August 19, 2022

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Mama Lin’s Savory Chinese Pancakes

Although these savory Chinese pancakes could also be plain to take a look at, they’re extremely addictive to eat. Mama Lin used to improvise the components and cook dinner a big batch of those savory pancakes on weekends. She would combine the batter with flavoring bits like shallots, dried shrimp, Chinese sausage (臘腸), Chinese cured pork (臘肉), and scallions. There was by no means a proper recipe. However, I used to be in a position to persuade my mom to streamline a recipe to share with all of you!

The savory pancakes look much like flaky scallion pancakes, however the texture is totally totally different. These pancakes are constituted of a batter, so that they’re delicate on the within they usually’re not flaky. As a matter of truth, these pancakes are a lot simpler to make. Also, there isn’t actually an official identify for these pancakes. I’m calling them “savory Chinese pancakes” as a result of they use components that you just’d simply discover in a Chinese household’s kitchen. 


Pancake Batter in a bowl


This recipe yields 4 massive pancakes. For the pancake batter, you’ll want 1 cup of all-purpose flour, an egg, and 1 1/3 cups water. If you make pancakes typically, you’ll discover that the batter seems and feels far more runny than your commonplace pancake batter. My mother says that she likes a runnier batter it yields softer pancakes, and I’ve to agree! 

When I used to be testing this recipe, I made a number of batches utilizing only one cup of water. While the pancakes had been simpler to cook dinner as a result of they had been much less floppy, the feel of the pancakes had been firmer. Having tried trouble variations, I favor the pancakes made with extra water. However, be happy to make use of much less water if that’s what you like.

After you combine all of the components of the batter collectively, let it sit for not less than 10 minutes. This offers the flour extra time to soak up the water in order that the batter can thicken barely.

Flavoring bits for Chinese savory pancakes: shallots, dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, scallions, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and sugar


To give these savory Chinese pancakes taste, my mother mixes shallots, scallions, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage into the batter. She shortly sautés these flavoring bits and seasons them with soy sauce and oyster sauce to develop their taste. Then, she mixes the flavoring bits into the batter.

Translation Note: My mother makes use of the phrase 餡 (xian in Mandarin; haam in Cantonese) to explain the dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and many others. That phrase means “filling,” although I’m undecided it interprets correctly on this context. I’m calling them “flavoring bits” as a result of they’re meant to provide a dish extra taste.


This recipe makes use of dried shrimp, which yow will discover in Asian supermarkets, Amazon, or on-line Asian grocery supply providers like Say Weee! and Yamibuy. Soak the shrimp for not less than half-hour to rehydrate them. Then, chop them into smaller items.

You may also discover Chinese sausage in Asian supermarkets, Amazon, or Say Wee! and Yamibuy. One hyperlink of sausage can be sufficient for this Chinese pancake recipe.

Chopped shiitake mushrooms and chopped preserved daikon


For a vegetarian model, you’ll be able to exchange the dried shrimp and Chinese sausage with 50g (1 cup chopped) shiitake mushrooms and 30g (1/4 cup chopped) sweet preserved daikon (picture above, proper) or any Chinese preserved vegetable for extra taste. The shiitake mushrooms will add somewhat umami taste, however the pancakes want extra taste. That’s why I like to recommend including some kind of Chinese preserved vegetable. The sweetness of the preserved daikon pairs very nicely with the shiitake mushrooms.

You may also exchange the oyster sauce with my teriyaki sauce (picture beneath, left) or Lee Kum Kee’s Vegetable Stir Fry Sauce (picture beneath, proper).

Teriyaki sauce and vegetarian stir-fry sauce


You can pan fry the pancakes on a forged iron or nonstick skillet. Make certain the pan is nicely heated earlier than you begin cooking the pancakes. That means, the pancakes will brown correctly and crisp up on the sides.

Pour 1/2 cup of batter into the middle of the pan and fry the pancake till the sides are golden brown, about 2 to three minutes. Then, flip the pancake over and pan fry the opposite aspect for a minute, till golden. 

The first aspect of the primary pancake would possibly look pale and that’s as a result of the pan remains to be heating up. I discover this to be notably true once I’m utilizing my nonstick pan. After I pan fry the second aspect, I often return and pan fry the primary aspect once more for one more 1 to 2 minutes. That’s often sufficient time to brown the pancake extra.

Pancakes on cooling rack

If you might be cooking the pancakes on forged iron, you could must decrease the warmth midway by means of cooking. Because forged iron retains warmth very nicely, the pan can be highly regarded once you get to the third and 4th pancakes. As a outcome, the pancakes brown quicker. Reduce the warmth barely and reduce the cooking time. 

