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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

CHINESE PANCAKES . . . are as good as tacos!


The first time I had Mu Shu Pork and Chinese Pancakes was with Diana and Bill in Winnipeg and it was a knock-out experience.  The next time I had Chinese Pancakes was with Peking Duck . . .  again, wow!  After that, I ordered Chinese Pancakes whenever I saw them on a menu . . . which wasn’t all that often.

In recent years, crisp Iceberg Lettuce Leaves have been substituted for the pancakes, and they’re really good, but I’ve never forgotten those pancakes.  Then I came across this recipe for them . . . but it looked rather complicated . . . sticking bits of dough together, rolling them out, and pulling them apart!  I flipped to a recipe for something entirely different and easier.

Finally, I decided I’d try it.  If it didn’t work, I’d quickly cook up some rice to go with the meat.  

        But it turned out to be one of those things that just look really hard to do! 

CHINESE PANCAKES
        From The Encyclopedia of Regional Chinese Cooking: with recipes from Kenneth Lo’s Chinese Cookery School and Memories of China Restaurant

1 lb (or 1 ½ cups) white flour
1 cup (8 fl oz) boiling water
3/8 cup (3 fl oz) cold water

2 to 2 ½ tsp sesame oil

·        Stir boiling water into the flour and mix well.
·        Add the cold water.
·        Knead the dough until smooth.  (It seemed a bit sticky and lumpy but I didn’t use any extra flour on the counter and kneading it did make it smooth after a few minutes.)
·        Cover and let dough rest 15 minutes.
·        Lightly flour your working surface. 
·        Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
·        Roll one piece into a long sausage shape 12 inches long.
·        Cut the roll into 1 inch lengths.  Lay the pieces down on a cut side with the other cut side facing up.
·        Flatten each piece with your hand into a small round shape.


·        Lightly brush the top surfaces with sesame oil.
·        Stick the pancakes together in pairs, oiled sides inward.

·       Roll these out until about 7 inches in diameter.


·       Set a dry frying pan over medium heat.


·        Cook each pancake on one side for about 10 to 20 seconds until lightly browned (the top may look like it’s bubbling a little).  The first pancake will take longer if you don’t really heat up the pan.

·        Flip each pancake and cook about 10 seconds.  Check underneath for burning and lower heat a bit if necessary.  I had to take the pan off the heat sometimes.

·        Remove pancake from the pan and separate the pancakes quickly, pulling the rounds apart. 
You may find this very hot for your fingers!
·        Stack the separated pancakes in a pile, oiled sides up, and cover with greaseproof paper.

Before serving, reheat in a steamer, fold in quarters, and place on serving dish.

Serve with Red-Cooked Beef, Mu Shu Rou, or Sliced Duck, etc.  (The zucchini were nice as a side dish.)