Friday, July 29, 2011

Crisp Savory Crêpe Pockets: Sri Lankan Chinese Rolls

This tasty treat is a Sri Lankan favorite that falls into the category of popular dishes referred to as “Short Eats”. Sri Lanka’s version of hors d’oeuvres, short eats are usually served at snack time and at parties. A children’s favorite, housewives and cafes turn out short eats that are staples and new variations that are mouth-wateringly tasty. The Sri Lankan Chinese Roll is quite different from the well known Chinese spring rolls and egg rolls popular in the west. This tasty short eat is a type of crêpe with a filled center of fish, meat or vegetable wrapped into a roll, coated with bread crumbs, and deep fried to a golden brown. It is then served with ketchup or MD Tomato Sauce.

In this recipe I refer to them as Crêpe Pockets since I find folding them over into near rectangular parcels easier than shaping them into rolls. This style also allows for more filling to be placed in the center. The versatility of this dish is such that, by being creative with the filling, it can be turned into a one dish lunch or dinner allowing you to sneak in vegetables that children are usually reluctant to eat. It can also be made in advance and frozen to be deep fried before serving.

The following recipe yields around 15 pockets.


15oz Tuna in water no salt added
1 cup Cabbage shredded
2 cups Carrot grated
½ cup Celery chopped
1 Tomato chopped
1 small Onion chopped
1 teaspoon garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ginger chopped
2 Tablespoons Curry leaves (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil

Place a 10 inch skillet on medium heat and add oil. When the oil is hot add onions, garlic, ginger and celery. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and stir fry until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots and once again season with a little salt and pepper and continue to cook a further 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato and fish season as before and stir fry the fish while mixing with spatula for another 2 minutes. Add cabbage; mix and stir fry for a further minute or two at most, just long enough to allow the cabbage to wilt. Take off the heat and adjust salt and pepper as desired.


1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 medium eggs
1 cup 2% milk
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup Canola Oil

Makes around 15 thin crêpes using a ¼ measure cup filled ⅔ of the way up.

Mix all ingredients using an electric blender or a hand whisk. Place a 6 inch skillet on medium heat and brush with oil. Add liquid mixture at the far inside edge of the pan; swirl the pan to coat base and form a round pancake. Cook on one side for a minute or so just long enough for the crêpe to set. Flip over and cook another minute and remove crêpe from the pan. The crêpe should be cooked through but not browned.

Place a heaped tablespoon of filling at the center of the crêpe; fold the sides over each other. Turn the pocket with the folds facing down and place on a plate. I follow this method before making the next crêpe as it allows the crêpe pocket to set as it cools down and hold its shape for the next step.

Breadcrumb Coating & Frying

3 cups bread crumbs (Safeway Original)
2 eggs beaten
4 cups of Canola oil

Dip the crêpe pockets in the egg. Shake off excess egg wash and place on a bed of breadcrumbs.

Coat the pocket with bread crumbs, gently shake off excess breadcrumbs and set aside.

Heat the oil in a deep pan on medium heat. When the oil is around 375 F, fry in batches of around 3 to 4 pockets at a time. Once removed from the oil, place the pockets on a tray or plate lined with kitchen towels which will help removed any excess oil. Serve the pockets with a fresh salad of your choice and some ketchup.

Note: If you would like to try MD Tomato Sauce which is a Sri Lankan favorite, it is available at and at Bombay Spice House (if you are in the San Francisco bay area).


  1. This is what I have been searching in many websites and I finally found it here. Amazing article.

  2. This is what I have been searching in many websites and I finally found it here. Amazing article.



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