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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 18 to 20 meatballs
Jeon is a catch-all term for the popular pan-fried battered food in Korean cuisine, and wanjajeon – or egg-battered meatballs – are among the more popular types. (The dish also goes by dongeurangddeng.) It is one of my favorite dishes to eat during the annual Chuseok harvest festival, or as an appetizer or side dish at any meal. The meatballs are best eaten hot and fresh but you can freeze them in resealable plastic bags, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator and pan-fry (or air fry!) again briefly before serving.



Dipping Sauce:


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. For the meatballs: Place the tofu in a piece of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel and wring dry, squeezing to remove as much water as possible. (This also breaks up the tofu into small crumbles.) Crush any remaining large pieces of tofu by rubbing them between your fingers. It should all be finely crumbled and there should not be any big chunks left.   
  3. Combine the crumbled tofu, beef, pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, scallion and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until the ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture comes together.    
  4. Scoop the meat mixture into 18 to 20 meatballs (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each; see Cook's Note), placing them on a large baking sheet or plate. Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten into a 1/2-inch-thick patty, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.   
  5. Add the flour to a large rimmed plate and whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Heat a large nonstick skillet with 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-low heat.  
  6. Dredge each patty in the flour, coating well on all sides. Smooth out any rough, uneven edges and shape the patty neatly. Working with one at a time, shake off excess flour, then dip and roll the patty around in the egg, making sure to coat thoroughly with no flour peeping through. (All the patties can be dredged and sitting in flour, but be sure to dip the patties in the egg one at a time.) Gently place the egg-coated patty in the heated skillet -- most of the egg will drip off to the bottom, creating a desirable “skirt” that will be served on top. (Do not move the patties around as the top needs to be clean and free of brown bits.) Repeat to add 8 or 9 more patties, or as many as will fit in the skillet without crowding.  
  7. Cook without disturbing until the patties are light golden underneath, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is light golden, 4 to 5 minutes more. 
  8. Transfer the cooked patties to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and keep warm in the oven.  
  9. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel and heat another 3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat before cooking the next batch of patties.  
  10. For the dipping sauce: Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, sugar and gochugaru (if using) in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Serve with the wanjajeon.  

Cook’s Note

I like to use equal parts ground beef and pork but you can choose a different ratio or use just one or the other. If you happen to have one, a #40 ice cream scoop makes fast work of forming same-size meatballs.