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Mama Lin's Savory Chinese Pancakes
5 from 7 votes
Servings: 4 pancakes
Author: Lisa Lin

Mama Lin's Savory Chinese Pancakes

This recipe makes 4 large pancakes. For a larger batch, you can double the recipe. To keep the pancakes warm, you can place the pancakes on a baking sheet in an oven that’s been preheated to 180ºF. See note 1 for the vegetarian option.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Resting Time10 minutes



  • 120 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/3 cups water (315ml)

Flavoring Bits

  • 15 grams dried shrimp (3 tablespoons), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, any oil works, plus more for frying pancakes
  • 30 grams shallots, finely diced (1/4 cup)
  • 30 grams Chinese sausage, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 25 grams scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Optional Toppings


  • large nonstick or cast-iron skillet


  • Before you make the batter, make sure to soak the dried shrimp for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the flour to a bowl. Crack the egg into the bowl and beat the egg lightly. (See note 2) Gradually pour the water into the bowl, stirring the ingredients with a whisk or large fork simultaneously. Keep stirring until you no longer see large lumps of flour, about a minute. The batter will be very runny, so let it sit on the counter for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
  • Drain the dried shrimp and chop the shrimp into small pieces.
  • Heat a small skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the shallots start to soften. Add the chopped dried shrimp and cook for a minute more. Next, add the Chinese sausage and cook for another 30 seconds. Season the filling with salt, sugar, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Turn off the heat. Add the scallions, and stir everything together.
  • Pour the flavoring bits into the batter and mix everything.
  • Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure that the pan is hot before adding 1 tablespoon of oil. Swirl the oil around the pan.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of batter into the center of the pan. Pan fry the pancake for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see the edges turning golden brown. The first pancake always takes a little longer to brown. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side for another 1 to 2 minutes, until golden. (See note 3)
  • Serve the pancake immediately or transfer the pancake to a cooling rack. I like placing the hot pancakes on a cooling rack so that the bottoms of the pancake don’t build up condensation.
  • Swirl another 1/2 tablespoon of oil around the pan and cook the next pancake. Subsequent pancakes will take slightly less time to pan fry because the pan is now hotter. If you are using cast iron, you’ll want to reduce the heat (to medium or medium-low) so that the pancakes don’t burn. Repeat until all the pancakes are cooked.
  • Serve the pancakes with Lao Gan Ma chili crisp. For a complete meal, you can serve the pancakes with my garlic green beans, spicy eggplant stir fry, sticky chicken thighs, or sweet chili shrimp.



  1. Vegetarian Option: Instead of the dried shrimp and Chinese sausage, you can cook 50g diced shiitake mushrooms (1 cup chopped) and 30g preserved daikon (1/4 cup chopped). You’ll add the shiitake mushrooms the same time you add the dried shrimp and the preserved daikon when you add the Chinese sausage. Then replace the oyster sauce with teriyaki sauce or Lee Kum Kee’s Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce.
  2. In the video above, my mom beats the egg in the bowl first and then adds the flour. I always found that a little strange. In all honesty, this batter is very forgiving so it doesn’t really matter the order in which you add the ingredients.
  3. Oftentimes, the first pancake will look quite pale because the pan isn’t hot enough yet. This is particularly true when I pan fry on my nonstick pans. You can always pan fry the pancakes for longer until they reach the desired level of golden color. Alternatively, you can flip the pancakes over a few times to make sure they’re golden.


Serving: 1pancake | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 13.9g | Saturated Fat: 9.3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 531mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.9g
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