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An Asian take on a French classic

Thursday 2 February 2012, 10:54AM

The popular Japanese crepe.

The popular Japanese crepe.

The recent Wat Chalong fair attracted thousands of visitors, and hundreds of food vendors to feed them.

Out of all the stalls, one in particular attracted hordes of children who wanted to sample a Japanese crepe. This stall was decorated in paper cones painted with various Japanese cartoon characters.

Traditionally, crepes are part of French cuisine, but the Japanese love them almost as much, and have developed their own distinctive style of making them.

As with all things made in Japan, Thailand has taken this treat to its heart, with shops and vendors across the Kingdom selling the sweet-tasting snack.

Phanaphat “Tid” Sawatsri has been a Japanese crepe vendor for one year, after wanting a change of career. Despite initial appearances, this dessert is not easy to cook, she says.

“There are several types of Japanese crepe – crispy, soft, rolled or folded. As such, every vendor has their own individual way of cooking them” Ms Phanaphat says.

“My ones are quite crispy. I learned this style from another vendor, who taught me how to spread the ingredients in the pan just right. If it is not spread well, it may be sticky or uncooked.”

The crepes are made from wheat flour, egg, fresh milk, sugar butter and salt. Ms Phanaphat says the ingredients are first spread on a flat hot plate, then filled with various toppings before finally folding it into a triangle shape, and serving in a paper cone.

Fillings can be savoury or sweet.

Examples of the former include baked fish, crab meat, chilli paste, shredded pork, and sausage; while vanilla, pandanus, and jam are popular for those with a sweet tooth.

“Kids generally order the crepes sweet, while adults order them spicy,” she says.

Now that the Wat Chalong fair is over, you can find Ms Phanaphat’s stall at the market fair, opposite Thepnimitra Temple on Chao Fa Road, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, 3pm to 7pm.

-Sukunya Phoonpong

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