Korean Oyster Pancake Recipe – 굴전 [Gul Jeon]

This Korean oyster pancake or ‘gul jeon‘ [굴전] recipe is a variation of the popular Hong Kong-style oyster pancake. The main difference is in the size! Hong Kong-style oyster pancakes are usually cooked as one large piece, but I’ve modified the size to create mini pancakes which makes them more manageable to cook and easier to share!

I’m using raw frozen oysters but you can also use fresh ones if they’re available. Just be sure to wash them thoroughly to get rid of all the sand and grit that usually comes with the oysters. I find that washing, rinsing, and draining them 3-4 times or until the water runs clear gets rid of the impurities. You can also check out my video at the bottom of the page to see how I like to clean the oysters.

To complement the oyster pancakes, I highly recommend enjoying this with a Korean pancake dipping sauce. Its chunky and savory flavor completes the entire pancake experience. The recipe for the sauce is in the recipe card below!

Hong Kong vs Korean Oyster Pancakes

As mentioned earlier, this recipe is inspired by Hong Kong-style oyster pancakes. Aside from their size, both pancake recipes actually differ in terms of flavor. Korean oyster pancakes have a savory and salty flavor profile, while Hong Kong-style pancakes taste more intense because they’re seasoned with fish sauce. The dipping sauces are also quite different because the Korean version has a soy sauce base, while the Hong Kong style has a fish sauce base.

Hong Kong-style oyster pancakes are more similar to oyster omelets, where they share almost the same ingredients including potato starch and egg. Hong Kong-style oyster pancakes are usually sold in the streets of Hong Kong and Taiwan, where they’re a well-loved street food staple.

While Korean oyster pancakes may be enjoyed any time of the year, they’re best prepared in the late fall to spring during the “oyster season” in Korea. That’s when the oysters are plump and abundant for harvest, so you can have as many servings as you want. The great thing about using frozen oysters is that you can make this year-round. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

When you think of pancakes, you’re probably picturing the sweet and fluffy pancakes that are drizzled with maple syrup and served for breakfast. But this savory pancake is a lovely surprise that will open up your eyes to the world of Korean seafood pancakes. If this is your first time learning about oyster pancakes, it might seem odd to add oysters as the main ingredient but I promise it works!

Don’t forget to make the pancake dipping sauce! The combination of soy sauce, garlic, and gochugaru creates a perfect harmony of umami flavors that goes well with the oyster pancakes.

And if you want to take it one step further, oyster pancakes are usually enjoyed with a glass of makgeolli or sparkling Korean rice wine. They go together like chicken and beer, steak and wine, margaritas and tacos – you get the point. 

Korean Oyster Pancake Ingredients & Substitutions

Oysters: I recommend using frozen oysters, which can be found in the freezer section at your local Korean market. You can substitute them with any shellfish including mussels, scallops, squid, and octopus. 

Salt: salt is used to clean the oysters.

Scallions: scallions add an oniony flavor and freshness to the pancakes.

Long green pepper: the pepper adds a subtle hint of heat to the pancakes. You can also use jalapeno, serrano, or Thai chili peppers.

Eggs: eggs are added to bind and thicken the pancake batter.

Water: water is used as a base to create the pancake batter.

Tempura frying mix: You can find the frying mix (twigim garu) at your local Korean supermarket, like H Mart. But you can also make your own by using a 2 to 1 ratio of cake flour and rice flour.

Neutral oil: used for frying the oyster pancakes. Any flavorless oil with a high-smoke point would work including avocado, sunflower seed, grapeseed, canola, corn, and vegetable oil.

Pancake Sauce Ingredients & Substitutions

Soy sauce: soy sauce is the main seasoning in the dipping sauce. I like using the Sempio brand.

Sesame oil: sesame oil adds a bold and nutty flavor to the sauce. My go-to brand is Kadoya.

Gochugaru: Gochugaru or Korean red chili flakes is what makes the dipping sauce spicy. You can substitute it with regular red chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or paprika powder.

Garlic: feel free to add more, but not less!

Scallion: adds a bit of freshness.

How to prepare Korean Oyster Pancake

If you enjoy the process of making pancakes from scratch, you’re going to like this unique recipe. To create my Korean Oyster Pancakes, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Soaking the oysters

Place the oysters in a bowl and fill it with water until they’re completely submerged. Then, add 2 tsp of salt and mix together. Let this sit for 10 to 15 minutes to purge any impurities and sand from the oysters.

Step 2: Chop the ingredients

While waiting for the oysters to soak, chop the scallion and long green peppers into small pieces, then set aside.

Step 3: Cleaning the oysters

After 10 to 15 minutes, scoop the oysters out of the bowl with your hands and place them into a strainer. Pour out the water from the bowl and place the oysters back in. Rinse them with water and repeat the steps 3 to 4 times or until the water turns clear. 

Pro-tip: you don’t want to dump the water out while the oysters are still in the bowl otherwise, the sand will be redistributed back into the oysters. 

