These are crisp and brown on the outside, flavored with salt and
spring onions. Serve as a savory hors d'oeuvre, or to accompany rice
porridge. Traditionally they might be made with melted lard, but you may
prefer to use a light vegetable oil mixed with oriental sesame oil with
its wonderful toasted sesame flavor.
250 g/8 oz/2 cups all-purpose flour
190 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup boiling water,
plus 1 tablespoon extra
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
salt to taste
4 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
oil for shallow frying
Place flour in a bowl. Measure the boiling water and pour over
flour, stir with a spoon to moisten all the flour and, as soon as cool
enough to handle, knead hard for 10 minutes until smooth. Form a ball,
wrap in plastic and let dough rest for at least 30 minutes.
Form dough into a roll and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll each
portion on a lightly floured surface into thin pancakes about 25 cm (10
in) in diameter. Combine both kinds of oil, and brush some on top of
pancake. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons chopped spring
onions. Roll pancake like a Swiss roll, press ends to seal and coil up
the roll like a snail. Tuck the end into the middle. Flatten with the
hand, then roll once again on a lightly floured surface to a smaller
pancake than the first, about 12 cm (5 in) in diameter and 6 mm (1/4
in) thick. Repeat until all the pancakes are rolled.
Heat a heavy frying pan and add a tablespoon of oil. When hot add 1
pancake, turn heat low and cover pan with lid. Cook for 2 minutes, then
turn pancake over and cover for a further 2 minutes or until pancake is
golden brown on both sides. Do not have heat too high or the pancakes
will brown before the centre is cooked. Pressing centre of pancake with
a frying spatula helps it to brown evenly. Cut pancakes into 6
triangular pieces. Serve warm.
Makes 6 round pancakes which cut into 36 serving pieces.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)