In Korea, savory pancakes called jeon are regarded as drinking food — meaning, food you eat while drinking alcohol. Jeon are so delicious, though, that I would eat them for dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast, even. (I don’t believe breakfast foods must taste sweet.)

The most popular type of jeon is pajeon, which is a pancake filled with green onion. Probably the second most popular type is haemul pajeon, which is a version of pajeon that also includes seafood such as shrimp, squid and clams or mussels.

My recipe for saewoo jeon (below) is sort of an easier, faster hybrid version of pajeon and haemul pajeon. Like pajeon, it has egg and green onion. Like haemul pajeon, it has shrimp. But whereas pajeon and haemul pajeon require some type of rice powder and/or corn/potato starch mixed into the batter, my recipe only uses flour. Pajeon are also typically large in size — about the size of a crepe, though they are much thicker than crepes. My recipe makes smaller jeon that are more like patties than pancakes.

In short, this is not a pajeon or haemul pajeon recipe. But the taste is similar and it’s much quicker to make, with no special ingredients required.

Saewoo Jeon (Shrimp Patties) — 새우전

Makes 4-6 servings


  • ½ lb. shrimp (fresh, frozen or canned)*
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 green onion (or 3 scallion stalks)
  • ½ tsp. salt (less if using canned shrimp)
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. flour**
  • oil for frying

*I used frozen shrimp (chopped into pieces).

**To make this recipe gluten free, I used gluten-free flour.


  • Finely chop shrimp and vegetables. Place in bowl.
  • Add salt, pepper and beaten eggs to the chopped ingredients.
  • In an oiled skillet, drop tablespoon-size amounts of shrimp-vegetable-egg mixture, forming small patties.
  • Fry patties until golden.

[Recipe from “Korean Cooking”, an out-of-print cookbook created by the Korean Institute of Minnesota.]