Step 4: Mix the ingredients

In a large bowl, add the drained oysters, scallions, peppers, eggs, water, and frying mix. Gently stir until they’re incorporated, but remember not to tear the oysters.

Step 5: Cook the pancakes

In a pan, pre-heat oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop about ¼ cup of the oyster batter to make one small pancake. You can add as many pancakes as you can fit into the pan.

Cook each pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. 

Step 6: Make the sauce

To make the sauce, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, gochugaru, garlic, and scallion in a small bowl, then mix well.

Step 7: Serve!

Once the pancakes have all been cooked, arrange them on a plate and serve with the spicy pancake dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Cooking Tips for Korean Oyster Pancake

These Korean Oyster Pancakes aren’t complicated to cook, but here are a few tips to help you make the best savory pieces:

  • When draining the oysters, avoid pouring them directly out of the bowl because this will also bring the accumulated sand and grit with them.
  • When cooking, make sure to pour the pancake batter a few inches apart from each pancake to prevent them from sticking to each other once they’re cooked.
  • Oysters contain water content which can cause them to splatter when cooking in hot oil. Have a lid or splatter screen on standby in case things get crazy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy oysters?

While fresh oysters are usually ideal, frozen are actually perfect for this recipe. You can buy oysters at your local seafood markets but in Korean markets like H Mart, you can find a bag of frozen oysters in the freezer section, which is what I use. If you’re lucky, you might also find them fresh in a container!

If you don’t need to cook them within the same day, you can store them in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Since oysters can freeze well, you can buy them in bulk and thaw out small portions whenever you need to cook them.

Can I use other seafood in this pancake?

Yes of course! For more variety in flavor and texture, you can also add your favorite seafood including shrimp, squid, mussels, octopus, and even scallops.

Can I reheat this recipe?

While this dish is best enjoyed fresh, you can definitely reheat any leftovers. They can be reheated in the microwave or over the stove top with some oil.

What other dishes can you serve with Korean Oyster Pancake?

While these oyster pancakes are delicious and sufficient on their own, here are some of my favorite dishes to enjoy these pancakes with!

1. Korean Seafood Pancake recipe if you’re a seafood lover and can’t get enough of this savory oyster pancake dish, you’re gonna want to try my seafood pancake recipe!

2. Japchae Dumplingsthere’s nothing better than a side of crispy fried dumplings to enjoy with these oyster pancakes. I think the dipping sauce would also taste delicious with the dumplings!

3. Korean Fish Cake Soup if you want something to warm you up, this soup will get the job done. It’s comforting and packed with seafood flavors so you can turn this into a complete seafood feast!

4. Geotjeori Kimchisometimes all you need is a side of kimchi and my geotjeori kimchi would be perfect with these pancakes! Fresh kimchi is not as salty as regular kimchi so you don’t have to worry about the kimchi overpowering the flavors in this dish.

5. Tteokbokki this is one of the most popular Korean street foods and would pair deliciously with oyster pancakes!

6. Korean Steamed Eggsalso known as ‘gyeran-jjim‘ is a side dish that’s always welcomed to the dining table. It’s a classic side dish commonly served at Korean BBQ restaurants but the simplicity of this recipe makes it easy to make at home!

I hope you give these a try and if you do – be sure to let me know how they turned out!

Korean Oyster Pancake Recipe [Gul Jeon]

Servings 2 people


  • 2 package oysters raw and frozen (500g)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 chopped scallions reserve 1 tbsp for sauce
  • 1/2 finely chopped long green pepper substitute with jalapeno, serrano, or Thai chili peppers
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tempura frying mix see note for substitution
  • 4 tbsp neutral oil

Pancake Sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped scallion


  • Place the frozen oysters in a bowl and fill it up with water until completely submerged. Add 2 tsp salt and mix together. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes to clean the oysters before cooking.
  • Chop the scallion and long green peppers. Set aside.
  • When the oysters are ready to be drained, scoop the oysters out of the bowl with your hands into a strainer. Do not pour the oysters directly onto the strainer from the bowl. This will prevent the sand and grit on the bottom of the bowl from getting onto the oysters. Place the drained oysters back into the bowl and rinse with water. Repeat this process 3-4 times or until the water is clear. Drain well.
  • In a large bowl, add the drained oysters, scallions, peppers, eggs, water, and frying mix. Gently stir and mix well, making sure not to tear the oysters.
  • In a pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add about 1/4 cup of the oyster batter to make one pancake. Add as many pancakes as you can fit into your pan.
  • Cook the pancake for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately with the pancake dipping sauce!

Pancake Sauce

  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, gochugaru, garlic and scallion in a small bowl. Mix together well.


  1. You can find the frying mix (twigim garu) at your local Korean supermarket like H Mart. Alternatively, you can make your own mix by using a 2:1 ratio of cake flour and rice flour.
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Cantonese, Chinese, Korean

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