Vietnamese Pancakes
With some Asian fish sauce and more familiar ingredients, you can create these delicious Vietnamese pancakes at home.



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October 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Meat & Poultry

Recipe: Vietnamese Pancakes

Asian Surf & Turf

If there’s no great Vietnamese restaurant in your neighborhood, you can still enjoy these delicious, savory pancakes. Sure to be a hit at home, they’re an omelet filled with “surf and turf”—shrimp and pork loin. Whether you want to brighten up a chilly autumn evening  or serve lighter fare in warmer months, they’re sure to be a hit.

Marinating the prawns and pork, which already contain umami flavors, in the umami-rich fish sauce, ensures maximum taste. Learn about umami, the fifth taste. Serves 4.

  • 20 medium shrimp, shelled
  • 5 ounces pork loin, cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (nam pla or other sauce, available at Asian markets)
  • Pinch of MSG
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 teaspoons (1 ounce) mustard green leaves or lettuce leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (mint, basil and/or shiso leaves)


  • 2/3 cup rice flour
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron powder
  • 6 ounces coconut milk
  • 7 ounces water

Chile Sauce

  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 dried red chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of MSG


  1. Marinate the prawns and pork loin with the fish sauce and umami seasoning for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix the rice flour, green onions, saffron powder, coconut water and milk. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, add 1/4 of the mixture and fry a large, thin pancake. Put 1/4 of the prawn and pork mixture on the pancake.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and fry until the edge curls slightly. Add 1/4 of the bean sprouts, and fry until the underside of pancake is golden and crispy. Fold the pancake in half, remove and put on a plate. Make 4 large pancakes.
  4. Mix all the sauce ingredients well. To eat, roll the pancake up together with the herbs in a mustard green leaf or lettuce leaf and dip in the sauce.


Recipe and recipe image courtesy of Seaboard Foods. All rights reserved. Additional material Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Other images are the copyright of their respective owners.


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