Showing posts with label crispy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crispy. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Spring Onion Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

Flakey, light and tasty, these reduced oil spring onion pancakes are a crispy delight, dipped in a spicy, salty sauce.

Pancakes. Growing up this meant one thing. An ever-so-slightly sweet batter cooked to golden perfection on a buttered griddle pan, then slathered with more butter and syrup. Then I learned that if you are in the UK and order pancakes, you’ll get what I would call crepes. These are made with a much thinner batter and are properly eaten with a sprinkling of sugar and a good squeeze of lemon. In our family, my husband is the crepe master and our girls like to eat his special crepes with lemon, sugar AND some chocolate syrup.

I was just about grown up when I met my first Chinese pancake, which really isn’t related, except by shape, to either of the other two. Spring onion pancakes start out as a dough. There are no leavening agents, just some oil between the layers that makes them puff up and gives them their flakey texture.

Typically, spring onion pancakes can be a bit oily. After all, they are supposed to be shallow fried, plus the dough’s been oiled to make it separate into flaky layers. It may not be traditional, but at our house, we like my way better, which is to use a non-stick skillet, and just a little bit of oil to still get the necessary crunch.

For the pancakes:
2 1/3 cups or 290g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 156ml lukewarm water
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light vegetable oil
1/2 cup or 25g spring onions, minced

For the spicy dipping sauce:
1/3 cup or 80ml light soy sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon kecap manis or sweet dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions or chives
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small red chili pepper, sliced

Sift your flour into a large bowl, along with the salt. Make a well in the center and add in your lukewarm water.

Start on the inside of the well and gradually mix the flour into the water until it is all absorbed.

It looks quite dry but turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead it all together until you have a smooth stretchy dough.

Put the dough ball back into the bowl and pour over the 1/4 cup or 60ml of oil. Turn the ball to coat and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to rest for one hour.

While the dough rests, make the dipping sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

When the hour is up, remove the dough ball from the oil and set the bowl aside. We are going to use that oil to cook the pancakes, so don’t toss it out.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, cutting them with a sharp knife, then using your hands to rub the oil around each piece.

Use a rolling pin to roll each piece out into a circle of 6 in or 15cm. Sprinkle on the chopped green onions.

Roll the circle into a tube.

Starting at one end, roll the tube up into a spiral, tucking the end of the tube under. Press down on the spiral with the palm of your hand to secure the end.

Now use the rolling pin to roll the spiral into a circle of 6 in or 15cm. Set each aside on a lined baking sheet. Repeat till all of the pancakes are rolled out.

To cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over a medium heat and use your spatula to drip just a little of the oil from the dough resting bowl into the pan.
Cook each pancake for a couple of minutes on one side, watching carefully as it puffs up and gets golden spots on the underside.

Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side for another minute or two, until they puff again and have brown spots on that side. Keep the pancakes warm as you repeat the process until all of them are cooked.

Purists say you have to tear the pancakes and dip small bites into the sauce because cutting them flattens the flakiness. I’ve been served them whole or cut in many Chinese restaurants though, so do what makes you happy.

Do serve the spring onion pancakes warm, with the dipping sauce.


Are you a lover of pancakes? Then this month’s Foodie Extravaganza event is going to be your favorite! We’ve got all sorts of pancakes, both sweet and savory for you. Many thanks to Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking for hosting this month!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

Pin Spring Onion Pancakes!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pisang Goreng or Deep Fried Bananas

Just ripe bananas dipped in a thick batter are deep-fried till golden, creating a crispy outside and a soft sweet inside – a truly delectable treat called Pisang Goreng in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. In English that translates to fried bananas.

“Pull over!” she’d cry.  It might be a fruit stand selling durian or a little roadside café or a hole-in-the-wall frying hot wontons filled with shrimp.  No matter, my mother was (and is) always game to stop and try whatever is on offer.  I get my food adventurousness from her.  When we lived in Trinidad, we ate curried who-knows-what at shacks by the side of the road.  (My favorite is goat.)  The other expat ladies thought she was crazy and that we’d get sick.  We never did.  In Venezuela Mom would buy me homemade cheese, called queso de mano, from peddlers who would dart between cars at the big roundabout near our house.  Even when we moved back to Houston, she would seek out the little local markets in the ethnic areas, driving clear across town to drink yogurt lassi and eat spicy samosas or to perhaps buy Middle Eastern sweet treats like baklava to bring in to work.

Through all the countries we’ve lived, I’ve tried to do the same.  Street food, when cooked hot and fresh, is the very best.  Get in line at the stall with the most people waiting to be served and you are guaranteed something tasty and worth waiting for.  All those people can’t be wrong, right?

My mother-in-law, me and my mom, at a hawker center in Singapore, 1 June 2009.
This is where Mom chose to go for her birthday lunch! 
This week our Sunday Supper group is celebrating global street food and I cannot tell you how long my list of possible recipes from myriad countries was.  It took me three days to settle on just one.  I don’t remember where I first tried fried bananas but I can tell you that my daughters fell in love with them in Brazil, where they are often served as the dessert at the end of a churrascaria meal.  Fried bananas are also typical market or street food all over Asia.  Turns out that the Portuguese are probably responsible for both.  If Wikipedia is to be trusted, up until 1511, Malaysians ate bananas in their natural state.  When the Portuguese arrived, they brought with them the flour necessary to make batter and their method of frying bananas, which then spread throughout the region.  So hats off to the Portuguese and let’s fry some bananas!

Many thanks to the Google+ Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia Cuisine Community, led by the talented and kind +Azlin Bloor, who generously allow me to be part of their group and who helped me settle on a recipe for the batter.  You all rock!

3/4 cup or 95g all-purpose flour
1/4 cup or 40g rice flour (not glutinous rice flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 -1 1/4 cups water, or just enough to make the batter thick enough to stick to the bananas
Oil for deep frying – I use canola
4-5 medium-sized ripe - but not too soft - bananas

Powdered sugar – optional but not traditional – for serving
(Some fancy restaurants in Asia also serve these now, sometimes with ice cream.)

Combine your flours, baking powder and salt in a big mixing bowl.

Beat your egg with a little water to loosen it and pour it in the mixing bowl.

Keep stirring and adding water until your batter is thin enough to drip off the whisk but still thick enough to cling to a banana.

Heat oil in pan or wok over medium flame to about 365°F or 185°C.  This is the temperature on my candy/deep frying thermometer which is suggested for doughnuts.

Peel and slice bananas in half widthwise then lengthwise.

Coat bananas in batter, and deep-fry in the hot oil for just a few minutes, or until bananas are golden brown and crispy.

Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle on a little powdered sugar, if desired.  I did because I think it looks pretty.


Be careful with that first bite.  The banana inside will be hot!

Bread on the Boulevard
  • Martabak (stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread)
from The Urban Mrs
  • Pao de Queijo
  • from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
  • Socca
  • from Curious Cuisiniere
    Hand-Held Savory Eats
    To-Go Containers
    Sweets on the Streets
    Grab a Thermos