Healthy Food

Mama Lin’s Savory Chinese language Pancakes

Though these savory Chinese language pancakes could also be plain to take a look at, they’re extremely addictive to eat. Mama Lin used to improvise the elements 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 language sausage (臘腸), Chinese language cured pork (臘肉), and scallions. There was by no means a proper recipe. Nonetheless, I used to be capable of persuade my mom to streamline a recipe to share with all of you!

Mama Lin's Savory Chinese Pancakes with Lao Gan Ma chili crisp on top.

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


Pancake Batter in a bowl


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

Once I was testing this recipe, I made a number of batches utilizing only one cup of water. Whereas the pancakes had been simpler to cook dinner as a result of they had been much less floppy, the feel of the pancakes was firmer. Having tried each variations, I favor the pancakes made with extra water. Nonetheless, be at liberty to make use of much less water if that’s what you like.

After you combine all of the elements of the batter collectively, let it sit for a minimum of 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 offer these savory Chinese language pancakes taste, my mother mixes shallots, scallions, dried shrimp, and Chinese language 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 be aware: My mother makes use of the phrase 餡 (xian in Mandarin; haam in Cantonese) to explain the dried shrimp, Chinese language sausage, and so forth. That phrase means “filling,” although I’m unsure 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 you could find in Asian supermarkets, Amazon, or on-line Asian grocery supply companies like Say Weee! and Yamibuy. Soak the shrimp for a minimum of half-hour to rehydrate them. Then, chop them into smaller items.

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

Chopped shiitake mushrooms and chopped preserved daikon


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

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

Teriyaki sauce and vegetarian stir-fry sauce


You possibly can pan fry the pancakes on a cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Make certain the pan is effectively 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 facet for a minute, till golden. 

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

Pancakes on cooling rack

If you’re cooking the pancakes on forged iron, you might have to decrease the warmth midway by means of cooking. As a result of forged iron retains warmth very effectively, the pan will probably be extremely popular if you get to the third and 4th pancakes. Consequently, the pancakes brown sooner. Cut back 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 vast 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 wish to serve them with a protein (sticky hen thighs or candy chili garlic shrimp) and a few greens (garlic inexperienced beans or any sautéed greens).



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


Servings: 4 pancakes

Creator: Lisa Lin

Mama Lin’s Savory Chinese language Pancakes

This recipe makes 4 giant pancakes. For a bigger batch, you may double the recipe. To maintain the pancakes heat, you may 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

Prepare dinner Time20 minutes

Resting Time10 minutes



  • 120 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 1 giant 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 language 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


  • giant nonstick or cast-iron skillet


  • Earlier than you make the batter, make sure that to soak the dried shrimp for a minimum of half-hour.

  • Add the flour to a bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl and beat the egg evenly. (See be aware 2) Step by step pour the water into the bowl, stirring the elements with a whisk or giant fork concurrently. Hold stirring till you now not see giant lumps of flour, a couple of minute. The batter will probably be very runny, so let it sit on the counter for a minimum of 10 minutes whilst you put together the filling.

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

  • Warmth 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. Subsequent, add the Chinese language sausage and cook dinner for an additional 30 seconds. Season the filling with salt, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Flip off the warmth. Add the scallions, and stir every part collectively.

  • Pour the flavoring bits into the batter and blend every part.

  • Warmth a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high warmth. Be sure that the pan is scorching 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 may see the sides turning golden brown. The primary pancake all the time takes slightly longer to brown. Flip the pancake over and cook dinner the opposite facet for an additional 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 recent 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 subsequent pancake. Subsequent pancakes will take barely much less time to pan fry as a result of the pan is now hotter. If you’re utilizing forged iron, you’ll wish to cut 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 may serve the pancakes with my garlic inexperienced beans, spicy eggplant stir fry, sticky hen thighs, or candy chili shrimp.



  1. Vegetarian Choice: As an alternative of the dried shrimp and Chinese language sausage, you may 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 if you add the Chinese language sausage. Then exchange the oyster sauce with teriyaki sauce or Lee Kum Kee’s Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.
  2. Within the video above, my mother beats the egg within the bowl first after which provides the flour. I all the time discovered that slightly unusual. In all honesty, this batter could be very forgiving so it doesn’t actually matter the order wherein you add the elements.
  3. Oftentimes, the primary pancake will look fairly pale as a result of the pan isn’t scorching sufficient but. That is notably true once I pan fry on my nonstick pans. You possibly can all the time pan fry the pancakes for longer till they attain the specified degree of golden coloration. Alternatively, you may flip the pancakes over a number of occasions to verify they’re golden.


Serving: 1pancake | Energy: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7.4g | Fats: 13.9g | Saturated Fats: 9.3g | Ldl cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 531mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.9g

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