Asian crepes with peanut sauce

asian-crepes1Crepes are one of my favorite things to make. They’re something so simple but can deliver pretty complex flavors when done well. They’re versatile enough to eat for every single meal of the day. From sweet crepes for breakfast or brunch to savory crepes for dinner, you can do pretty much anything you want with them.

I learned how to make crepes in a class at The Chopping Block about a year and a half ago. The trickiest thing to get right is getting the batter to cover the entire bottom of the pan and not using too much batter because crepes are supposed to be extremely thin. I stumbled quite a bit trying to get the technique of swirling the pan with my left hand while ladling in the batter with my right hand. If you’ve ever tried rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time, that’s how awkward it was for me.

Eventually I got it down well enough that I moved on to trying to flip the crepe by just using the pan. Another step in which more than a few crepes suffered from poor technique. I also turned to none other than the master Jacques Pepin for some tips on making crepes. Of course he makes it look as simple as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but that’s why he is the master.

I built this recipe knowing that I was going to try a new peanut sauce that I’ve had bookmarked for a while. With peanut sauce as the main driver, I figured Asian would be the best way to go, so what better than to make a simple stir fry to fill the crepes with. Once I had that in mind, I immediately went to thinking about how I would plate the dish. Sometimes I make decisions on what to cook by starting with the type of presentation I want to do. Is that weird? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, presentation can really amplify a dish, so I’ve always got that in mind.

I’ll be honest – pulling the components of this dish together takes a lot of time. But if you do your prep well, once you start cooking, it will go pretty fast. The crepe batter and crepes themselves can be made hours to days in advance, so if you decide to make this, start with those in the morning and then in the afternoon, work on chopping, slicing and pouring your ingredients for the sauce and stir fry. After that, it’s pretty much dumping things in the pan and cooking.

Bonus: there are a lot of shared ingredients between this and my pad thai pizza, so maybe you can plan to make both in one weekend!

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Recipe and instructions

12 crepes, recipe follows

Thai peanut sauce, recipe follows

Crepe batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tbsp. sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ stick butter, melted
  • Additional melted butter for cooking the crepes

Stir fry ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 package tofu, cubed (or other protein of your choice)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, minced
  • 1 lb mini portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Thai peanut sauce (adapted from Oui, Chef)
*Note – the ingredients below is half of the original recipe. You will likely have leftover sauce.

  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 can cream of coconut
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cups chopped peanuts
  • 1 1/5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Instructions and assembly

Crepes

  • Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk together the eggs and milk in another bowl
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk just until the batter comes together. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
  • Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Adjust with the reserved milk, if necessary until the batter is the consistency of heavy whipping cream.
  • Heat a small non-stick saute pan over medium heat and add just enough butter to coat the bottom (Using a pastry brush is perfect for this, you just want a thin layer of butter)
  • Ladle in just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan and be sure to swirl the pan so the batter is in an even layer.
  • Cook until the crepe is set up and edges are golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip and continue to cook an additional 15 seconds. Transfer to a parchment lined plate or cookie sheet and continue until all the batter is used.

Peanut sauce

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the shallots until tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the sriracha and curry powder.  Add the coconut and half and half, peanuts, honey, and fish sauce.  Stir until smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a blender or a food processor and add the peanut butter.  Blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir fry

Preheat oven to 375

  • Cook rice according to package instructions.
  • Heat a sauté pan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add tofu and cook for 2 minutes, followed by the mushrooms, cook for 3 minutes. Add peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add in 1 cup of cooked rice and water chestnuts. Mix until well combined.
  • Add 1 – 1 ½ cups of the peanut sauce – just enough to coat the stir fry mixture and add the cilantro.
  • Assemble the crepes by putting filling on the lower half of the crepe. Fold the top half over the filling and then fold over again so it is in a triangle.
  • Put filled crepes in oven and bake for 7-8 minutes.
  • Serve 2-3 crepes on a plate. Top crepes with peanut sauce and garnish with cilantro.

 

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