Shallot pancake

I haven’t really been home for dinner recently, let alone cook it, so this post is a quickie. Its a great afternoon snack to make on the weekend and only consists of flour, water, shallots (or spring onions), oil and salt. Literally.

Usually you can get these frozen at most Asian grocers but as usual they are a bit stingy on shallots and only offer incy wincy slivers of it. I remember making this a couple of years back but forgot how. After doing some google searches, I found two variations. One with more water and another with less.

Unfortunately, going with the one with more water was a mistake as it ended up being quite difficult to roll without getting very very frustrated with its general stickiness to anything. So for the recipe use only 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water instead of 1 like me.

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Recipe

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of warm water
  • Half a cup of shallots chopped somewhat finely but not overly so
  • Sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying pancake
  1. Mix flour with warm water and slowly bring together in bowl before kneading into uniform ball on bench top. Rest for at least 30 min in fridge
  2. Dividing the dough into around 4 chunks, take the first one and roll out thinly on floured bench top, around 2 mm in thickness. It should be roughly circle shaped.
  3. Rub sesame oil all over the flattened surface and scatter on the shallots evenly but sparsely. Season with a bit of salt. The key is not to over do the shallots. Only scatter just enough or else they’ll burst out when you roll out the pancake.
  4. Start rolling up the dough like a swiss roll, rolling up the shallots as you go along. You should be left with a long 4-5cm wide sausage. The tighter you roll up, the more layers you are going to get when you fry it.
  5. Twist up the sausage into a spiral so it looks like a snails shell.
  6. Flatten the spiral with a rolling pin until around 0.5-1cm thick. That’s one pancake done, now repeat for the other pieces of dough.
  7. Heat generous oil in pan on medium heat and place in pancake when pan is hot.
  8. Brown one side and then flip and brown the other side.
  9. Drain on some paper towel and serve with your own choice of dipping sauce. I went with a concoction of black vinegar with water, sugar and soy.
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Shandong style chicken

I’ve always thought deboning meat was a finnicky and complicated procedure best left to professionals. However, since learning how to debone a chicken thigh from youtube, I’ve felt empowered…. Seriously, when I laid out that thigh meat with no bones attached I felt like I had performed magic. So naturally, I turned to the whole chicken as my next deboning project. Thankfully, these days you can learn just about anything from youtube and deboning chicken is made easier with videos like this.

Deboned chicken is perfect for a dish like shandong chicken which speeds up the frying time and prevents greasy fingers :P. I’ve had different variations of Shandong chicken in restaurants with some serving the chicken crispy while others steamed the chicken post frying. However, vinegar is the one element which should be present in all recipes. For my recipe, most of the flavour comes from the seasoned batter and the punchy vinegar dressing.

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I ran out of spring onions from the garden for the garnish so the picture looks kind of plain, but I promise it tastes better than it looks.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken boned (I kept the thigh bone in place). Chop into large pieces.
  • 3 tbsp self raising flour
  • 3 tsp spicy bake mix seasons. It looks like this. If you don’t have it don’t worry
  • 3 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger ground
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • Water
  • Oil for frying
  • Green onion sliced roughly
  • 1 red chilli sliced roughly

Vinegar sauce

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • half cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp black vinegar from asian grocery
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt

Steps

  1. Mix together the flour, seasons, five spice, salt, white pepper, ginger ground and sugar.
  2. Add in oil tablespoon by tablespoon until a very thick paste forms
  3. Slowly add in 1 tablespoon of water at a time, mixing it in until the mixture resembles something like a thin pancake batter.
  4. Heat oil in pan/wok at around 2 cm height on medium-high heat.
  5. Pat dry the chicken and coat in batter.
  6. Slowly place chicken into hot oil. Fry in batches
  7. Fry on one side for 4-5 minutes and flip and fry other side for 4-5 minutes. Time of frying depends on cut of chicken. Thigh takes longer than breast.
  8. Drain and place on paper towel. Keep warm in oven
  9. To make sauce, heat a pot with brown sugar until it starts turning into caramel
  10. Add in chicken stock.
  11. Add in soy and vinegar and taste.
  12. Season with salt, taste and pour out into serving bowl.
  13. With a little oil from the frying, quickly fry off green onion and chilli pieces for ~1min. Take out and reserve.
  14. Serve chicken and garnish with green onion and chilli. Spoon as much vinegar dressing onto chicken as preferred.
  15. Enjoy!

Note: You can use the chicken carcass to make a stock and using the fried chicken oil, you can boil some chicken flavoured rice.