The journey to perfectly made Vietnamese pancakes starts with knowing your limitations, writes MICHELLE BALTAZAR.

There are times when a Pinay-Aussie finds herself halfway through a beautifully prepared Vietnamese pancake at a restaurant and says to herself, "I should try and make these at home." Famous last words.

But once an Australian-Filipina commits to a mission, she is unstoppable, even if that mission is impossible, say,

There is something about admitting the error of one's ways like posting about it on the internet that can be wonderfully liberating. So, here it is, the nine steps to making PERFECT and DELICIOUS Vietnamese Pancakes: A Survivor's Story.

Step 1: Google "How to make Vietnamese Pancakes" and click on the first link (luckily, it was the's recipe). So far, so good.

Step 2: Go to Woolie's and purchase ingredients that you don't have in stock at home. That's EVERYTHING then.

Step 3: Go home, feeling super proud of yourself, and proceed to unpack groceries.

Step 4: Discover that you forgot "coconut milk" and go back to Woolie's. This time, buy some shampoo.

Step 5: Follow the recipe, then accept that you are not perfect. Or maybe, it's the recipe's fault. First batch will look ugly. Deal with it.


what is going on

what is going on

what is going on
First try
First try

Step 6: Seek validation and share with your closest friends the photos of the wreck that is your first go at Vietnamese pancakes. Supportive comments on WhatsApp enable you to sleep that night.

I don't deserve them
I don't deserve them

Step 7: Try again the following day. This time, do the following: buy Peanut Oil (no, the substitute vegetable oil doesn't work), buy chicken and prawns (you think you can go vegetables only as it's a lot healthier, think again) and pour less of the mix on the pan (trial and error).

Voila! Progress!

It can be done
It can be done

Step 8: Take photos of said pancakes and show to friends (again). Enjoy pancakes while checking Instagram.

Bon appetit
Bon appétit

Step 9: Calculates cost of all ingredients (around $40) plus avg labour cost x 3 hours ($75) versus going to the same restaurant again ($9). Three times ($27).

Okay, verdict is in. The experience was life-affirming but I know better: next time, I am dining OUT!

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