These ‘poor man’s pancakes’ were once sold as a cheap snack at boxing matches and horse races, and were favoured by those who had lost their money on bad bets.
The perfect pancake should have a crisp outer skin and a soft centre, with fillings ranging from custard or shredded coconut to sesame seeds.
- 130 g (4½ oz/¾ cup) rice flour
- 65 g (2¼ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 tbsp dried yeast
- 50 g (1¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- vegetable oil or butter, for greasing
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 100 g (3½ oz) unsweetened shredded coconut
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.
Sitting time: 30 minutes
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, yeast and caster sugar and make a well in the centre. Pour 360 ml (12 fl oz) lukewarm water into the well and stir to incorporate. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. After resting, add the baking powder and mix well.
- To prepare the filling, dry-fry the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat until the white sesame seeds are golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl, add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan with a lid over medium heat and lightly grease with vegetable oil or butter. Ladle one-quarter of the batter into the pan, tilting it so that the batter evenly coats the whole surface. Cover and cook for 4–5 minutes, checking often, until the bottom is brown and crisp and the top is firm.
- Add one-quarter of the shredded coconut to the centre of the pancake, sprinkle with one quarter of the filling mixture and fold the pancake in half to create a semicircle. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and serve hot.
Recipe and images from Bangkok Local by Sareen Rojanametin and Jean Thamthanakorn, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99