Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

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Buchimgae or jijimi or chijimi is a thin, savory pancake from Korea. It’s similar to a Japanese okonomiyaki, but is a bit less complicated to make. (Also closely related is pajon, a pancake with lots of green onions.) It’s basically a pancake-like batter holding together a lot of vegetables and other ingredients. It’s a great way of using up leftovers, and holds up a lot better than okonomiyaki as a bento item I think. It makes a nice change from rice or bread based bentos.

Here are two batter recipes. One is a traditional one using wheat flour and beaten egg, the other one is a vegan and gluten-free variation. Use the one that suits your needs. The traditional one is a bit lighter and crispier, and the vegan one is denser.

Recipe: Buchimgae or jijimi or chijimi: Korean savory pancakes

To make about 4 pancakes

  • Batter of your choice (see below)
  • About 3 cups of finely julienned vegetables: green onions, garlic chives, bean sprouts (no need to julienne these), carrots, greens, etc.
  • 1 cup of kimchi cabbage, roughly chopped (or add more vegetables instead)
  • Other things of your choice: leftover chopped up or julienned meat or ham, shelled edamame, meat soboro, etc.
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
    • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar or lime juice, or a Mix _ 1 Tbs. sugar
    • A few drops of hot chili oil (ra-yu), to taste
    • Chopped green onion

Heat up a frying pan or griddle, and coat with oil. (Using a little sesame oil adds a wonderful nutty flavor to the pancakes.) Mix the batter and the other ingredients together - the ratio of filler to batter should be quite high (the batter should just hold together the other things). Spread out as thinly as you can on the hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over medium-high heat until crispy and golden brown, then turn over and cook on the other side. Cut into wedges or squares.

In the meantime, mix together the dipping sauce ingredients. Serve in a small bowl alongside the pancakes. (You can also mix up a large batch of the dipping sauce, minus the green onion, and store it in the refrigerator.)

One pancake is about 350-400 calories, depending on how much oil you use, what ingredients you put in, and so on.

These pancakes can be frozen. Cut into wedges or squares, and wrap well in plastic wrap and store in ziplock bags or freezer containers. Put them in an dry non-stick frying pan over lot heat to defrost and crisp them up.

Batter no. 1 - Flour and egg

  • 200g / 7 oz (about 2 US cups) white all-purpose or cake flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 250ml / water
  • Pinch of salt

Sift the flour and salt together. Combine the egg and water. Add the liquid to the flour gradually, to form a thinnish batter. If you can, set aside to rest for at least 1/2 an hour.

Batter no. 2 - Vegan and gluten-free

After some experimenting, I discovered that using potato flour or dessicated potato flakes makes the pancakes a bit lighter and ‘bouncier’ than using rice flour alone. If you can find potato flour or potato starch, use that instead of the dessicated potato flakes. The gram flour is used mainly to add protein.

  • 100g / 3.5 oz (about 3/4 cup, but it’s better to weigh it for accuracy) rice flour (preferably not ‘sweet’ rice flour or mochiko, but you can use mochiko if you don’t have the regular rice kind of flour)
  • 50g / 1.75 oz dessicated potato flakes (instant mashed potato)
  • 50g / 1.75 oz chickpea (gram) flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 350ml water

Mix or sift together all the floury ingredients. Add the water to it in stages, until you have a thinnish batter. You may need more or less than 350ml (the amount seems to depend on how dry the flours are). If you can, set aside to rest for at least 1/2 an hour.

Don’t be afraid of the kimchi by the way - they aren’t really that spicy when cooked like this. They just add lots of umami and a pleasant warmth.

Bento Challenge Week 4, Day 5

Above is a very simple chijimi bento. I used the vegan batter, and added some edamame and fried tofu (aburaage) strips, to make the pancakes complete nutritionally. The dipping sauce is in a small container. Even at room temperature they were delicious! I made the sauce on the spicy side by adding a lot of chili oil.

