Sunday, February 27, 2011

蔥油餅 Scallion Flatcakes

Tai loves these things to death. If they weren't such a bitch to make, I'm sure he'd ask for them every week. As it stands, they are currently a once-every-three-weeks-or-so thing (although, I think that they are freeze-able, so next time I might just make an enormous batch and freeze half of it for later :D)

This is the Taiwan-style, which are thin, layered and crispy on the edges. I just had Shanghai-style flatcakes the other day at a restaurant, and those were deep-fried and puffy (I like mine better ^o^)

蔥油餅 Scallion Flatcakes
For 6 flatcakes

1 cup flour
1/2 cup warm or hot (but not burning) water, plus more as needed

1 bunch green onions
salt
sesame oil (optional, but definitely recommended)
vegetable/canola oil

rolling pin
food/sauce brush (optional, silicon works the best!)

Method
1. Put the flour in a bowl and add the hot/warm water. Mix it with your hands and knead, adding more water as needed until the dough holds together and is smooth.
2. Cover it with a wet paper or cloth towel and let it rise for half an hour at least.
3. In the meantime, wash, trim, and chop up the green onions. Mix a couple drop of sesame oil with a quarter cup or so of vegetable/canola oil, if using. Wrap your salt dispenser with a paper towel and tape or rubber band it in place (this keeps your soon-to-be oily hands from mucking it up.) Get out a shallow lidded container to store the flatcake balls in. Finally, clear off a bit chunk of counter space to work with and lightly dust with flour.
4. At this point, your dough is probably risen enough. Punch it down and knead it some more. Tear off a doughnut-hole size chunk (alternatively, roll it out into a log and cut into 6 even pieces).
5. Roll out your chunk as thinly as possible, rotating as you roll so it doesn't stick to the counter or rolling pin.
6. Brush your disc of dough with oil (or drizzle and smear with your hands, if you're not using a brush). Sprinkle with salt and rub it in evenly. Scatter a scant handful of scallions on top.
7. Roll up the dough into a tube, taking care to get all the scallion bits in there. Then roll the tube up into a cinnamon roll shape, pinching the end to secure (it usually unravels anyways, no biggie).
8. Put the ball in the shallow container and drizzle with some more oil (straight from the bottle, not mixed with the sesame oil, if using).
9. Repeat steps 5-8 until the dough it all used up.
10. Pour the leftover sesame oil mixture (if using) into the shallow container. Add enough oil to just cover all the rolls of dough. Put it in the fridge overnight (you can use it straightaway, but it turns out much crispier than if you let it sit.)
11. Heat up some oil (I like to scoop up oil from the container) in a nonstick skillet on medium. While it's heating, take out one of the dough rolls and roll it out with the rolling pin. The flatter it is the crispier it will turn out (I like it medium crisp, so I roll mine out about 75% of potential flatness.)
12. Put the flatcake in the skillet and fry it until it is clear-ish on top and nicely browned underneath (see photo above for level of brown-ness.) Flip it over and and fry until both sides are the nicely browned.
13. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat steps 11-12 as desired.
14. Chop the flatcake(s) into wedges and serve with dipping sauce if desired (see recipe below)

Happy Cooking!

Dipping Sauce
2 t.Soy sauce
1 t. Oriental Worcestershire or Black Vinegar
1 t. Mushroom/Oyster sauce
Drop sesame oil
Couple drops water, as needed if it gets too salty.

Mix all ingredients and serve.



2 comments:

  1. These are so yummy! Are the Shanghai style ones 蔥抓餅? Those are really yummy too :)

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  2. I don't think so; the sign said shang hai shi4 蔥油餅 (no Chinese on this comp D:) and they weren't as fluffy as 蔥抓餅 ^^

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