Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes)
Bindaetteok are savory, gluten-free Korean pancakes made with a ground mung bean and chicken batter. After adding some crunchy mung bean sprouts, spicy kimchi, and buttery corn, the hearty batter is then fried til crisp and golden.
Bindaetteok (빈대떡), also called nokdu jeon (녹두전), are savory Korean mung bean pancakes. These pancakes are heartier than the more well-known Korean kimchi pancakes and seafood pancakes. Bindaetteok is also made without flour and is gluten-free.
While crispy and golden on the outside, these pancakes have a delicious and hearty center. They are savory, a touch spicy, and typically made with ground mung beans, kimchi, and ground pork. I like to use ground chicken, and decided to also add chives and corn. The extra protein from the beans and meat make bindaetteok a filling meal on its own.
In Korea, you can find these being sold freshly fried and steaming hot (along with Korean spicy rice cakes) in street carts. However, it is also Korean tradition to prepare bindaetteok with Korean rice cake soup (tteokguk, 떡국) on lunar New Year (seollal, 설날).
What are mung beans?
Mung beans are small green-colored beans. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also a great source of plant protein and fiber.
You may be more familiar with mung bean sprouts which are commonly used in Asian stir-fry, salads, and soups. While these sprouts are equally delicious to eat, they are not as high in nutritional value as the unsprouted mung beans.
Ground mung beans batter
Dried mung beans are used to make the bindaetteok batter. They need to be soaked in water for at least 6 hours before use. I like to use peeled and split dried mung beans (깐녹두). With the green skin peeled away, they are pale yellow in color. You can most likely find these at your local Asian grocery store.
Once rehydrated, the beans are blended into a thick and slightly coarse slurry.
Some recipes also add sweet rice flour to the batter. However, more authentic recipes use a mung bean only batter.
Other Bindaetteok Ingredients
Kimchi is another important ingredient in bindaetteok. It adds crunch and spice. I like to use more well-fermented kimchi because of its tangy and rich flavor.
Mung Bean Sprouts
Unsurprisingly, mung bean sprouts are another common addition in these ground mung bean pancakes. They give the pancake additional crunch. Some people add these fresh into the batter for an extra crunchy texture. However, I like to blanch the mung bean sprouts for a couple minutes.
Traditionally, fernbrake (gosari, 고사리) is added to the batter. I decided to pass on this ingredient since it is not the easiest to find outside of Korea. And I still find bindaetteok to be quite tasty without fernbrake.
Red Long Hot Pepper
Two thin slices of red long hot pepper are delicately placed at the center of each pancake. The vibrant red creates a beautiful color contrast. At first I thought they were mainly used for visual presentation. However, I appreciate the spicy, peppery heat they add to these pancakes.
Other non-traditional additions
I also have some non-traditional substitutions and additions in my recipe. Instead of ground pork, I use ground chicken. It is healthier and doesn’t change the flavor too much. I use chives instead of green onions since they are easier to chew in pieces and also add extra garlicky flavor. Finally, I add cooked corn kernels for texture and bursts of buttery corn juice.
Tips for making bindaetteok
- Blend the mung beans until it forms a coarse slurry. Not completely smooth.
- Freeze extra pancakes. Since bindaetteok is a bit tedious to make with this soaking step, I try to make the time worth it and make extra to freeze for quick weeknight meals. They can be in the freezer for up to a month. You can later thaw the pancakes in the fridge overnight, and reheat them on the pan over low heat or in the microwave.
- Mung bean flour could save you more time. If you want to save even more time, you could also use mung bean flour. However, I personally never used it before and it could be a bit different in texture and taste.
- Fry in a good layer of oil. Fry them in a good amount of cooking oil. This will help you get evenly crispy and golden pancakes. You may need to add more oil as you fry the rest of the batter.
- Eat them fresh. They are most delicious when they are freshly made and steaming hot. It’s also great paired with some Korean rice wine (makgeolli).
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If you make this Bindaetteok I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Bindaetteok (Korean Mung Bean Pancakes)
- 1 cup dried and split mung beans
- 1½ cup water, divided
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup kimchi, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic, crushed
- ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
- ¼ lb ground chicken
- ¼ cup frozen corn, cooked
- ¼ cup chives, chopped into 1" pieces
- ½ cup mung bean sprouts, blanched (blanch in boiling water for 2 min)
- 1 red long hot pepper, thinly sliced at bias
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tsp water
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1½ tbsp coconut sugar
- pinch sesame seeds (optional)
- ⅛ tsp gochugaru (optional)
- Soak the dried mung beans in a bowl with about 1.5" layer of water above it until it is rehydrated. (This takes at least 6 hours. I like to start soaking them at the beginning of the day to use them later for dinner.)
- Drain the water and blend the mung beans with ¼ cup of water and salt until it forms a thick and coarse slurry.
- Stir in the kimchi, ground chicken, corn, mung bean sprouts, chives, garlic, sesame oil, and the remaining water.
- Heat a generous layer of cooking oil to a skillet over medium-low heat.
- Ladle some of the batter onto the skillet, and gently spread it into a thin layer using the back of the ladle. Add two slices of red chili pepper around the center of the pancake.
- Let it fry for about 2-3 minutes or until browned and crispy. Flip and fry the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the rest of the batter, adding more oil to the skillet if needed.
- Prepare the dipping sauce while the pancakes are cooking. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce.