If you have a can of tuna in your pantry that’s been sitting there for months, you need to make these Korean tuna pancakes. This Korean dish is easy to throw together and a great source of protein.
Ingredients for Korean Tuna Pancakes
Before making this recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients you need. Swaps and alternatives are listed below next to each ingredient.
- Canned tuna: You can also pre-cook your own tuna from fresh, but canned is much more convenient.
- Eggs: Or an egg substitute if you are allergic.
- Green onion: Also known as scallions.
- Onion: Yellow, sweet, white or red onion is fine.
- Garlic: I use fresh cloves of garlic, but jarred is fine as well.
- Bell pepper: Any color works fine for this recipe.
- Sesame oil: Optional, but highly recommended since it adds so much flavor.
- Japanese mayo: Or regular mayo, I prefer the subtle sweetness of Kewpie mayo.
- All-purpose flour: Or gluten-free flour if you have celiac.
- Salt: I prefer kosher but table salt, sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is fine.
- Black pepper: Freshly ground is the best.
- Cooking oil: You can use olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil or sunflower oil.
How to make Korean Tuna Pancakes
In a large bowl, combine the canned tuna, eggs, chopped green onion, diced onion, minced garlic, diced bell pepper, sesame oil, japanese mayo, all-purpose flour, salt and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
In a large frying pan over medium heat, fry for several minutes on each side or until the outside has a browned, crunchy texture.
The best way to serve this is with some cooked rice in a small bowl or by itself.
Swap ideas for canned tuna
If you don’t have any canned tuna, you can use a few other protein options. The best option is replacing it with canned salmon, which should have a similar texture and taste. You can also use canned chicken or canned, mashed beans.
You can also find a variety of other canned fish to use for this recipe. Personally, I think the flavor would be too different for me to recommend these, but to each their own.
Where to find sesame oil
You should be able to find sesame oil at your local grocery store, but if you aren’t lucky you should try your local Asian markets or Korean grocery store. There should be a section with a variety of sesame oil options.
You can also purchase sesame oil online if you prefer. Here are a few of my favorite options:
Is tuna good for you?
Yes. Tuna is high in protein and micronutrients. Three ounces of tuna contains about 100 calories and 22 grams of protein. It’s a good source of vitamin B12, vitamin D and selenium. It also contains less than 1 gram of fat and no carbohydrates.
Overall, canned tuna is a wonderful way to get some extra protein into your diet without breaking the bank. It’s shelf stable and comes in handy when you need a quick lunch.
What to serve this with
I would recommend serving this by itself, like an appetizer or alongside a rice bowl. Personally, I think it pairs really nicely with rice. I would recommend using sushi rice or short grain rice as opposed to long grain rice. But it’s also one of my favorite Korean side dishes.
To make it a complete meal, I would also recommend adding a small side of vegetables or fruit. I love a good cucumber salad or small bowl of kimchi. You can also pair it with some sliced apples or mango.
How to store the leftovers
If you have any leftovers, I recommend storing them in an airtight container in your refrigerator. They should last about 2-3 days before going bad. To reheat, transfer to a microwave safe plate and microwave for about 1-2 minutes or until heated through. It tastes great the next day with some fresh or leftover rice.
You can also reheat the leftovers in a pan over the stove to ensure that outside remains nice and crispy. Other alternatives would be an air fryer or the oven.
Other Korean Recipes
- Kimchi Jjigae (Korean Stew)
- Japchae (Stir Fried Korean Glass Noodles)
- Korean Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim)
If you try out this recipe, please let me know how you liked it by commenting down below or posting the final product on social media. Be sure to tag me @tasteitwithtia on Instagram and TikTok.
Simple Korean Tuna Pancakes
- 2 5 oz cans tuna
- 2 eggs
- 2 stalks green onion chopped
- 1/4 onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 bell pepper finely diced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Japanese mayo
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- In a large bowl, combine the canned tuna, eggs, chopped green onion, diced onion, minced garlic, diced bell pepper, sesame oil, japanese mayo, all-purpose flour, salt and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, fry for several minutes on each side or until the outside has a browned, crunchy texture.
- The best way to serve this is with some cooked rice in a small bowl or by itself.