Shanghai Style Pancakes and Peanut Cream

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Dessert is a must when there is company. It rounds off the meal nicely and conversations tend to flow more easily during dessert time. Therefore, it is always good to have some semi-homemade recipes on hand so that a dessert can be whipped up on short notice. The two desserts featured here today are very easy to put together using ready made store bought ingredients. It is pretty fuss free and takes only a few minutes to prepare.

Shanghai Pancakes are thin, crisp pancakes filled with red bean paste. They are delicious served with a small bowl of peanut cream. I always remember the ones I had with our dear friends in Singapore who took us for lunch at a Shanghainese restaurant. The food was really good but the Shanghai pancakes and peanut cream stuck in my mind. The pancakes were nice and crisp and the peanut cream was smooth and delicious. Peanut Cream also known as Fa Sang Wu is a sweet soup taken in small quantities.

As it is not always easy to make a nice, thin pancake, I have decided to use fillo pastry instead. I filled it with canned red bean paste and rolled it up like a strudel. The preparation was a breeze. The peanut cream was also very easy to prepare using all natural peanut butter with just salt, purchased at the health food store. It is best to use the creamy variety of peanut butter.

Shanghai Style Pancakes and Peanut Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Shanghai Style Pancakes and Peanut Cream


    Shanghai Style Pancakes
  • 8 sheets fillo pastry, thawed
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup canned red bean paste
  • Peanut Cream
  • ½ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp corn starch


Shanghai Style Pancakes

Lay 4 sheets of fillo pastry on a work surface. Butter each sheet with melted butter. Spread ½ cup red bean paste into a thin layer on the topmost fillo sheet. Roll up filled pastry at 3½ to 4 inch width. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove and allow pastry to cool before slicing.

Peanut Cream

Place peanut butter and 1½ cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter is well incorporated. Mix corn starch with remaining ½ cup water. Pour corn starch mixture into peanut butter mixture. Stir to get a nice, smooth consistency. Turn off heat.

Serve immediately with Shanghai Style Pancakes.

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8)

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41 Responses

  1. Grace says:

    This looks DELICIOUS :)

  2. Sonia says:

    The pancakes are looking so inviting. Loved the peanut cream stuffing to add a dash of sweetness and making it healthy too, great recipe Biren !

  3. STUNNING! I’ve never tried this before, but you make me want to!

  4. LeQuan says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Shanghai pancakes before, how interesting. I was sold right away just on the looks. These look delicious, Biren. Definitely the most unique pancakes I’ve seen yet. Love that they seem so easy to make, and with so few ingredients too.

  5. kristy says:

    Biren, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. It’s such a great idea by using phyllo sheets. It’s the best crust for this recipe. ‘ji ma wu’ & ‘fa sang wu’ are both very popular around here too. Now, there’s readymade packaging sold in every supermarket. So, it’s quite convinient. Hope you’re having a great day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  6. I never have Shanghai pancakes before but the thin crispy pancakes sound good to me! I totally agree with you that a conversation goes smoother in dessert time :D

    Also, you can’t go wrong with peanut butter dipping sauce!

    • Biren says:

      I love these pancakes and always wanted to make them. Glad to have found a short cut that works. Sorry I did not explain the peanut cream well. It is actually a sweet soup taken in small quantities and not a dipping sauce. I have updated my post. Thank you!

  7. Yes, I always look forward to desserts! This sounds fab! I like how you used filo, so convenient and yummy!

  8. blogbytina! says:

    I”ve never seen such a thing! looks great!

  9. Oh my! My favorite red bean!!! Is Fillo pastry something that we can buy easily? I’ve seen puffed pastry sheet in American supermarket but it looks a little bit different…or is it same? I’ve put sweet potatoes in those pastry sheet, but how come I never thought of putting red bean… I suck at baking idea. Duh.

