Asian Foods Ep.5

Asian Foods : Hong Kong Mango Pancake - Dim Sum

by Thomas M. Tillman

Improving Upon the Classic

Mango crepes are a classic dessert at dim sum, and while I enjoy them, I always thought they had more potential. I always wished they were more...mangoey...more flavourful, more fruity. The pancakes are simple, a delicate crepe filled with fresh mango and whipped cream. But there lies the problem...the whole thing depends on how good the mango is, and let's face it, more often than not the mango isn't as sweet, ripe, and juicy as it could be.

Fixing Less-Than-Perfect Mango

So to fix that, I turned the mango trims that you will inevitably have from prep into a luscious mango sauce. You can make this sauce as sweet or tart as needed in order to compensate for the flavour (or lack of flavour) of the mango. Mango a little tart and not super sweet? Make your sauce sweeter. Super sweet mango but not a lot of acidity? Make a mango sauce that's a little more tart to up the 'brightness'. This simple trick here adds juiciness and extra mangoey-ness that makes ALL the difference!


  • 25g (3 Tbsp) cornstarch
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar (if mango isn’t very sweet use more)
  • 50g (⅓ cup) AP flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • A few drops yellow food colouring (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 Tbsp icing sugar
The Rest:
  • 3 Mangoes
  • Sugar as needed
  • Lime or lemon juice as needed



  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together cornstarch and sugar to break up the lumps. Then whisk in flour and salt.
  2. In a spouted container like a glass liquid measuring cup, add the milk and microwave until lukewarm. (This is just to prevent the butter from hardening into little pieces when you add it, don’t make it so hot that it will cook the eggs!)
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, and yellow food colouring (optional) and beat well with a fork or a whisk to combine.
  4. Pour about a quarter of the milk mixture into the flour and whisk until smooth. Once smooth, pour in the remaining milk and whisk until well-combined.
  5. Strain the batter back into the spouted container, pushing any big lumps of flour through the sieve.
  6. If using right away, you can add the butter gradually while whisking the batter quickly. If you're going to refrigerate the batter, leave the butter out for now.
For the crepes, blender method:
  1. Microwave milk until lukewarm, (just to prevent the butter from hardening into little pieces when you add it, so don’t make it so hot that it will cook the eggs!), then add milk to the blender.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except butter into the blender and blend just for a few seconds on low until smooth. DON'T blend any longer than necessary or it'll become too foamy.
  3. Strain the batter into a spouted container such as a large liquid measuring cup.
  4. If using right away, you can add the butter gradually while whisking the batter quickly. If you're going to refrigerate the batter, leave the butter out for now.


  1. Peel mangoes and trim each cheek into a rectangle 2.5-3 inches long, then cut the rectangle into ¾ inch thick batons.  You may get 2-3 depending on size of mango. Save the trims for mango sauce.


  1. Blend all the mango trims until smooth in a blender or food processor. Tip: I find that because you're not making a lot of sauce an immersion blender is the perfect tool for this because it can blend a small amount. 
  2. Taste and add sugar and lime juice as needed. The amount will depend entirely on the flavour of the mango. If the mango is sweet, you'll likely need to add lime juice to add some tartness which will boost the fruitiness of the sauce. If the mango is already quite sour, lime juice may not be necessary, but you may need to add quite a bit of sugar. If your mango isn’t very sweet or is a little bit bland, make your sauce stronger tasting (more sugar/lime) so that it can help compensate. This is your chance to help make it better!  


  1. If your batter is refrigerated, pull it out at least an hour in advance so it can come to room temp. If you don't have time for this, pour batter into a metal container and sit it in a hot water bath and stir frequently. A cold batter will cause butter to seize into chunks. Once batter is at about room temp, gradually pour in the melted butter while whisking quickly.
  2. Heat a non stick 10-inch pan over low heat. Whisk the batter briefly to mix right before pouring - you want to do this before every pour - then pour into a ¼ measuring cup so it’s about ¾ full (3 Tbsp equivalent). Pour batter into the pan and swirl to evenly spread the batter, and then let cook for a minute on low heat. Tip: There should be just a very gentle sizzle when you pour batter into pan—that's a sign of the perfect level of heat. If there is no sizzle, pan is too cool. If it's a loud sizzle, the pan is too hot. 
  3. You know it's done when the top is dry and you start to see it puff up in several spots. There should be no colour on the bottom, but if there is a little bit, it is okay.
  4. Loosen the edge with a spatula and remove from pan onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batter (you can stack the finished crepes). Let cool completely before using.


  1. Add cold whipping cream and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater or a whisk on high heat. Once it starts to thicken up and the beater starts leaving a trail, lower the speed down so you are less likely to overbeat it.
  2. Once you start to see clear beater trails, check the consistency frequently; you want the cream to be stiff enough to hold its shape completely when plopped onto the crepe. But be careful not to overbeat or it will turn into butter!


  1. Lay down crepe, smooth side out, then put down a 3-inch strip of cream in the centre. Spoon a little mango sauce over the creme, put mango on top of the sauce, then add a little more sauce on top of mango. Top with a little more cream. You want the mango to be surrounded by cream and sauce, it may take you a couple of pieces before you figure out the right amount of stuff to put in, but watch the video for a visual guide.
  2. Wrap like a spring roll—fold the sides towards the centre then gently roll forward—and you can use a knife to trim off the end of the crepe if it's sticking out.
  3. You can serve immediately or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help them firm up a bit. You can let them sit in the fridge for a few hours if needed, but too long and the crepe will not be as soft.