Crispy quick Thai seafood (or tofu) pancake

This is an absolute staple of the Thai streetfood food scene, and it is ridiculously tasty. It brings together so many of the best things in Thai food – crispy fried food, with salty fish sauce, a hit of chilli sauce and crunchy bean sprouts.

Traditionally it is made with mussells, but today I’ve used cockles simply because they were on sale. You could just as well use a rich oily fish like salmon, or pop in prawns/shrimp. For a vegetarian option go for some Tofu, and swap fish sauce for soy sauce.

I made both options today because my girlfriend hates mussells, and I didn’t even bother broaching the topic of cockles…

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Me explaining the merits of demolishing a mussell pancake in Thailand

Recipe info

Preparation time – 5-10 minutes

Cooking time – 5-10 minutes

Difficulty – easy, but you need to be quick and careful with the heat to get it nice and crispy

Servings – the ingredients listed serve 1 person, and it is best cooked 1 serving per person per pan at a time

Calories – around 500 calories including cooking oil

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of beansprouts
  • 1 handful of seafood – mussells/cockles/etc
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons of corn flour (you could substitute normal wheatflour for the entire for a slightly less crispy pancake)
  • 1-2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tsp coriander if dry, otherwise a decent pinch of finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules or finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • half a tsp of baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – some chopped spring onions to garnish
  • 3-4 tbsp of water
  • 1 tbsp oil to cook

A note on the oil – more oil means more crispy and more ‘authentic’. In Thailand they cook this on a big skillet, they add they eggs in after the batter, and they keep it moving constantly. They use a lot of oil too! The result is a delicious pile of crispy pancake-omlette – my version cuts out a little oil and makes it more frying-pan or wok friendly, but play around to see what you prefer. Oils are a healthy part of a balanced diet!!

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Method

  1. Keep the seafood and beansprouts to one side, mix together all the other ingredients – you want a runny batter like a Western pancake. (Note a lot of recipes don’t mix the egg in at this point, I do for simplicity but perhaps it is more authentic to add the egg later…)
  2. Heat up a pan, the oil needs to be nice and hot
  3. Drop the mixture into the pan, then put the seafood on top – cook for a couple of minutes until crispy then flip over and repeat. You can move the ingredients around to make sure you get lots of cripsy edges and break up the pancake a litte – we aren’t aiming for a neat crepe here; we want a delicious thin, crispy and salt pile of pancake bitsimg_20190424_1903522232939801765636748.jpg
  4. When almost done, fold in half and pop the bean sprouts in the centre of the pan for a minute or so to heat them up with another splash of fish sauce – if you want them more well done that this then you may need to flip the pancake over again to stop it getting too over done.
  5. Pop everything onto a plate, serve nice and hot! Soy sauce and hot sauce on the side, a crack of chilli on top, ketchup goes well too 😀

Enjoy!

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