Gluten Free, Korean Mung Bean Pancakes (Nokdu bindaetteok)

Zoe and I made lunch together today. Okay, really… she mainly napped on my back while I cooked after valiantly attempting to whip her head around to be able to see what I was doing. She loved watching me as I chopped and prepped everything. I made these Korean mung bean pancakes (otherwise known as Nokdu bindaetteok)) for her, as I knew she might be familiar with the flavors. The pancakes are often made with pork inside but since we didn’t have any and she’s not really a huge meat eater, I just skipped that all together.

“True” Korean recipes for these pancakes vary, but the reality is, they are quite simple to make and very tasty. You can vary the ingredients you put inside of them to include other vegetables (like red pepper strips, julienned carrot, etc) or meat (typically only a few ounces of ground pork added to the batter before cooking).

(NOTE: Nokdu bindaetteok) *CAN* be made with wheat flour inside. Please do NOT eat these pancakes at restaurants, etc unless you are certain that they are GLUTEN FREE and made with rice flour if you, too, adhere to a gluten-free diet.)

While called “pancakes”, they are really an appetizer (although we combined these “appetizers” with a simple cucumber salad for lunch yesterday. I wanted to give this recipe a test run to see if it would work for the Tol Party (Zoe’s first birthday) that we are planning for Saturday. And while I think these would be well received, the truth is that they taste MUCH better warm/hot and fresh off the griddle than cool. So… unless I keep them in the oven warm while the party starts, I will be in the kitchen cooking during my daughter’s birthday party. (Umm.. yea… I don’t think that will work either.)

I hope you give this recipe a try. It really is easy and quite delicious. While the ingredients *can* be typical (like including kim chi – the cabbage version), you can also make it with just napa cabbage or in a pinch, that shredded cole slaw mix from the grocer will do. Use what you have for the vegetables and you will be pleased.

Even Zoe ate about 1/4 of a pancake!  Kid-tested, but no photo this time to prove that it’s kid-approved.  You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.  She forewent her yogurt for this pancake.  Gotta love an adventurous eater!

Gluten Free, Vegetarian Mung Bean Pancakes

Nokdu bindaetteok
Korean Mung Bean Pancakes

Recipe makes 6 – 6 inch pancakes

1 cup split mung beans
1 2/3 cups water
1/3-1/2 cup rice flour
2/3 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup approximately (about 1.5 ounces) thinly sliced cabbage OR cabbage kim chi OR shredded cole slaw mix
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar (optional)
1 teaspoons chili powder (omit if using kim chi; use if just using cabbage)
olive or vegetable oil (for frying pancakes)

For dipping sauce:
2 parts Gluten Free soy sauce
1 part white vinegar
sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Soak the mung beans in the water at least two hours or until soft. (They can be soaked overnight as well. We soaked ours overnight – easier for us new parents…LOL)
  2. Finely slice the onion and the cabbage (if not chopped already). Add to a bowl with the salt and set aside to sweat for 15 minutes.
  3. Finely chop the green onion and garlic.
  4. Transfer the beans and some of the soaking liquid to the bowl of your food processor (or blender) and process to a fine, smooth paste/batter. Add 1/3 cup of rice flour and process again. The batter should become a thick pancake batter that easily drps in clumps off a spoon. If the batter is too thin, add a bit more rice flour. If the batter is too thick, add more of the soaking liquid.
  5. Mix together the batter with the onion/cabbage mixture. Add the garlic and green onions. Stir well.  (If using pork, add the ounce or two of ground pork at this stage.)
  6. Add the sesame oil, chili powder and agave nectar. Mix well.
  7. Into a hot frying pan, add 1 teaspoon or so of your chosen oil. Heat. Scoop about 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup of the pancake batter into the hot oil/pan and fry about 2-3 minutes on each side. (Flip when the edges become a deep, golden brown color around the entire pancake.)
  8. Serve the pancakes hot with dipping sauce (2 parts GF soy sauce mixed with 1 part white vinegar).

Happy GF Eating!
~Kate & the Chicklet

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