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. 

Happy Pancakes
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
1 hrs
10 pancakes


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


make the dipping sauce

  1. In a mortar, pound the chiles, garlic and sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and water.

make the pancakes

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the rice flour and 2 cups of cold water. Mix in the turmeric and scallion.

  2. 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.

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