Shrimp, Canadian Bacon and Egg Pancake

June 20, 2017


One of my Mama’s least favorite things about going on vacation was cleaning out the refrigerator beforehand.

“Seven days is deadly, and ten is even worse,” she’d say, scanning the shelves and pushing items around. “Anything with a suspicion of stinking, you have to get it out of there. Who wants to come home to Murder in the Produce Drawer?”

She had a point. The thought of opening the refrigerator and finding liquefied lettuce makes my skin crawl, so I’m ruthless about perishable goods before we go on a trip. Unlike Mama, though, I kind of relish the process, because the few days before leaving for said trip? I take those days as a dare, of sorts. How can I possibly use the odds and ends in the icebox before that last-ditch cleanout? What kind of meals can I cobble together with the remaining items in the refrigerator, without having to purchase anything extra?

To be fair, the freezer and the pantry are my friends during times like these. I’m a freezer and pantry pack-rat, so I can almost always dig up something. Frozen portobello ravioli? Check. Tupperware of chicken green chile from April? Check. Rice paper wrappers? Check. Along with the ubiquitous last meal of eggs, bacon and toast, I can usually manage to stretch my larder for a few spare days.

One thing is definitely a given: I always have frozen Chinese potstickers and soba noodles loitering about. So many weekday lunches, when I can’t find anything else that beckons, end up consisting of dumplings and some kind of bastardized dipping sauce. In dire and starving straits, I am the Duchess of Dumplings. They’re genius when you’re in a pinch, and we’re so lucky that most grocery stores carry some good–some even great–types of frozen potstickers now.

Confession: I do not like the most popular brand of frozen potstickers on shelves (Ling-Ling brand). I find them strangely sweet and off-putting. The Safeway store brand dumplings are quite good, and Sprouts Market has yummy ones, and if you are truly spoiled, like I am, and live near a Whole Foods, the Sister’s Dumplings are absolute heaven. I buy them six bags at a crack, in various flavors. So yeah, I eat a shitload of potstickers.

Before we left for our London/Ireland/Madrid trip, which I am very excited to tell you about soon, I was left in the position of cleaning out yet another dwindling stock of refrigerator items. I had (no surprise) dumplings in the freezer, and some onions and bell peppers that I could stir-fry, but–sad oversight–no soba or rice noodles to pull the whole thing together. Even sadder business? Only 1/4 cup of basmati rice in the pantry, so none of that, either. Who is the lazy whore who does the grocery shopping around here? Clearly, she’s a slacker. Bollocks!

A quick rummage through the freezer yielded a sorry 1/3 of a bag of cooked shrimp. Is anyone going to be able to feed people with 1/3 of a bag of shrimp? No. But with potstickers and some vegetables, I could maybe stretch those suckers into something that could round this half-baked meal out quite nicely.

This Asian egg pancake fit the bill. It utilized three more things I had necessity to use up: eggs, Canadian bacon and scallions. If you don’t have Canadian bacon, don’t worry. You can use regular cooked and crumbled bacon in its place or leave it out altogether. No scallion? Use diced red or sweet onion instead. No shrimp? That’s okay. Use whatever leftover protein you have on hand. Rotisserie chicken would work quite well. See where I’m going, here? This recipe is a dream if you have any leftover bits hanging around. Just throw ’em in there. It will still taste delicious and you’ll feel so smug, using up all of those potentially wasted foodstuffs.

Make this, eat up, and then finish packing your bags with a clear conscience.




Shrimp, Canadian Bacon and Egg Pancake

serves 4

adapted from Fine Cooking



6 large eggs

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

2 slices Canadian bacon, diced

1 cup loosely packed finely shredded cabbage

1/4 cup sliced scallion

12 cooked, peeled small shrimp


Position a rack in the center of the oven and set the broiler to high.

Whisk together the eggs, flour, pepper and salt. Set aside.

Whisk together soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chile flakes and set aside.

In a 12-inch cast-iron or oven safe skillet, heat 2 tablespoons peanut or filtered coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook until starting to crisp up.

Add the cabbage, scallion and shrimp to the egg mixture and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the skillet and spread evenly with a spatula.

Pop the skillet under the broiler and cook until the egg is set and golden, about 3 minutes, watching carefully so mixture doesn’t overcook.

Cut into wedges and serve with the dipping sauce.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

elizabeth June 23, 2017 at 4:53 am

I wish I was as good as you are in clearing out the fridge before a trip–we’ll figure out what to do with the proteins, but often there will be boxes of soggy lettuce and bags of rotted herbs when we get home.


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