"I make Japanese pancakes, which are a Japanese crepe almost," says Chef Barbara Lynch. "I put raw shrimp, uncooked broccoli, carrots, and kale in the batter — all raw, but it actually cooks in the pancake. I make them because they are little snacks for me, and Marchesa absolutely loves them. I think she loves them because they are round. She gets to use her chopsticks, which she loves, and we dip them in a little soy sauce. It is always fun to serve with chopsticks!" If you have pancake rings, use them to make perfect circles or other fun shapes but don't make them too thick. And if you're looking for something a bit less salty than soy sauce, try the dipping sauce I created below, which is slightly thicker and has other flavors to temper the soy sauce.
1 teaspoon canola oil for skillet
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water or Japanese dashi broth
1 cup grated cabbage or pureed yam
Pinch table salt
Dash white pepper
1/4 cup raw kale, stemmed and chopped small
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1/4 cup boiled and chopped shrimp
Dash hot sesame oil
Pinch cumin seeds
Dipping sauce (such as a good soy sauce or make your own tangy sauce, such as Fanae's Homemade Dipping Sauce)
Fanae's Homemade Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Heat a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil.
Make the pancake mix by combining flour, water or dashi, egg, cabbage or yam, and salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the vegetables and shrimp into the batter and add sesame oil and cumin seeds (to taste).
Pour 1/4- to 1/2-cup portions into the skillet. Cook pancakes, flip to finish cooking.
To make Fanae's Homemade Dipping Sauce, combine Worcestershire, sugar, soy sauce, and ketchup in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reduces a bit. Stir in the mustard and allspice. Cool and serve, or store for several days, refrigerated.
Serve pancakes with dipping sauce.
From What Chefs Feed Their Kids by Fanae Aaron. Copyright 2011 by Fanae Aaron. Reprinted by permission of Globe Pequot.