5:2 Diet: Haemul Pajeon (Korean Seafood Pancake)

Haemul Pajeon (Korean Seafood Pancake) via http://underthebluegumtree.comFor 2013 I have resolved to stick with the 5:2 diet. Over the 6 months I have been following the plan I haven’t seen the pounds fall away. But I have maintained weight in the face of significant cake consumption and for that I am grateful.

The diet fits so easily into my lifestyle it would seem silly to give it up. Sometimes I find the 500 calorie fast days a killer but other days I hardly notice them at all. Some days I slip up and go over my allowance. But if I eat 600 or even 700 calories that is still a big reduction on a “normal” day.

On fast days I tend to have just a cup of tea with skimmed milk for breakfast (10 calories), then a boiled egg and a couple of oatcakes for lunch (165 calories) and in the evening a “proper” dinner of 250-300 calories and maybe a small handful of berries for afters.

For me, I’ve found it important that my 5:2 meals are:

  1. Quick and easy – spending ages labouring over a 250 cal meal seems a little crazy
  2. Nutritionally balanced – especially as I eat only protein and a few carbs earlier in the day
  3. Full of flavour – when you only have 250 cals to play with, bland foods just don’t cut it

This Korean seafood pancake (or haemul pajeon) meets all these criteria. It’s my latest obsession and I eat it most weeks. This recipe comes courtesy of Anne over at the brilliant Uni Homemaker blog. I’ve adapted Anne’s recipe a little to make it more 5:2 friendly but otherwise the idea is all hers.

Because the flavours are so good, it feels like a treat rather than diet food. Half a pancake and some dipping sauce may not seem like it will keep the wolf from the door but I promise you, it’s more substantial than it sounds.

Haemul Pajeon (Korean Seafood Pancake) adapted from Uni Homemaker

Haemul Pajeon (Korean Seafood Pancake) via http://underthebluegumtree.comServes 2

  • 1/2 cup (85g) plain flour (225 cals)
  • 1 egg (75 cals)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water (0 cals)
  • 100g cooked, peeled prawns (80 cals)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (35 cals)
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 3cm lengths (10 cals)
  • small handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped (4 cals)
  • spray oil (5 cals)

For the dipping sauce:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (30 cals)
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar (2 cals)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil (20 cals)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (10 cals)
  • pinch of chilli flakes (0 cals)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed (4 cals)
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped (2 cals)

Total= 502 cals (251 calories per portion)

1.  Beat the flour, egg and water together to make a thick batter. Tip in the prawns, sliced pepper, spring onions and fresh coriander and stir to coat.

2.  Spray a 20cm non-stick frying pan with oil and tip in the batter mixture. Cook on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes, until the pancake is set almost all the way through and the bottom is crisp and golden.

3.  Flip the pancake over and cook for a couple more minutes until completely cooked through and browned on both sides, Remove from the heat and cut in half, then cut each half into five fingers.

4.  Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce together and serve with the slices of pancake.


  1. laura_howtocook

    I haven’t done the diet but if it can include wonderful dishes such as this them maybe I could see myself having a go. Love that dipping sauce!

  2. I am still on the diet and still creating recipes, as I actually enjoy the challenge of making tasty meals under about 300 calories! This looks lovely and just the sort of meal that I enjoy in a fast day! Have lost over a stone now and feel much better, more energy and sleeping better……have you found that? Karen

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