Friday, January 2, 2009

Homemade Chinese Pancakes

I got in a pinch while back in the States for the holiday season trying to find Chinese pancakes to serve with my Crispy Duck. I tried finding them in an Asian supermarket but they happened to be sold out so instead of panicking I was determined to make some. So I found this recipe and miraculously made my own Chinese pancakes. Now I didn't get them rolled out as thin as I should have so they were a little thick but they tasted good. Not exactly the same as what you can easily find in your pre-made Crispy duck kits in your average UK grocery store but at least now I know how to make them if I can't find a place to buy them when I got back to the United States.

300 g plain flour (2 cups)
1 Tbsp sugar
240ml boiling water (2 cup)
6 Tbsp sesame oil


Put the flour and sugar in a bowl. Combine them together with a wooden spoon and then add the boiling water. Mix everything together until it forms a sticky dough. Next sprinkle the down with flour. Dust a work surface with flour as well. Begin to gently fold and knead the dough for a few minutes. Add more flour if needed. Knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and set aside for 30 minutes.

Uncover the dough. Cut it in half. Rub a rolling pin with flour and roll out one half of the dough into a thin sheet (1/2 cm thick - just over 1/8"). Using a 7 cm (2 3/4") round cookie cutter (I used the end of a glass cup if you don't have a cookie cutter), cut circles into the sheet of dough. Brush each circle with a little of the sesame oil. Place one disc on top of another, oil sides together, to create pairs. Cover with towel to retain the moisture.

Re-flour the work surface. Take each pair and use a rolling pin to make them paper thin. Cover them again with a towel to retain the moisture.

Next in a hot frying pan (no oil), let them cook 1 1/2 minutes until charred and slightly inflated. Then turn over and cook.

Remove and separate them. Keep them covered with a towel so they don't dry out. You can eat them right away or if you are preparing them ahead of time they can be chilled or frozen. Just steam a bit them when you are ready to eat.

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