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COOKING | CULINARY SOS

Chinese pancake with a sweet twist

August 04, 2004

Dear SOS: I have lunch frequently with my daughter at Yujean Kang's Asian Bistro in South Coast Plaza. They have the best dessert, a red bean pancake in a coconut cream sauce. I've searched everywhere and can't find a recipe for anything like it. Do you think they would part with the recipe?

Anne Drobka

Newport Beach

Dear Anne: Search no longer. Here is the recipe from restaurant owner Yujean Kang. We fell in love with it too. Many Chinese restaurants serve red bean pancakes as a dessert, but Kang adds a luscious coconut sauce that sets his apart.

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Red bean pancake with coconut sauce

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Note: Coconut milk, frozen finely grated coconut, red bean paste, spring roll wrappers and sweet taro starch powder are available at 99 Ranch markets, Chinese and other Asian groceries. The red bean paste should be a good quality paste, not too liquid. If you can't find the taro powder, try sprinkling the pancakes with powdered sugar.

1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk

1 cup frozen finely grated

coconut

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon flour

1 teaspoon whipping cream

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup red bean paste

4 (8-inch square) spring roll pastry wrappers

Oil for deep frying

Taiwanese sweet taro starch powder

1. Combine the coconut milk and coconut in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until simmering.

2. Combine the butter, flour and whipping cream. Whisk the butter mixture into the simmering coconut milk mixture. Heat, stir occasionally, until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the sugar. Strain the sauce through a fine cheesecloth-lined strainer and set aside to cool.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoons red bean paste into the center of a spring roll wrapper. Spread the paste to form a 3-inch square. Moisten the edges of the wrapper and fold the sides in over the bean paste to form a square package. Repeat the process with the remaining bean paste and the 3 remaining spring roll wrappers.

4. Heat the oil to 375 degrees for deep frying in a wok. Fry the pancakes until crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cut each pancake into four quarters.

5. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the coconut sauce onto the bottom of each of 4 serving plates. Arrange the 4 quarters of each pancake on top of the coconut sauce on each plate. Sprinkle the pancakes with sweet taro powder. Serve warm.

Each serving: 588 calories; 8 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 43 grams fat; 27 grams saturated fat; 8 mg. cholesterol; 258 mg. sodium.

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