As you bite into the crispy pancake, the layers of the flaky crust crumble and cake your lips. Then you bite into succulent, savory pork that is balanced out with fresh, green spring onion and you know there is a party going on in your mouth. How does this pancake pack so much flavor and texture? It’s no secret. These traditional Chinese pancakes are a very popular street food in Asia. Although it takes a couple hours to make, it is completely worth it. Difficulty level? Easy to medium. You can make it, and you should make it right now!
For the dough:
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp oil
- For oil paste: 3 tbsp. oil and 3 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
For the filling:
- 1/2 lb. ground pork (a less lean % is preferable for this recipe. This is NOT a healthy recipe)
- 1/2 c. chopped spring onion
- 1 tsp. five spice powder
- salt and white pepper to taste
- Combine 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour, water, and 1 tbsp. oil in a bowl and knead with hands until there are no lumps. Do not over knead. Cover with a damp paper towel and place on the side for an hour.
- Combine all the pork filling ingredients and set aside for a minimum of 1 hour to marinade. You can prepare the meat filling as early as you want because the longer the meat marinades, the more flavor there will be.
- In a pan on medium heat, heat 3 tbsp. all purpose flour until slightly brown and then add the oil until a paste forms. Set aside.
- Roll out the dough onto a floured surface into a rectangle that is 1/2 cm. thick. Spread all of the oil-flour paste onto the dough, covering all of the dough. Roll up the rectangular dough, rolling so that the dough is horizontally longer. Once the dough is rolled, cut the dough into 8 even parts.
- For each dough ball, flatten and roll flat into a circular shape, about 1/2 cm. thick. Try to roll so that very little to none of the oil flour paste spills out. Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoon meat mixture in the middle and bring all sides of the dough to the middle. Pinch the middle so the meat mixture is completely sealed inside.
- Roll out the ball of dough into a flat oval so the dough is 1/4 cm. thick. Do this step carefully so the dough does not tear.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on the dough and press into dough w/ fingers or rolling pin.
- In a nonstick pan on medium low heat without oil, place the pancakes inside. I fit 3 or 4 in my pan so I made 2 batches.Cook for about 10-15 min. or until the bottom is golden and you begin to see the layers of the crust. Flip to the other side and cook for about 10-15 min. Once both sides are cooked, repeatedly flip back and forth about every 2 min to ensure the pancake is fully cooked. The whole cooking process should take about 35 min.
- Place pancakes on a cooling rack for 3 min. and eat the pancakes when they’re hot.
Wow… yes that’s a lot of steps, but the entire process is quite fun if you love working with dough. The steps seem tedious but they are actually simple to follow and you end up with a lovely pancake that you can use to serve, and surprise your friends and family!