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.

Ginger and green onion mud crab

Starting off with something special

We headed off to the fish markets on the weekend to stock up on some seafood and decided to get a live mud crab, which isn’t something I eat regularly. However, I do like it cooked with ginger and green onions like the way they do in Chinese restaurants. I looked around other blogs/sites for a recipe and most of them included chicken stock, green onion and ginger (obviously) in their ingredient list…So I kind of mashed them together to create this recipe. Enjoy Image

Recipe

Ingredients

1 Mud crab

2 tbsp corn flour

4 tbsp oil

2 cm of ginger sliced

2-3 whole peeled garlic cloves- squash them a bit with the back of the knife

2 green onions- cut into 4-5 cm segments

Splosh of shaoxing wine

Seasoning

1 tbsp Oyster sauce

3/4 cup of chicken stock (best if unsalted)

1 tsp sugar

a pinch of salt to taste

dash of white pepper

Corn flour solution

1 heaped tsp of corn flour

1-2 tbsp water

Steps

1. Humanely kill the crab. We followed the rspca guidlines and put it into the freezer for 1hr and then proceeded to cut it up. To take apart the crab, Sydney Fish Markets have put up a really informative video on youtube so go there for more info. Remember to scrub and remove any algae or mud.

2. Pat the crab dry and coat with the 2tbsp of cornflour. This will make sure the sauce sticks to it later for finger licking goodness!

3. Heat the oil in the wok on high heat until it is really hot then carefully slide in the crab pieces

4. Fry for around 2 min, turning the pieces occasionally.

5. Take out of wok and set aside. If there is not enough oil left in the wok add a bit more.

6. Add the ginger and garlic to the wok. Don’t let the ginger or garlic burn, but at the same time let them cook a bit for their aroma and flavour to come out.

7. Add the crab back into the wok, stir it a bit.

8. Add a splosh of shaoxing wine

9. Add in the seasoning, mix it a bit and then put on the wok lid for around 4 minutes to let the crab cook through. You can turn the heat to medium.

10. Open lid and taste, add salt/sugar/ pepper if needed. Also if there is not a lot of liquid left, add a little water or chicken stock (not too much). Taste again.

11. Add in the corn flour solution to thicken the sauce. Do this whilst stirring so it doesn’t clump. Add in the green onion pieces and give it another stir

12. Dish out and enjoy with some rice

Note:

Usually this dish is best served with some e-fu noodles, to soak up all the delicious sauce, but if you can’t get it, serve with rice.

Also, make sure when you are chopping up the crab, use the back of your knife to sharply tap the shell on the claws until they crack. Make sure the shell is broken up extensively so it is easier to eat. Don’t forget, because it is torturous having to break that shell yourself when eating.