Pancake Day: Asian Pancake Recipes
With Pancake Day approaching on the 13th February, we thought we would put an Oriental twist on the event and share some of our favourite Asian pancake recipes. From sweet and savoury to traditional and inventive, there’s a recipe for all to try!
These are the ultimate Chinese pancake experience. These wafer-thin pancakes are typically used to wrap around scrumptious meat fillings such as mu-shu pork or Peking duck. If you have too many for one meal, these pancakes can be popped in the fridge or freezer and steamed when you want them reheated. With only three ingredients it may seem simple, but you may need a little practice to get the perfect thickness and ideal crispiness! This recipe will provide twelve pancakes.
250g plain flour
177 ml boiling water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1) Mix the flour and boiling water together in a bowl using a wooden spoon until it is doughy.
2) Sprinkle some flour onto a board and gather the dough together and knead it until it is smooth. Cover the mixture with a tea towel and leave it to rest for thirty minutes.
3) Shape the dough into an even sausage shape with your hands, and then cut the dough into twelve slices with a sharp knife. These slices should be around an inch thick each.
4) With floured hands, roll and then flatten each piece, so that they are round and thin (they don’t have to be pancake thin yet though!)
5) Brush sesame oil onto each of the pancakes, then place the oiled side of one onto the oiled side of another and flatten. You should have six pairs.
6) Using a floured rolling pin, roll each pair so that they are thin, and around seven inches in diameter. Turn the pancake over so that you can press it evenly on both sides.
7) Heat an ungreased non-stick pan to a medium-high heat and place one pair pancake in at a time. Heat each side for around a minute until it starts to gain a few brown spots and bubbles and then flip and let the other side cook for around forty seconds.
8) While they are hot, find the edge of the two pancakes and separate them into two thin pancakes. Wrap each in foil to keep them warm and to stop them from drying out. Serve with the filling of your choice and enjoy!
Hotteok is a sweet dessert pancake from Korea, which can often be found sold by street vendors in Seoul. This warm and spicy nibble is the perfect winter warmer for this chilly February weather. Combining chewy dough, filled with oozing hot cinnamon syrup, with a crispy fried outside, you’ll want to enjoy these pancakes for breakfast, snacks and desserts – maybe even for lunch and dinner too! This recipe will make ten pancakes.
130g plain flour
130g sweet rice flour
1 tsp instant dry yeast
177ml warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
65g brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
30g chopped nuts (street vendors typically use peanuts, but other nuts, such as walnuts, work well too)
1) The first step is to make the yeast. To do this, you will need to add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp yeast to the warm water (not boiling). This needs to be left to rest for around ten minutes in a warm place, so that it doesn’t cool down too much.
2) In another bowl, mix the two flours and the salt together. When the yeast is ready, combine it with the dry mixture, which should produce a wet dough. Let this rest at room temperature for around three hours, and the dough should double in size.
3) While you wait, prepare the filling by mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Make sure that the nuts are chopped finely, as if they are too coarse this can cause the dough to break.
4) When the dough is ready, heat at least three tablespoons of oil over a medium heat. With a little oil on your hands, take a small ball of dough and flatten it until it is a little bigger than the palm of your hand. Add a couple of teaspoons of the filling mix to the middle of the dough and then fold the corners into the middle and press it closed, making a round ball again.
5) Drop the ball from your hand into the pan. Using an oiled spatula, slowly press the hotteok so that it is flattened. Avoid doing this too quickly or hard, as this can cause the filling to leak out! Fry each for 3-4 minutes until they begin to brown and crisp. Repeat for each pancake.
6) Leave to cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!
Chinese Red Bean Paste Pancake
This variation on the traditional Chinese scallion pancake provides a softer and sweeter alternative to the crispy and savoury original. The addition of red bean oriental pastes is what gives these pancakes their sweet flavouring, as well as the hints of colour. This recipe will make five pancakes.
192g plain flour
100ml hot water + 40ml cold water
5-6 tbsp. red bean paste
1 tsp oil
1) With the flour in a bowl, slowly add in the hot water, stirring as you pour. Combine it well before adding in the cold water and mixing.
2) Add ½ tsp oil to the mixture and then begin kneading the dough for around five minutes until smooth. If the dough gets too sticky, add in some more oil. Cover the kneaded dough in cling film or a tea towel and let it rest for twenty minutes.
3) Divide the dough into five equal portions. Roll each portion into a flat pancake shape.
4) Spread around a tablespoon of red bean paste onto each pancake. Roll each pancake up so that it forms a sausage shape, then begin to wrap this into a round spiral shape. This will ensure that the bean paste is spread evenly throughout and will give the pancake more layers and texture! Flatten the dough again so that it is a thick pancake shape.
5) With a thin layer of oil in the pan, fry each side over a medium heat; the first side for five minutes, and the other side for two or three minutes.
Which of these oriental pancake recipes will you be trying?