Recipe: Chinese red bean pancakes

Red bean pancakes
These red bean pancakes are a staple at authentic Chinese restaurants. Photo credit: Asian Food Network

Recipe courtesy of Asian Food Network

Picture this - crispy, golden crepes enveloping a sheet of warm, velvety red bean paste. It's the perfect dessert, originating from China, and a must-have item in any authentic Chinese restaurant. 

It's made from the simplest of ingredients - flour, oil and red bean paste (homemade or canned works) and unlike many desserts, it takes no time to prepare. For some colour and added sweetness, dust some icing sugar on the pancakes.


Serves 4

  • 200g plain flour
  • 20g corn starch
  • 4 tsp milk powder 
  • 48g red bean paste (you can substitute red bean with either lotus paste or yam paste)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1⁄8 tsp salt
  • 300ml water
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil.


1. Make batter

  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, corn starch, milk powder, brown sugar and salt. Mix well.
  • Slowly stir in the water, then stir in the eggs. Set aside.

2. Cook and fill pancakes

  • Brush a thin layer of oil on a non-stick pan on a low heat.
  • When the pan is hot, pour in one ladle of the batter and swirl to form a thin crepe. 
  • Cook for one minute (or until dry), taking care not to overcook the crepe. 
  • Remove the crepe from the pan and set it aside before repeating with the remaining batter.
  • To assemble the pancakes, lay out a crepe on a flat surface then spoon 80g of red bean paste in the centre in a rough rectangular shape. 
  • Fold in the sides, then fold the bottom up and layer the top over, like an envelope.
Recipe: Chinese red bean pancakes
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

3. Fry pancakes

  • In a separate pan on a medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. 
  • When it's hot, shallow-fry the pancakes two at a time until golden brown. 
  • Drain the excess oil on paper towels.
Recipe: Chinese red bean pancakes
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

4. Plate and serve

  • The pancakes pair well with hot Chinese tea for an afternoon snack.

Chef's tips

  • When ladling the batter into the hot pan, ensure the batter is not too thick - ideally the batter should be slightly translucent.

Asian Food Network