Fresh Corn Pancake with Chives and Bacon

Fresh corn is the only vegetable I used to eat always in the same way: whole cobs, grilled or boiled, then salted and smothered with butter. Then, two days ago, I was watching a video from 3分クッキング (3-minute cooking), a famous Japanese food program and decided to prepare a  pancake they presented. To be frank, I didn’t have high expectations and was simply glad to try something new with fresh corn, but the first bite was so surprisingly delicious, I still keep on wondering how something so simple could taste so good.

I have adapted the recipe to my taste (for example smoked bacon instead of raw pork belly is my obligatory change in most Japanese recipes) and will probably tweak this recipe often in the future. As long as you keep fresh corn and chives or green onions, you can change many things here: if you don’t have garlic chives, use normal chives or green onion and crushed garlic clove instead; you can put on top whatever you want (any fresh seasonal herb you like eating raw, any spicy sauce or seasoning…), etc.. If you can read and understand Japanese, 3分クッキング is a wonderful huge source of easy home recipes with videos changing every week (but written recipes stay forever).

UPDATE: For those who might be interested, a Japanese friend has told me this type of pancake (called “chijimi” チジミ) is considered by the Japanese as Korean-style and is usually inspired by Korean green onion thin pancakes (this one, especially in the original recipe, did contain a big amount of garlic chives, which are quite close to green onion).

TIP: In the original recipe “tare” (here a mixture of water, soy sauce and Korean chilli paste “gochujang”) is brushed on top of the pancake before the mayonnaise is added. I preferred my bacon to stay dry and crips (not moist), so I skipped it and added taberu rayu (thick chilli oil with sediments) instead. It worked perfectly, but it’s up to you which sauce you prefer.

Preparation: about 40 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

2 medium fresh corn cobs (or one very big)

a big handful of chopped garlic chives or normal chives/green onion tops + 2 crushed garlic cloves

6 thin slices of smoked streaky bacon, cut each in 3-4 pieces

mayonnaise (I have used Japanese Kewpie low-fat ; I strongly recommend it because it’s really delicious, especially compared to other light versions)

oil for frying

chopped shiso leaves or chives or any other fresh herb you like (for the topping)

tare (equal amounts of soy sauce, water and Korean gochujang paste) or chilli oil, preferably with sediments (I have used my homemade Japanese taberu rayu), sriracha or any spicy sauce of your choice


6 heaped tablespoons wheat flour

3 heaped tablespoons potato flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

100 ml chicken stock (or chicken stock in powder/cube dissolved in water)

1 egg


Cut the corn cob horizontally in half, place each half onto a chopping board and cut off the corn, starting from the top (you can also do it with a whole cob, but I found it more difficult).

Put the fresh corn into a bowl, add all the batter ingredients, the chives and mix well.

The batter should be like thick pancake batter, so if you think it’s too watery, add some more flour and if it’s too thick, add more stock or water.

Heat oil in a pan, spread a thin layer of the pancake batter (it shouldn’t be more than 1 cm thick), cover with pieces of bacon and then cover with a lid.

Let it cook at medium heat for five minutes.

Lift the pancake and add about 1/2 teaspoon oil, move the pancake around the pan (it will maje the further frying easier) and flip it. Fry it for 5 more minutes until the bacon becomes crisp.

Place the pancake on a plate (of course bacon side up). If using tare (see the TIP), brush it over the pancake. Then add the mayonnaise, and (if using) chilli oil or another spicy sauce and finally chopped herbs.

Do the same with the remaining batter.

16 Replies to “Fresh Corn Pancake with Chives and Bacon”

  1. I just love Asian pancakes, they just taste so fresh and healthy. Local corn is also available now in my area and have bought it many times over the last few weeks. I have been delving into some Korean recipes myself, urged on by the opening of a Korean restaurant in my area (it’s just too spicy and expensive for my taste). If I hadn’t committed to a lunch, I would definitely make this lovely pancake.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. You are so right to cook Korean at home if you don’t find what you need in restaurants! This is exactly what I do. You will laugh, but I have the opposite problem: all the restaurants here are not spicy enough (Indian, Korean, even Thai…). Korean restaurants aren’t the cheapest here neither, but most of all the ones I went to were really mean with meat portions and with all the tiny Korean side-dishes which are normally replaced for free (in Korea or Japan for example).
      I hope you will share with us many of your Korean experiments!

      1. Sadly, I used to adore spicy foods but when I reached this last benchmark age, my tummy rebelled and I can no longer enjoy the heat without some significant backlash during the night. 😳

  2. This corn pancake has many elements found in Japanese cabbage pancake (okonomiyaki) which I also like so I’d definitely give it a try. I’m all in favour of crispy not soggy bacon too.

