Sunday, 12 December 2010

Recipe: Chung Yao Bing/葱油饼/Chinese Scallion Pancake


The first time I tried Chinese scallion pancake (Chung Yao Bing) was in Hong Kong. I'm a huge lover of scallions, so this little snack is like scallion heaven to me. Scallion pancake is eaten like a snack or like sidedish in China. What makes this pancake so special is that instead of batter, the pancake is made with dough. Crispy on the outside, flaky in the inside, a little bit chewy and last but not least the taste of spring onion should burst out of the pancake with each bite you take. This is my ideal Chung Yao Bing.










Ingredients

- Makes 3 -
250 g all-purpose flour, some extra for dusting
110 ml warm water
salt
spring onions, depending on how much you like them. I used 4. Some people say to only use the green part, but personally I think  the white part contains the most 'scallion' taste (does this even makes sense?).
50 g vegetable oil


Directions

  1. Sift flour into a big bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the warm water and slowly mix to a dough.
  2. Cover the dough with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.
  4. Working with one portion of dough at a time, place the dough on a lightly flour surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out to a circle (Try to roll out as thin as possible. The thinner you can roll, the more layers / more flaky your pancake will be)
  5. Brush the surface with oil and spread it all over the dough.
  6. Sprinkle with some salt and spread it all over the dough
  7. Sprinkle with the chopped spring onion. Leave the top of the top free of spring onion. This will make it easier to seal the dough.
  8. Starting with the edge closest to you, roll up the dough and pinch the ends to seal in the spring onion and oil.
  9. Lightly flatten the roll, then roll it up again from one end like a snail, pinching the end to seal it.
  10. Press the dough down with the palm of your hand. Roll out to a circle. It is ok if the dough 'burst' and the scallion peeks out. This will give the chance for the scallion to bake, which will even make it more flavourful!
  11. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat with a tbsp of oil or lard.
  12. Add one pancake at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning once, until the pancake is light golden brown and crisp.
  13. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

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