By now, I think most people would have eaten or heard of Peking duck. And most should also be accustomed to having it wrapped with shallots in a thin pancake. It’s so popular nowadays that even movie theatres lists Peking duck pancakes on their menus.
However, I think it is near to impossible to make the authentic version at home. I’ve heard of blow dryers and pumping air between skin etc… so no, I would not attempt such a thing. There is a cheat’s version though which isn’t really Peking duck, but if you’re having cravings it will satisfy to some extent. All you need is a roast duck from a Chinese bbq vendor and a packet of Peking duck pancakes from an Asian grocer and you’re almost set. Just remember when you’re buying the duck, buy it whole and ask them whether they have any Peking duck sauce. They might give you some for free. Next, julienne some spring onions and cut some cucumber batons (watery seeds removed) as part of the filling. Finally, carve away pieces of duck skin starting from the breast and working around to the back. A bit of meat attached to the pieces is fine too and you may also find yourself ripping away pieces with your hands…
And that’s it! All you do now is wrap it all up in a lovely steamed pancake and onomom away
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.
- 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
- Oil for frying pancake
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Twist up the sausage into a spiral so it looks like a snails shell.
- 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.
- Heat generous oil in pan on medium heat and place in pancake when pan is hot.
- Brown one side and then flip and brown the other side.
- 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.