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

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Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

this looks really good and I"m going to make it soon but when you say "Kimchi Cabbage" do you mean just the napa cabbage or actual Kimchi that I'd find jarred at my store?

TIA
Fiona:)

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

she means the actual kimchee that's made out of nappa cabbage. (since there are other kinds of kimchee that are made out of other veggies such as radishes and etc.)

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Yum. This is one of my mother's favorite foods, and we always get a side order of the seafood type whenever we eat sushi at a Korean restaurant. I like them a bit chewy whereas my mother prefers the crispier type. Either way it's all good.

I had contemplated using these in a bento but was concerned about the calories since it's so dense and usually cooked with oil. Glad to know they're not as bad as I thought, and now I might end up popping one in after all. I'm going to go the "cheaters" route and buy the ready-made flour mix though. Flour and I do NOT mix.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I have had this kind of korean pancakes at a restaurant and have already a few times thought about searching for a recipe to make them myself. Thank you for bringing it to me. I can't wait to cook them!
Besides I wish you all the best with your search for a new home and I hope you'll find THE place!
Wishing you all the best from good old Zürich,

bee

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Whenever I've gotten these out at a restaurant they've been drenched with oil.... Now i can make them healthier on my own!!! Yay. I will probably use these in a bento very soon. Right after I try the nikuman in a bento :)

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

@terraskye: I mean the premade, spicy kimchi.

The calories really depend on how much oil you use. You can get by with less by using a non-stick frying pan. Of course, more oil does make it crispier...

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Thanks:) I've not used kimchi before and its been ages since I've even eaten it but this looks too yummy to pass by:)

Terra

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I made this tonight, or something pretty close to this.

I didn't have kimchi but I did have leftover cabbage/daikon kinpira and leftover sauerkraut. I mix those two together with a little chili oil, and added julienne sweet peppers, carrots, celery and some diced leftover boiled red potatoes.

I don't know how the authentic version tastes, but this one was delicious!! I can see where this would be great for using up all those odd and ends of veggies and cooked veggie dishes.

I'll have to try it someday the way it's written, but this version was mighty tasty!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

love it! this was one of my favorite izakaya foods when I lived in Japan--I always wanted to go to the places that had it!--and I am so glad to learn how to make it. thank you!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Yum!
Thanks for posting this recipe! I love, love, love these pancakes. I have tried to make them before but they turned out a bit too dense. So, I'm eager to give your recipe a go. :)

This is my favorite kind of food: easy to make, tasty and good for bento. Another Korean dish that is simple to make and particularly well suited to bento is bibimbap.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

saw the recipie and had it for dinner ^_^

Don't really know what kimchi cabbage was, but it had cabbage in the name so i replaced it with savoy cabbage. Really enjoyed it and the dipping sauce helped season it!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Yum.. can't wait to try it. Might try with soy flour and egg white just to lower the cals even more!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Gail: Kimchi is spicy Korean pickled cabbage (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimchi ). Should be easily available at any East Asian grocery.

Maki: Just wanted to take a moment and say that I am really loving your blogs. I've long been a fan of Japanese food (even more so after I finally got to Japan!), and I am enjoying your clear presentation and choice of recipes that you might not find in typical cookbooks. Keep up the great work!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I usually have kimchi in the fridge (I like the Pungsan Mat Kimchi from http://www.pskimchi.co.kr/) and made this using batter 1.
Unfortunately, it was my very first "Just Hungry/Bento" failure.
I kept the batter separate and added it to the kimchi and chopped vegetables afterwards, bit by bit, so I wouldn't overload it. But even so, the pancake crisped up beautifully on the outside (both sides) and stubbornly refused to cook on the inside, despite being quite thin. It wasn't a complete disaster as, once I knew that the inside was doughy, I returned it to the pan, turned down the heat a notch and continued to cook it. But it took an awfully long time and was so resistant to firming up in the centre I eventually ended up dissecting the pancake and scrambling it. Ended up looking fine as the innards were moist enough to stick together again.
I stress that this is my very first failure with one of your recipes. A real surprise as I've been making so many for some years now without hiccups.
Hope you don't mind this feedback.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

The key is for the vegetables and other ingredients to batter ratio to be very high, so the batter is just barely holding everything together, and to spread it out as thin as you can also. If it still isn't cooked through though, one cheat is to microwave it for about 3-4 minutes uncovered.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I was a bit worried about 'holes' in the Buchimgae (the batter barely coated the cabbage slices but this left lots of tiny 'empty pockets', so my concern was that I'd make a pancake doilly) so I may have made it too thick.

