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Happy Pancakes

The name says it all for these thin, super-crisp snacks from Vietnamese-food expert and former F&W Test Kitchen supervisor Marcia Kiesel. The pancakes, studded with pork, shrimp and mushrooms and folded around raw bean sprouts, represent everything we love about Southeast Asian cuisine--simultaneously hot and crisp, cold and juicy, and invigoratingly aromatic.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10 pancakes

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dipping sauce
  • 2 Thai red chiles or 1 medium jalapeño, thickly sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 3/4 cups rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless pork loin, cut crosswise into very thin slices
  • 1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 medium mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts


  1. make the dipping sauce In a mortar, pound the chiles, garlic and sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and water.
  2. make the pancakes In a bowl, whisk together the rice flour and 2 cups of cold water. Mix in the turmeric and scallion.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over high heat. Add 3 slices of pork, 3 shrimp and a few slices of onion and mushroom. Season with 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Stir the rice flour mixture again and ladle 1/3 cup into the pan; tilt the pan to evenly distribute the batter. Cover and cook until the sides of the pancake turn deep brown and curl up, 5 minutes. Scatter 1/4 cup of the bean sprouts over the pancake, fold it in half and slide it onto a warm platter. Keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve the pancakes warm, with the dipping sauce on the side.

Suggested Pairing

Zesty Grüner Veltliner.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos

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