Asian-style vegetable pancakes make wonderful snacks or meatless meals and these are vegetarian and vegan friendly, too. Full of vegetables and flavour, they are also quick and easy to make, so they are easy to enjoy any time.
The trick with Asian-style pancakes is to add only the batter-coated vegetables to the pan and not all the batter you added to the bowl. To do this, use a slotted spoon or large fork to grab the vegetables out of the batter and in to the pan, leaving any excess batter behind in the bowl.
Once you add the batter-coated vegetables to the pan, work quickly to spread the mixture into an even layer and to re-distribute the vegetables evenly. I like to push some of the vegetables right to and over the edges, for a prettier finished pancake.
Be sure to cook each side until golden brown.
A non-stick pan makes cooking Asian-style pancakes easiest. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, use a bit more oil so the pancake doesn’t stick to the pan.
Jennifer Maloney of Seasons and Suppers
1 10 inch pancake
A delicious snack or meatless main dish, this Asian-inspired pancake is quick and easy to make and a filled with fresh peas and leeks. The recipe below will make one 8-10 inch pancake. You can also make several smaller pancakes, if you prefer. You can double the recipe to make more.
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (280 mL) all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp (.5 mL) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (280 mL) cold water
- 1 leek
- 1 cup (250 mL) fresh green peas
- Sesame seeds
- Korean chili flakes
- ¼ cup (60 mL) soy sauce
- 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
- 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame seeds
- 2 tsp (10 mL) finely diced green onion
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Korean chili flakes* (or a pinch of red pepper flakes)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Optional: Pea shoots, for garnish
- Prepare dipping sauce: Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Prepare leeks: Cut a 2 ½-3 inch piece from the light green part of the leek, starting about 1-inch from the bottom. Cut the piece of leek in half lengthwise. Place pieces cut side down on a cutting board and cut thin slices lengthwise. Place pieces in a medium bowl. Separate them with your hands and rinse with cold water. Drain, dry and return to bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare batter: In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the water to the flour mixture. Whisk until you have a smooth, pancake-like batter. Set aside.
- Add the peas to the bowl with the prepared leeks. Add the batter and stir to coat.
- On the stove-top, heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small bit of oil to the pan, swirl it around and allow to heat. Using a large fork or slotted spoon (so you are leaving any excess batter in the bowl and not adding it to the pan), add the coated vegetables to the pan and using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. If necessary, add a bit of the excess batter left in the bowl to any bare or thin spots. Allow the pancake to cook until golden on the underside. Before flipping the pancake, sprinkle the top with some sesame seeds, freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of Korean chili flakes. Flip pancake and cook the other side until deep golden. Remove to serving plate with the side that was down last in the pan, flipped so it is up (the side with the sesame seeds and chili flakes).
- If desired, top with fresh pea shoots. Cut pancake in to wedges or pieces and serve with Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce.
*Korean Chili Flakes are also known as Gochugaru and are easily found in any Asian/Korean food market. If you can’t find them, simply substitute red pepper flakes.
This recipe is by Jennifer from the food blog, Seasons & Suppers. Jennifer is a wife, mother of two grown children and enthusiastic home cook. She lives in the Muskoka region of Central Ontario, on a rural 5-acre property. She has no formal culinary training, but learned a lot from getting dinner on the table every night for the past 30 years. She loves to cook simple, flavourful food, made with whole, seasonal ingredients.