You can find this delicious snack in virtually every market, food court and soi. It’s made with mussels or oysters, or both. I always make it with oysters, because to make it successfully with mussels, you need to use raw, shelled mussels. You can’t buy them like this so have to do it yourself, which is a huge hassle, not to mention removing the beards too. You can buy raw oyster meat, as a frozen block, in any good Asian store.
Ideally one would have a gigantic iron skillet to cook this, so that you can cook several portions simultaneously. Few of us have the luxury of owning one of these, so a frying pan will do just fine. It does, however, limit you to preparing one portion at the time.
It’s important that the batter is quite thin, as the pancake won’t go crispy otherwise. There’s quite a knack to mixing the batter and the egg in the pan to make sure they are mixed, but not homogenous, and then separating the pancake into 3 or 4 pieces. Using a spatula in each hand is the best way. There are videos on youtube illustrating the technique, if that helps.
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup of water
200g – 250g oyster meat
2 spring onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
about 200g of bean sprouts
a couple of splashes of fish sauce
coriander to garnish
1. Combine the flours, baking powder, salt and water. Use a whisk to make sure there aren’t any lumps.
2. Split the oysters into 2 small bowls and add 1/2 cup of batter to each bowl. Gently stir to cover the oysters. You will have left over batter. That’s fine.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your pan and get the frying pan nice and hot.
4. Pour the batter/oyster mix from one of the bowls into the pan.
5. Immediately crack an egg on top and, using a spatula in each hand, mix it around a little and spread it out over the frying pan.
6. Allow to cook for a minute or so to become crispy around the edges.
7. Split the pancake into 3 or 4 pieces. Flip each piece to cook the other side.
8. Once done, slide it all onto a plate.
9. Put the pan back on the heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Allow it to get heat up for a few seconds.
10. Add half the garlic, half the bean sprouts, and half the spring onions.
11. Splash in some fish sauce and add a pinch of white pepper.
12. Stir fry for just a minute, or less.
13. Slide all of this onto the top of the pieces of pancake.
14. Squirt on some Siracha sauce and garnish with coriander.
15. Give this to someone you love. If they don’t already, then they will after eating it.
16. Now repeat steps 4 – 14 using the other bowl of oyster/batter mix, to make yours.