stolen. All is good that ends well, I suppose. Did you lock eyes with him? Can you describe him to the police?


Holly March 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

The robber was wearing helmet and mask. I reported to police and that is another story! I just have to be thankful that I was unharmed.


Sue | My Korean Kitchen March 8, 2013 at 5:48 am

This is my first time leaving a comment on your website. I’ve been drooling over on your beautiful photographs of food for a while! This recipe is very creative. I’ve never thought of using a sweet pumpkin for a Korean pancake. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe. I think I will give it a try. It is fall here (in Australia). A great excuse for me to make this dish! Also I am so glad that you are safe from the car robbery. It must be such a horrifying experience!


Elle March 8, 2013 at 6:30 am

How scary! I’m glad that you’re safe and nothing happened. I would have really shaken if it had happened to me.


Caroline March 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

Glad that you are safe, Holly. Happy Women’s Day.


Evelyn March 8, 2013 at 8:17 am

Gosh…nowadays the security and safety in the country has deteriorate and looks like the police/govt are not doing anything at all to give assurance to the public and people so looks like we have to take good care of ourselves….nevertheless, glad that you are safe. Take care.


john@kitchenriffs March 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

Wow, that attempted robbery was so brazen. It must have been scary – so glad that you’re safe and that you didn’t lose anything. But what a pain having your window replaced! Anyway, love this recipe! I’ll eat pumpkin anytime, although it’s getting a bit tough to find. Or maybe I just haven’t been looking!


Chau March 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Thanks God you are safe. I better put my purse on the floor from now on. Got to try this pancake recipe soon. Take care.


leaf (the indolent cook) March 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm

The pancakes look lovely… tender, but with a bit of crispiness as well. Also, glad you’re fine, what a scary incident!


Serena March 8, 2013 at 9:28 pm

That is terrible!! I’m glad you and your son are safe.


Ann Mah March 9, 2013 at 12:15 am

Gorgeous recipe, Holly — it’s still winter here so I’m going to try it soon. The motorcycle incident is terrifying! I’m so glad you’re safe and sound — please take good care while driving!


Joseph Chaiwhan Kim March 9, 2013 at 3:28 am

I will have to make this over the weekend! Looks absolutely delicious.


jenny March 9, 2013 at 5:49 am

i hope that you are ok! how horrible that you had to go through such an experience.


VF March 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

OH MY GOSH!!! Glad you are okay!!! God must’ve been really lookin out for you!!! Also so glad your camera wasn’t stolen because I’m selfish and would miss your recipes too much ;)


Katy @Katyskitchen March 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

Looks yummy! I wonder how this would taste with sweet potato, I have a hard time finding pumpkin this time of the year


linhlinh March 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Hi, this is my first time reading your blog and i love the recipes. I’m glad you’re fine. I have been in a same situation once :(. Anyways, do you mind if i ask you what camera you used for those pictures? I want to start practicing taking pictures of my dishes before i start my own blog ^^. Unfortunately, i have no idea about photography :(.


Holly March 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I use Nikon D7000. Learning to take good pictures take time and patience. But it is so worth all the efforts. Good luck!


linhlinh March 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

thank you so much :)


shuhan March 10, 2013 at 12:38 am

that sounds so scary, and I can’t believe the first thing you thought of was whether your camera of food photos will be gone! lol what about your own safety!? glad nothing happened in the end. and glad you did manage topost these lovely photos and yummy recipe! I love pumpkin fritters, this soudns pretty similar, but love the idea of the jkorean style dipping sauce. yummy! haven’t been here in a while but am glad I saw this post :) x


Judith March 10, 2013 at 12:54 am

This is perfect timing! The “aged pumpkins” are at a peak right now, nice and old, and I’m lucky enough to be able to get real Korean style pumpkins here. I also have periodic pumpkin cravings, which I satisfied last year making pumpkin kimchi – maybe I’ll get a big pumpkin and do both!
Stay safe, it’s scary out there. :(


Deepa March 10, 2013 at 9:56 am

Here’s to always mixing up the seasons’ offerings — there’s nothing like a bit of “fall” to soothe one’s “spring” :) Glad the robbery was only as bad as a broken window, though I’d never wish even that experience on anyone. Wishing you only the sweetest culinary adventures from here on.


Sandra's Easy Cooking March 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

Oh wow, scary…that’s one of those moments that we think it will never happen to me, right? I am glad that you are alright..but I’m sorry for the car!

I love your pancakes–my absolute favorites are kimchijeon, but would love to try with pumpkin too since i love pumpkin taste. Thanks for the recipe Holly and beautiful pictures!


Nami | Just One Cookbook March 13, 2013 at 12:56 am

OMG. I’m glad you are safe! This kind of thing we hear from news…not from you! And you are the victim! You are funny you were worried about camera.. thank you for thinking of us! ;) I love kabocha! This is such a vibrant color and so appetizing!


Nancy/SpicieFoodie March 19, 2013 at 5:20 am

I’m so glad to hear you weren’t harm — how horrible.

I could eat pumpkin year round, so I appreciate your recipe. Thanks for sharing!:)


Purabi Naha March 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Really great to know that you are safe. Some people do such nasty jobs for easy money, but God was by your side….
These pumpkin pancakes are easy and inviting! I would love to try these.


Esther March 20, 2013 at 3:53 am

Oh dear Holly :( so sorry to hear about the attempted robbery. Tis is the second time this week i have heard this same tactic happened to people i know, the first one that happened, the lady had a miscarriage because of the trauma, so terrible. Glad that you are unharmed and your handbag was not stolen. I must be diligent from now on and put my handbag on the car floor. Thanks for sharing another great recipe, bookmarked this to try soon.


Lucy L March 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Oh no Holly, really sorry to hear about the attempted robbery, but glad to know you are safe AND that your purse didn’t get taken!

The pumpkin pancakes sound GREAT and especially because it looks so simple to make!


Joseph C Kim May 2, 2013 at 4:40 am

Need to get some pumpkins this fall. Can’t wait for October!


Sara September 24, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hello from Spain! Thanks to google have discovered your wonderful blog.

In these moments I have resting my cookies before putting them in the frying pan and to raise them to my blog, I hope that I still have so tasty as yours.

In all that it raises them, I will put your direction in order that the world does not get lost this marvellous page.



Sara October 23, 2013 at 8:33 am

Me quedaron buenísimos (creo)


paula Johnstone December 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Awesome photo, recipes and blog…


James Wenger August 26, 2014 at 6:09 am

You are blessed to be ok!!! Growing a Korean pumpkin ,when do you harvest( what size)


Holly August 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

I personally never have grown pumpkins. So I believe you can harvest anytime you desire. The longer it sit in the vine, the bigger it gets.


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