Kaladkarin Diaries

Ramblings about food, cooking, recipes, travels, history and walking around Manila.

Ban Zhan Keh – 面煎粿

It’s claimed that this snack originated from Fujian. When General Tso Tsung T’ang was sent to Fujian in 1855 to quell the Taiping Revolution, it became his army’s food. The story goes that the soldiers were using spring onions and chilli sauce to eat their bread but as Fujian was rich with sugar cane and peanuts crops, the ever-practical army general switched to these ingredients to make the pancakes that was also easy to carry around. Later, this snack spread around the region when immigrants from Fujian brought it over to the Philippines.

All I know is that I grew up watching my gua-ma and tai-ma make them. I always called them chinese pancakes instead of its Hokkien term. I made some for breakfast today using crushed peanuts, butter and sugar as filling. I think I just hit a nostalgia home run… 🙂

Just curious, have you seen this sold in Manila or anywhere in the Philippines?

Below is the recipe of 面煎粿 🙂


  • 200 grams of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 160 ml water
  • 160 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 40 grams melted butter
  • Filling:
  • 1 cups of toasted peanuts – grind coarsely
  • more butter for spreading
  • 1/2 cup of fine sugar


  1. In a large bowl add in all ingredients for batter.
  2. Mix ingredients well into smooth batter. Set aside in the fridge for overnight.
  3. Heat up a non-stick pan (i used a 4″ pan) and very lightly grease it with a bit of oil. Clean off any access oil with a paper towel.
  4. Pour 2 tbsp full of batter into the pan and swirl the pan. (you can put in more batter if you want a thicker pancake).
  5. Sprinkle some peanuts and sugar (you may add in some butter if you wish) then cover the pan. (I used very low fire to pan fried it until set).
  6. Cook until the centre of the pancake is cooked and the edges brown.
  7. Remove and fold into half.
  8. Serve hot.

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