  10. Zoe says:

    That’s very innovative of you to use filo pastry to make this traditional Shanghai all time fav dessert. The peanut sauce is so inviting…

  11. Pachecopatty says:

    Such a beautiful color to the red bean paste and I like your peanut cream sauce. I think you ended a meal very well with this beautiful dessert;-)

  12. What a perfect idea to use fillo, the slight crunch is fantastic here…What a fabulous dessert!

  13. Jun says:

    I’ve never had shanghai style pancakes before, and this looks so delicious!

  14. tigerfish says:

    The Shanghai-style pancakes sound really doable! This is one of my fav. desserts in some Chinese restaurants but a lot of these eateries seldom serve these pancakes now.

  15. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Delicious! These look amazing and beautiful. I have never had red bean paste. It looks really tasty…yum!

  16. Jasmine says:

    i’ve never seen or try shangai pancake before. but you sure make it so lovely and gve me an extrememly good overview and impression of it! look really crispy and delicious. with the peanut cream, im sure it taste heavenly! yummy! (: (:

  17. your Shanghai pancake look so cripsy and good.

  18. Lisa H. says:

    Ages since I last had these… well since I had my early ‘retirement’ that is :). Used to savour these gorgeous dessert during company functions in hotels… must try making these one day :)

  19. Anncoo says:

    Biren, I was thinking the other day to make Shanghai pancake too but the red bean paste still sitting in my fridge…hahaa..
    Thanks for sharing using fillo pastry, it must be very crispy and delicious :) For the peanut cream, I’ve made something quite similar but yours looks so much better than mine.

  20. DongXing says:

    Sweet pancake with a savoury peanut cream – what more could you ask? I love peanut cream and shanghai pancake – I sure hope to make these one day very soon. Excellent idea to use filo pastry – never thought of that myself….

  21. Wow definitely a wonderfully easy translation of Shanghainese signature dessert :) Very delicious!

  22. Tiffany says:

    This is like nothing I’ve ever seen, but it looks delicious!!!

  23. These are so very unique, I love the pairing of these pancakes with the peanut sauce, this is a must try for sure!

  24. Lyndsey says:

    They look so good! I like the crispy phyllo crust. I have a difficult time finding canned red bean paste around here. I’ve never tried this!

    • Biren says:

      Sorry to hear that though I am a little surprised as red bean paste is a very popular Chinese dessert ingredient. I hope you find it soon so that you can make all those yummy red bean paste desserts. Otherwise, you will have to make your own. It takes a little time but you can adjust the sweetness level to your liking.

  25. Victoria says:

    I’ve never used red bean paste before, but I did once have red bean ice cream in Chinatown and it was fabulous! Definitely like this quick and easy dessert preparation, and it’s much more unique than what I would probably throw together for last minute guests. Very nice :)

  26. pancakes look good haven’t made like this

  27. Looks delicious! I’ve never had this dessert, but I do love the flavor of red bean ice cream and thin, crispy pastry. Using phyllo was brilliant – I’m sure it was a big hit!

  28. Those pancakes look fabulous! I love red bean filling.

  29. Your pancake looks wonderful! I have not made this in years! Would usually have these at wedding dinner in Chinese restaurants, yummy! I have not eaten this with peanut sauce either. Looks delicious!

  30. sweetlife says:

    how fab!! I love the presentation and the peanut cream would be very welcomed in my home!!


  31. Using filo sheets for this is a stroke of genius! Yours look better than any I’ve ever tried in a restaurant or from the supermarket freezer! Beautifully done!

  32. mystique says:

    Hi, the dessert looks great! I’ve been trying to find ready-to-eat/use red bean paste, but have been unable to find it. Is it available in any NTUC, for example? Is it in the fridge section? I even looked at the canned section in a Cold Storage but am unable to find it. Thanks for any tips!

  33. Adelene Chin says:

    Hi Biren,

    Came across your blog and this is a definitely must try recipe for me. Had been looking high and low for a peanut cream recipe and glad to find one from your blog.

    Keep it up and happy cooking too !!

  1. April 11, 2011

    […] tasty and delicious light lunch. I used up the remaining fillo pastry left over from making those Shanghai Style Pancakes. I made these yesterday as a treat for my boys as it was the last day of their spring break. I had […]

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