Something the husband always makes sure to eat when we visit Singapore, is a snack called min jian kueh or ban jian kuih. It’s essentially a thick fluffier than usual pancake that’s filled with a variety of ingredients, folded in half, and sliced up. There’s a thick soft version, but also a thin crispy version. I’m never sure if they’re both called by the same name.
I decided to see how easy (or not!) it was to make, first watching this video to see how it’s made. I combined two recipes, one from The Meat Men above, and also, this one from What To Cook Today. Because it used tapioca starch and that was something I had in the pantry.
For the pancake batter
- 100g plain flour
- 30g tapioca starch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 160ml water (lukewarm)
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 50g roasted ground peanuts
- 25g sugar
- A few small cubes of butter (optional)
Essentially, mix together the batter ingredients, until relatively smooth. Set it aside for at least half an hour to let proof. There should be some bubbles in the batter.
Meanwhile, mix your sugar and peanuts together for the filling.
Heat a medium-sized frying pan for a few minutes on medium heat. This is to make sure the whole pan is well heated, to ensure that you get the characteristic honeycomb look.
Spray some oil and spread it evenly with a paper towel.
Pour the batter into the pan. I used about a ladle and a half. Spread it across the pan properly.
Cover and let cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat. Don’t have the heat too high. The first time I made this, the bottom was a bit overdone.
Lift the cover and check that there’s bubbles and that the batter is cooked (you don’t want it to be wet, as it won’t be flipped over). Spread the filling over half the pancake. I also tried adding some small cubes of butter to one pancake before the peanuts, for additional flavour perhaps? Not sure if it’s needed.
Here’s where recipes seem to differ. Some of them say to put the filling on, and cook for a couple more minutes. Others say to take the pancake out of the pan and fill it. And fold it in half.
I guess it doesn’t really make that much of a difference if you make sure the pancake batter is no longer wet, then fill it. You don’t want to have raw batter in your pancake.
Other possible fillings…
cheese and scallions
chocolate chips or chocolate rice
Instead of ground peanuts, some eateries in Singapore use chunky peanut butter. Also very good.
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