Saturday, 20 August 2011
Spring Onion Pancakes/Chong Yao Beng
Despite a banal ingredients list, spring onion pancakes are great when done right- soft and crisp, hot and oily, similar to paratha. Restaurants serving dim sum will normally have them on the menu. They are really cheap and easy to make at home too, where you have the benefit of being able to eat them at their peak, straight out of the pan.
The pancakes could be made as an addition to a larger Chinese meal, or as a snack served with condiments alongside. I like chilli oil, toasted sesame oil or sometimes just on their own, sprinkled with some flaky sea salt. In this instance, I made them to go alongside the sweet potato soup, which I know is lacking in any authenticity whatsoever. But I was cooking for myself, so was not tied by such constraints, or felt obliged to explain the pairing to any would-be food critics. The important thing was that they went nicely, as I thought they might.
Ingredients- makes 4
150g plain flour
4 spring onions, finely chopped
4 tbsp flavourless oil- vegetable, sunflower or groundnut
Put the flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt, mix in the water to make a dough. You may need a little more flour to make it less sticky, but it should be very soft. Divide into 4 pieces.
Flour a board and rolling pin. Roll out one of the dough balls as thinly as you can into a rough circle. Sprinkle over a quarter of the chopped spring onion with a small pinch of salt. Roll up like a sausage, and then roll this into a snail. Flatten the snail with your hand to push the coils altogether, reshape a little with your hands to make a circle. I made them about 10cm in diameter. Repeat with the remaining three pieces of dough.
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a frying pan. Put in the uncooked pancakes, and fry on each side until golden brown and crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle.