Friday, August 21, 2009

Scallion Pancakes

I'm finding my footing with doughs lately; bread, pizza and in this case chinese scallion pancakes. Having had a fear of making dough for the greater portion of my adult life, I'm now actively seeking recipes that start with flour and water. For those of you that are in the same boat as me, let me assure you, don't be intimidated. It's very easy, rewarding and fun.

Here's a recipe from Ming Tsai for scallion pancakes with a ginger dipping sauce that's not only delicious, but makes you feel like you added a notch on your cooking belt.

Here's what you need. Flour, water, scallions, sesame oil.

Sift the flour and then put it into your beloved food processor.

Then turn the machine on and slowly add the water through the feed tube until a ball forms. You might find that you do not need all of the water, or you might have to add a bit more.

Form a ball with the dough and cover it with a towel and let it hang for 30 minutes. Once it's thoroughly relaxed, roll the dough out into a large, thin rectangle.

Slowly stream 2 T of sesame oil onto the dough and spread it to cover the entire surface.

Sprinkle the scallions evenly over the dough.

And begin rolling the dough as if you were making cinnamon rolls, starting on the longer edge of your rectangle. Like so:

NOTE: I didn't flour the surface well enough so I helped to use my pastry scraper. Next time, I won't skimp on the flour.

Once you have your long skinny log, cut it into four equally sized pieces.

And here's the coolest part. Twist each length three times.

Then turn the end to meet, forming a circle. I'm sure there's a yoga name for this, like bending lotus position.

Repeat with the other three twisted dough logs.

When you are ready to cook these, heat your pan with a bit of oil in it. Take a disc and flatten it it with the palm of your hand and roll out with a rolling pin to a 5 - 6 inch circle. Brown on each side in the skillet until nicely crisped and golden.

Don't forget the make the dipping sauce! This is an excellent appetizer or side dish to any asian meal. In this case, it accompanied my thai lime basil pesto peanut noodles with chicken. Try saying that three times quickly!

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