Vietnamese crispy pancakes

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Leon Fast Vegan Vietnamese Pancakes



  • refined or extra virgin coconut oil, for frying
  • 280g firm tofu, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced into 2mm half-moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 400g beansprouts
  • small handful each fresh mint
  • Thai basil and coriander, leaves roughly chopped, to serve

For the pancakes

  • 130g rice flour
  • 20g cornflour (or ground tapioca or arrowroot)
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1⁄2tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced

For the sauce

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small red or green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1tsp sweet white miso
  • 2tbsp vegan rice vinegar
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 3tbsp tamari soy sauce


To make the pancake batter, whisk together the flours, coconut milk, pepper, turmeric and a pinch of salt until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of thick cream, so if necessary, add 20-50ml of water, a little at a time. Stir in the spring onions, then allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce along with 2tbsp of water and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, then set aside to infuse. Preheat the oven to 80C/175F/Gas 1⁄4.

Heat a little coconut oil in a 25cm cast-iron or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, pour in around 3tbsp of the batter and swirl to coat the base of the pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes without flipping, until the bottom
is golden and crispy. Slide the pancake onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and keep warm in the low oven while you cook the remaining 3 pancakes. Cover each pancake with baking paper so they don’t stick together.

While the pancakes are cooking, squeeze and pat the tofu dry. Heat around 1tbsp of coconut oil in a wok over a high heat. When hot, add the tofu and allow to crisp up before turning it over. Cook for around 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your wok, until crisp on all sides. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and beansprouts. Stir-fry for another minute. Season with a pinch of salt, then remove from the pan and keep warm.

Place the pancakes on serving plates. Divide the tofu mixture, herbs and sauce between the pancakes, then fold each one in half. Serve immediately.

NOTE: The pancakes are made with a mixture of rice flour and cornflour, but you can substitute 150g gluten-free plain flour, which is usually a blend of both.

Recipe taken from LEON: Fast Vegan by Rebecca Seal, Chantal Symons and John Vincent (Conran Octopus). Photography by Steven Joyce.
Leon Fast Vegan Vietnamese Pancakes
Recipe taken from LEON: Fast Vegan by Rebecca Seal, Chantal Symons and John Vincent (Conran Octopus). Photography by Steven Joyce.


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