Vietnam’s famous green pandan waffle is a perfect example of how other cultures brought food to the country and how the Vietnamese made it their own with the use of a tropical plant. The fresh ingredients and iconic green color is well known in Vietnamese cuisine.
It is thought that the Vietnamese began using French cooking equipment (such as a waffle maker or a waffle iron) during the French colonial period. However, during the Vietnam War, when American soldiers walked the streets, the Vietnamese waffle really took off, especially at a Vietnamese bakery.
Vietnamese Coconut Pandan Waffles
Banh Kep La Dua is the Vietnamese name for pandan waffles. It is a type of waffle made from tapioca flour, coconut milk (or regular milk / full cream milk depending on your preference), and pandan with coconut flakes usually added as well.
The leaves of the pandan plant are a common ingredient with a unique flavor in Asian food. The pandan adds sweetness and green coloring to dishes.
Pandan tastes like vanilla, so the main difference between a Vietnamese waffle and an American waffle is that there is no need for sweet toppings like maple syrup, fresh strawberries, or ice cream. The pandan waffles are sweet enough on their own, unlike regular waffles.
It’s customary to pick up these Vietnamese waffles from food truck vendors, and because you don’t need any toppings, they are easy to eat as you walk the streets.
Vietnamese Coconut Pandan Waffle Recipe
This recipe makes a decent amount of batter for at least five standard-size pandan waffles. Using all-purpose flour alone will make the waffle harden. (Who wants a tough waffle?!) That is why in this recipe, we will use a mixture of all-purpose flour, tapioca starch, and rice flour.
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup of Sugar
- 3/4 Cup of All-Purpose Flour or Self-Raising Flour
- 1 Cup of Tapioca Starch
- 1 Tbsp. of Rice Flour
- 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. of Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. of Salt
- 1 14-ounce can of Coconut Cream
- 2 Tbsp. of Melted Butter
- 1 Tbsp. of Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 tsp. of Pandan Paste
- 1/2 tsp. of Flavoring Pandan Essence
Pandan Essence is an extract made from leaves of the pandan (screwpine) plant is also known as Pandan Extract. You can click here to order it here for less than $5 on Amazon.
1. Preheat and grease a waffle iron with vegetable oil.
If you’re in the market for a waffle maker, I suggest the Stainless Steel Oster Belgian Waffle Maker. You can click here to buy it on Amazon for just $18.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs (egg whites and egg yolk) with sugar until they’re creamy. Then, set them aside to use later. I prefer my electric mixer by KitchenAid found here on Amazon.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the tapioca starch, rice flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Stir in the coconut cream, melted butter, pandan essence, and pandan paste with the egg mixture until it’s smooth with no stiff peaks.
5. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing bowl. Your batter should be slightly thick and have lumps.
6. Pour the resulting batter onto hot waffle iron on a low setting.
7. Cook for just one minute or until its outer edges are golden brown.
8. Let it cool down a little bit on a cooling rack, then serve. You can freeze any leftovers for a few weeks. To make it crispy again, just reheat it to a crisp in the toaster oven.
9. Feel free to dress the dessert up with fresh pandan leaves or dried pandan leaves found here for $7 on Amazon.
Here is a baking tip: Let the pandan waffle batter rest for at least one hour. This improves the texture of the fresh coconut pandan waffles. Leaving it on the counter is fine before baking, but you can also seal it in a classic zip-top bag and keep the waffle mix in the refrigerator for up to a week for family recipe uses.
For the most popular recipe on this blog, butter cake, click here.