Hydrolysed lime is a white alkaline powder that is used in Thai cooking to make pancakes extra crisp and pickles firm and crunchy. If you can’t find it, the recipe will still work, but the pancakes won’t be as crisp.
1 tbsp hydrolysed lime powder (see Note)
100 g (½ cup) mung bean flour (see Note)
240 g (1⅔ cups) rice flour
135 g (½ cup) palm sugar, grated
1 egg white
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp lemon juice
coriander sprigs, to serve
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp white pepper
1 coriander root, cleaned, chopped
2 tbsp peanut oil
12 green prawns, peeled, cleaned, finely chopped
60 g (½ cup) fresh shredded coconut or desiccated coconut
2 tbsp palm sugar, grated
2 drops orange food colouring
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make prawn filling, using a mortar and pestle, grind garlic, pepper and coriander root to a paste. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add prawns and coriander paste, and cook for 1 minute or until prawns are almost cooked. Add coconut, palm sugar, 1 tsp salt and food colouring. Cook for a further 2 minutes or until mixture is sticky and prawns are just cooked. Cool.
Place lime powder in a jug with 500 ml water. Stir until combined. Stand for 5 minutes to allow lime powder to settle on bottom. Reserve 185 ml water and discard remaining water and sediment.
Place flours in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add reserved lime water, egg, palm sugar and ¼ tsp salt. Whisk until smooth. Stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk egg white to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice and set aside.
Heat a greased cast-iron plate over medium heat. Working quickly, place 1 tbsp batter onto plate and spread to form a 10 cm disc. Cook for 2 minutes or until surface is dry. Spread 2 tsp meringue on top, then 2 tsp prawn mixture and coriander. Fold pancake in half, indenting in centre, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter, meringue, filling and coriander.
Hydrolysed lime powder is available from Asian food shops.
Mung bean flour is available from health food shops, Asian food shops and selected delis.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 14, pg94.
Photography by Jason Loucas