    Your mention of taberu rayu reminds me … I recently bought a number of Mexican chiles to make a marinade for red chile pulled pork to put inside my tamales. I seeded all those chiles and put aside the seeds wondering if there was anything I could do with them. Like making an infused chile oil? I also have a small bag of small whole red chiles that I bought in a Chinese store that I could grind up for the chili powder … or buy some ready ground if necessary. Ideas? Suggestions.

    PS: My shiso and mitsuba are growing well inside the house. I have many shiso plants but only one hardy mitsuba. I’ve got to start making soup and use up those big glorious mitsuba leaves.

    1. Thank you, A_Boleyn. It also reminds me a bit of okonomiyaki, but in a less rich version. From what I know chilli seeds only give the heat but no taste or aroma, so I would dry them and keep them till next spring and… sow them! I have dozens of chillies growing on my balcony and I’m certain it works in Canada too (though the growing period outdoors must be shorter). You can of course grind the dried chillies you mention in a coffee grinder and then make the taberu rayu! (I prefer making hot oil with sediments rather than Italian-style oil infused with whole chillies).
      Thank you for the feedback! I’m so happy your plants grow well indoors. It’s funny but my mistuba is one of the most resistant plants… coming back to life every time I trim it (and sometimes I cut all the leaves!), but I grow it on my balcony, so maybe it makes a difference? I don’t remember if you have tried mitsuba with eggs (scrambled or omelette). I think it’s a fantastic combination.

  3. As far as planting the chile seeds, I’m tempted to just scatter them over the ground in the back and let nature do its thing. 🙂

    I’ve never tried mitsuba with eggs (sounds tasty) but I’m thinking of adding several leaves and stalks to a pot of chicken stock that I’m going to make this weekend. I julienned a couple of leaves and added them to today’s supper of shrimp and mushroom scampi with home made fettuccine pasta. It was tasty. Kind of ‘grassy’. 🙂

    1. Mitsuba is always (usually at least) added to chawanmushi (the egg custard) and I think it’s a perfect combination. It’s a good idea to test it everywhere, but don’t add it too early… I think it loses its aroma quite quickly when cooked.

      1. Word to the wise. Thank you.

        I have several stems with their 3 big leaves sitting in a vase on the kitchen table in place of flowers. They’re pretty sturdy. I julienned a c couple and added them to an egg drop, mushroom and tofu miso soup yesterday. It’s a change from dried seaweed. 🙂

  4. That pictures makes me drool!!!! What a delicious looking pancake! I’ve only made a couple of Asian pancakes in the past. One turned out great and another, not so great. The latter had too much flour in it I believe. After looking at your recipe, I know it called for a lot more flour than you use here. With corn, I have a little recipe for corn cakes, which, I guess I could say are miniature pancakes. I love them so I know that I would love yours as well. And smoked bacon vs. pork belly? There’s no question – BACON! 🙂 Thanks Sissi. I do love this recipe!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ! (I wasn’t happy about the photograph…. not enough light for my basic photography skills). I remember you talking about the okonomiyaki experience and the big amount of flour! Yes, okonomiyaki has only a small amount of batter to bind the cabbage together, but I guess if there’s too much of it, the pancake becomes boring and heavy…
      This one also doesn’t contain a lot of flour (which is why I’ve had it already six or seven times since I posted this recipe! It seems so healthy and light… totally guilt-free, I wish all the dishes I am crazy for were so light…).

    1. Thank you, Katerina. I have always thought fresh corn was low-calorie, full of fiber, and healthy in general…. (apart from relatively high GI, but it’s much lower than the one of sweet potatoes everyone apart from me seems to be crazy for; I prefer fresh corn instead 😉 ).

  5. This is so beautiful Sissi, like a work of art. I think a whole restaurant movement could be created around your savoury pancakes – it wouldn’t take long to gather a fan base for this alternate to the standard American fare. You know I’ve recently been using corn cut fresh from the cob in recipes and just loving it (don’t know why I didn’t start earlier) it’s so fresh, light and barely sweet right now — perfection (when it gets too sweet/grainy it’s cow corn as they say :D) thank you for the recipe inspiration.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. You are much too kind…. I also love the taste of fresh corn, so delicate compared to canned. The other day I blanched some fresh corn and added it to a rice salad replacing the usual canned corn. It has changed the whole salad! So fantastic! The corn season is almost over here, but I’m sure I’ll use it in other ways next year!

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