These pancakes are delicately folded around golden chunks of juicy, ripe mango, mingled with passionfruit to add a sharp kick and a lovely fragrance. Over the top goes a smattering of toasted coconut, for texture and a delicious sweet coconut taste. Finally, some blueberries, because they’re great with mango and because more fruit in your breakfast can only be a positive thing.
During my trip to Vietnam last summer, one of my favourite discoveries was a little café near our hotel in Saigon. Each morning for three days, we would take a seat at the same table, and make a show of perusing the menu even though I always knew exactly what I wanted.
A few minutes later, presented on a large plate, would be a giant pancake, thick and golden, like an enormous French crêpe, soft and fluffy in the centre, crispy and golden around its frayed edges, no doubt from being cooked in liberal amounts of butter. Inside would be meltingly soft chunks of golden mango, at their pinnacle of ripeness and brimming with luscious, perfumed juice.
Seven months on, I still reflect fondly on those pancakes, so the other day I decided to have a go at recreating them in my own kitchen. I’ve used a simple crêpe batter for these pancakes, but with a twist: instead of milk, they’re made using coconut milk. This delivers a subtle, sweet coconut flavour, and also has the advantage of making them dairy free.
The recipe below makes about ten pancakes, depending on the size of your pan; I normally serve three to four per person, so this would probably serve three people or two hungry ones with a couple of pancakes left over (you can always put them in the fridge and then microwave them to reheat later). While not quite as authentic as the original, these make a fabulous breakfast, particularly if you drizzle over a little maple syrup at the table.
So get your whisk and frying pan out, put on your apron, brew some tea, and enjoy a little taste of the tropics in your own kitchen!
here's what you'll need...
- 150g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs (or a mashed banana, to make them vegan)
- 400ml can coconut milk (full or half-fat)
- 4 tbsp milk (or water, to make them vegan)
- 2 large ripe mangoes
- 2 passionfruit
- 3-4 tbsp desiccated coconut
- Butter, for cooking (or coconut oil, to make them vegan)
- handful of blueberries, to serve
- Maple syrup, to serve (optional)