Korean Tuna Pancakes (Chamchijeon). If you love tuna, then you've come to the right recipe! These Korean tuna pancakes are packed with scrumptious flavor and great taste.
Made with simple ingredients from your pantry! Less less than 15 minutes you can have an incredibly satisfying meal. These are also healthy and low in calories per patty.
What are Korean Tuna Pancakes?
Chamchijeon (참치전) are savory pancakes made of a simple batter that consists of canned tuna, red chili pepper or red bell pepper, egg, sesame oil, all purpose flour, garlic, and green onions. They are pan fried in a generous amount of oil. They are very similar to pan fried salmon cakes; however the tuna version is more popular amongst Korean homes.
These tuna patties are a great banchan. I love serving mine with a bowl of rice and other Korean dishes, like well-fermented kimchi for a light meal. You can sandwich the thick patties between bread for a classic sandwich.
The below ingredients are needed for this Korean recipe. Scroll down to full recipe card for measurements.
- Neutral oil: avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil or peanut oil. Avoid using olive oil, coconut oil or sesame oil as they're overpowering.
Tuna Pancake Filling:
- can of tuna
- Red chili, green chili, red bell pepper or green bell pepper: For a spicy kick, opt for red or green chili but I would recommend de-seeding them. For spice, opt for red or green bell pepper.
- green onion or spring onion
- egg: or sub with white onion
- all-purpose flour: this helps bring the pancake batter together making it easier to stay intact when rolling them into balls or frying them
- garlic clove
- toasted sesame seeds
- toasted sesame oil
- salt: ½ teaspoon of salt to bring out the flavors
- black pepper
- Lemon juice, to serve with tuna jeon
How to Make Korean Tuna Pancakes
Here are steps and visuals on how to make this savoury tuna pancake recipe:
In a mixing bowl, combine filling for tuna cakes as listed above. Mix well.
Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into balls. Transfer to a plate.
In a non stick frying pan on medium heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, add one tuna ball at a time and flatten it out into a ½-inch-thick pancake with a spatula.
For best result, fry on each side for 2-3 minutes until both sides of the pancake are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
Serve with green onions and red chilies as garnish. Enjoy with a squeeze of lemon juice!
These will last up to 3-4 days in an airtight container, stored in the fridge.
Below are frequently asked questions on this Korean tuna pancake recipe:
How do I get them golden brown?
Fry them in a large pan with enough oil over medium to medium-high heat. Carefully monitoring them and once they turn golden brown, it's time to flip. A non-stick pan will make it easier for cooking and clean up.
What's a good dipping sauce for this?
Equal parts regular soy sauce to rice vinegar with a dash of sesame oil and a pinch of sesame seeds.
Other Korean Side Dishes
- Korean Zucchini Fritters
- Korean Fish Cake Stir-Fry
- Korean Cucumber Salad
- Korean Bean Sprout Salad
- Korean Spinach Side Dish
- Mayak Eggs
- Gamja Jorim
- Gyeran Mari Korean Rolled Omelette
Easy 15-min. Korean Tuna Pancakes (Chamchijeon)
- 1 tablespoon Avocado oil for frying (or any flavorless oil)
Tuna Cakes Filling:
- 150 gram canned tuna drained
- 20 grams red chilli de-seeded & finely chopped, or red bell pepper for no spice
- 1 green onion finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 5 tablespoon all purpose flour or sub with any gluten-free flour with a similar texture
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds toasted
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil toasted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Optional for serving:
- Lemon juice
- Japanese mayo
- In a mixing bowl, combine filling for tuna cakes as listed above. Mix well. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into balls. Transfer to a plate.
- In a non stick frying pan on medium heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, add one tuna ball at a time and flatten it out into a ½-inch-thick pancake with a spatula.
- Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes until both sides of the pancake are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
- Serve with green onions and red chilies as garnish. Optional: enjoy with a squeeze of lemon juice or Kewpie mayo.