Vietnamese Pancakes. A secret family recipe.

When I think of comfort food, I think of mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits, cornbread and potato soup, and chocolate pudding made with graham crackers, as God intended.

When RJ thinks of comfort food, he thinks of spring rolls, whole fish cooked WITH THE HEADS STILL ON, and these Vietnamese pancakes.

He has mentioned them a time or twenty over the years, so last week when I saw RJ's mom, I took the opportunity to ask her for the recipe.


Then I came home and Googled it, and came up with these.

RJ said they are "almost" like what his mom made.

The boys and I LOVED them.

That's close enough to authentic for me.

Do you like how my fancy Vietnamese food is plopped down right in the middle of zj's Spiderman plate? Yeah, me too.

1 can of coconut milk
1 cup rice flour (you can find this at any Asian food store, or in the gluten-free section of the grocery)
3 green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1 1/2 cup cooked pork tenderloin meat, sliced and chopped into matchstick-sized pieces
1 1/2 cup of bean sprouts, washed and dried
1 medium white or yellow onion, cut into pieces similar in shape and size to the sprouts and pork

Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Pour the coconut milk, rice flour, green onions and curry powder in your food processor or blender and blend it up for a couple minutes.  The consistency you're going for is a thick pancake batter.  If it's too thick to pour, add a couple tablespoons of water then give it whirl in the food processor again.  Set the batter aside.

It a skillet over medium heat, add a teaspoon of oil,  the pork, bean sprouts, and the onion.  Saute it, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.  Remove the meat mixture from the skillet and wipe out any remaining residue.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the skillet and put it back over medium heat.  This next bit is sort of an art.  Add enough of the batter to cover the bottom of the skillet, swirling it around for even coverage like you would with say a really thin omelet or a crepe.  If you were making an omelet or a crepe.  Which you're not.  But still, like that.  Cook it about 3 minutes on that side, then gently flip it over with a spatula, praying all the while it does not fall to absolute pieces like my first three did.  After you'e flipped it, spoon some of the meat/sprout/onion mixture over half of the pancake - think omelet again - and wait 2-3 minutes for the bottom side to cook.  Fold it over and serve it immediately.

These were simple to make - after I got the whole frying/folding/flipping deal down, and they were yummy.  This recipe made 6 pancakes, but it would be easy to double it for more.

This is probably the second-best thing I've ever gotten from my mother-in-law :-)

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