Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mmmm. Scallion Pancakes. (Part II)

You're missing an awfully delicious photo.

I made Scallion Pancakes (Recipe: Basil & Ginger) this weekend, and although I *love* them, TM tends to be a neaderthal and likes a little some more a humugous slab of meat with his meals.

Me, I could live with eating meat only 2-3 times a week, but since I've moved in with him, I've kind of been forced to cook and eat meat more often than usual. Perhaps this is the reason behind my recent emotional state? Possibly.

Anyways I made some more scallion pancakes yesterday with the dough left over from the weekend. Let me say, the recipe is delicious as it is, and the simplicity of it allows lots of room for adjustments and additions of yummy ingredients. Last time I used a sweet Thai chili sauce & cream cheese in place of the butter, yesterday I added in some diced cooked Chinese sausage (lap cheong) into the mix and dipped the finished product in sambal oolek. Heavenly. Or, perhaps devilish if you consider the fiery sambal.

Chinese Sausage & Scallion Pancakes. Or in Chinese, Lap Cheong Chong Yau Bang. Deliciously simple, with three main ingredients: cooked finely diced Chinese sausage, sliced scallions / green onions, and the dough, comprised of 4 parts all purpose flour, 1 part warm water, salt to taste, and oil / lard for cooking.

First, you roll out the dough into thin discs, after letting them rest sufficiently. Last time I followed the recipe and rolled out the dough *right* at 30 minutes. This time, I waited an hour before I touched them again. It seemed to work, as the dough was more relaxed and allowed me to roll it out nice and thin. I then slathered (I mean that!) the dough with melted butter, and sprinkled liberally with the cooked sausage and green onion.

Starting from one side of the disc, roll the dough tightly around the filling, pressing lightly as you go, into a long cigar shape. This helps create the layers of the finished product.

Think of it as puff pastry, or pie crust. The layers of water and fat sandwiched between layers of thin pastry helps create the fluffy, flakey layers later.

I coiled the cigar shape into a spiral, and tucked the ends under. You want to keep in all the filling, and try to keep a uniform shape.

At this point, I wanted to cool down the coiled spiral as it was a warm day - if I rolled it out right after forming the coils, I would chance loosing the layers as the butter was still really soft. I refrigerated the covered coils for about half an hour.

After letting them cool down, I rolled those suckers flat! I took care not to exert too much pressure (and risk the dough breaking and all those precious goodies falling out!), and tried to keep a uniform circle shape.

After rolling, the pancakes went into a heated pan with a generous amount of oil to crisp up. Don't be stingey with the oil. It helps keep the browning as uniform as possible, and helps cook the pancake!

I think I ate about one and a half of these while cooking. :p

TM liked this batch better than the previous meatless ones, and the sausage did provide more umami notes. I still like the simplicity of the green onion, but I'd like to try making some with dried pork floss, chili oils, or possibly even a sweet hoisin peanut one. Mmm. The possibilities are *endless*!

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