I'll give it another go, and next time try to remember that I am NOT making okonomiyaki :)

Thanks for the tips! (In hindsight, using the microwave would have been a much better way to salvage it)

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Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

For people who live in or near large Jewish communities, grocery stores should hopefully begin to stock potato flour, in preparation for Pesach, if you don't want to use instant potato mix.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Hi, Maki. I tried the traditional version tonight. I love the concept, but mine turned out too mushy/pasty, despite it's being crispy on the outside. The inside just tasted uncooked and like flour and water (which it is). What have I done wrong. I love the idea and I think I executed it correctly, but could not get the inside cooked through. Please help.

Thanks,
Deanna

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Two things I can think of are: the batter was too thick (it should be quite thin), and/or you didn't cook it long enough. To make sure it is cooked through you can poke it in the middle with a fork or skewer, which should come out clean with no batter clinging to it.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I just made these today, and they were so delicious! I used two cups of julienned carrots, and one of green onions and then the cup of kimchi. It took me a few pancakes to get the technique down, but it wasn't that bad. So delicious and simpler than okonomiyaki. To get the pancake a little thinner, I used a fork and gently spread the batter around on the pan after pouring. I had to microwave the pancakes after cooking (I was afraid to overcook them in the frying pan), but they ended up pretty good. I also used the chili oil pretty liberally... :]

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Can u use sauerkraut instead of kimchi?

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Not really...there is no substitute for kimchi. It's unique!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I make my own sauerkraut so can I make kimchi at home too?

My sauerkraut is just cabbage, salt, and spices.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

Maki,
Thank you so much for the gluten free version of the recipe. Your website has been a godsend for those of us who love homestyle Japanese food but can't read Japanese. I am looking forward to your cookbook!

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

I made these last night. When I mixed up batter 1 it was a crazily-thick ball of gloop. I came back to the PC to read the article and found it was supposed to be thin. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or you have an error in the numbers somewhere, but I just added water to thin it out. And perhaps not enough because, like several of your readers, I had a tough time getting it cooked through without burning the outside. What is the texture of the pancake supposed to be like when you bite through? Based on scallion pancakes that I've had from restaurants, I was going for slightly crisp on the outside and firm, but not crisp on the inside. Is that about right? Also, how runny should the batter be? I ended up with it much thicker than water (of course) and a bit thinner than honey. But when I blobbed the mixture onto the hot iron, I had to mash it down with a fork to get it thinner, not just let it run -- is that right?

Home made kimchi is really easy (and made up about a third of my vegetable mixture). Basically you chop vegetables, soak in brine overnight, drain the brine and mix with spices (chili, ginger and garlic as you prefer), pack into mason jars (pack it hard) and weight the surface (I use small jars of water) in order to drive the liquid out and cover the surface (which prevents mold from forming while it ferments). Cover the jars with cloth (I rubber-band rags or cheese-cloth over the top) and let it sit out in your warm kitchen for a week (or more). Look around the net for more thorough instructions or (and I can't recommend this book highly enough) get a copy of Wild Fermentation.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

The batter should be about the consistency of heavy, unwhipped cream. I think the problem that some people have encountered is due to having the heat up too high, especially or the vegan version using rice flour. That version needs to be cooked for some time at a fairly low heat.

Re: Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

This looks so good i'm gonna try making them again.
First time i failed trying to make the seafood kind. It wouldnt flip right
TT.TT

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