I can’t flip the pancakes within the air like my mother can, so I like to make use of this wide spatula from OXOfor flipping pancakes. There’s no disgrace in that!

Mama Lin holding plate of sliced Chinese pancakes


I like serving these pancakes by slathering Lao Ga Ma spicy chili crisp over them. If I’m consuming the pancakes for dinner, I prefer to serve them with a protein (sticky chicken thighs or sweet chili garlic shrimp) and a few greens (garlic green beans or any sautéed greens).



Mama Lin's Savory Chinese-Style Pancakes
Mama Lin's Savory Chinese Pancakes


Servings: 4 pancakes

Mama Lin’s Savory Chinese Pancakes

This recipe makes 4 massive pancakes. For a bigger batch, you’ll be able to double the recipe. To hold the pancakes heat, you’ll be able to place the pancakes on a baking sheet in an oven that’s been preheated to 180ºF. See be aware 1 for the vegetarian possibility.

Prep Time15 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Resting Time10 minutes



  • 120 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 1 massive egg
  • 1 1/3 cups water (315ml)

Flavoring Bits

  • 15 grams dried shrimp (3 tablespoons), soaked for half-hour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, any oil works, plus extra for frying pancakes
  • 30 grams shallots, finely diced (1/4 cup)
  • 30 grams Chinese sausage, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 25 grams scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  • massive nonstick or cast-iron skillet


  • Before you make the batter, make certain to soak the dried shrimp for not less than half-hour.

  • Add the flour to a bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl and beat the egg flippantly. (See be aware 2) Gradually pour the water into the bowl, stirring the components with a whisk or massive fork concurrently. Keep stirring till you not see massive lumps of flour, a couple of minute. The batter can be very runny, so let it sit on the counter for not less than 10 minutes when you put together the filling.

  • Drain the dried shrimp and chop the shrimp into small items.

  • Heat a small skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high warmth. Add the shallots and cook dinner for 1 to 2 minutes, till the shallots begin to soften. Add the chopped dried shrimp and cook dinner for a minute extra. Next, add the Chinese sausage and cook dinner for one more 30 seconds. Season the filling with salt, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Turn off the warmth. Add the scallions, and stir all the things collectively.

  • Pour the flavoring bits into the batter and blend all the things.

  • Heat a nonstick or forged iron skillet over medium-high warmth. Make certain that the pan is sizzling earlier than including 1 tablespoon of oil. Swirl the oil across the pan.

  • Pour 1/2 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Pan fry the pancake for two to three minutes, till you’ll be able to see the sides turning golden brown. The first pancake all the time takes somewhat longer to brown. Flip the pancake over and cook dinner the opposite aspect for one more 1 to 2 minutes, till golden. (See be aware 3)

  • Serve the pancake instantly or switch the pancake to a cooling rack. I like inserting the new pancakes on a cooling rack in order that the bottoms of the pancake don’t construct up condensation.

  • Swirl one other 1/2 tablespoon of oil across the pan and cook dinner the following pancake. Subsequent pancakes will take barely much less time to pan fry as a result of the pan is now hotter. If you might be utilizing forged iron, you’ll wish to scale back the warmth (to medium or medium-low) in order that the pancakes don’t burn. Repeat till all of the pancakes are cooked.

  • Serve the pancakes with Lao Gan Ma chili crisp. For an entire meal, you’ll be able to serve the pancakes with my garlic green beans, spicy eggplant stir fry, sticky chicken thighs, or sweet chili shrimp.



  1. Vegetarian Option: Instead of the dried shrimp and Chinese sausage, you’ll be able to cook dinner 50g diced shiitake mushrooms (1 cup chopped) and 30g preserved daikon (1/4 cup chopped). You’ll add the shiitake mushrooms the identical time you add the dried shrimp and the preserved daikon once you add the Chinese sausage. Then exchange the oyster sauce with teriyaki sauce or Lee Kum Kee’s Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.
  2. In the video above, my mother beats the egg within the bowl first after which provides the flour. I all the time discovered that somewhat unusual. In all honesty, this batter may be very forgiving so it doesn’t actually matter the order by which you add the components.
  3. Often occasions, the primary pancake will look fairly pale as a result of the pan isn’t sizzling sufficient but. This is especially true once I pan fry on my nonstick pans. You can all the time pan fry the pancakes for longer till they attain the specified degree of golden colour. Alternatively, you’ll be able to flip the pancakes over a number of occasions to verify they’re golden.


Serving: 1pancake | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 13.9g | Saturated Fat: 9.3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 531mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.9g

Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or go away a star score and touch upon the weblog!

© Lisa Lin

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