Wednesday, December 17, 2008

pei mei's green onion pies

pei mei is this famous chinese cookbook writer. i have her three volume cookbook set, and i have to say that it is pretty comprehensive and covers just about all the authentic chinese dishes i have had or heard about.
her green onion pies are known by many other names: spring onion pancakes and scallion pancakes are just two.
this is one of those chinese snacks everyone tells me is easy to make but i confess that i still find them to be quite time consuming. i did do a cheat version earlier, but with some things, it's nice to have the real thing.
this isn't a bad recipe; i'm still trying out the different types of flour to see if there are any significant differences between them. i also intend to try making them using my pasta machine for rolling the dough to see if i can speed things up a bit.

3 cups wheat flour (this is a chinese cookbook, so there has to be a distinction between flours)
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cold water
6 tablespoons lard or oil (we used oil because we don't have lard...i don't don't know whether we would use lard if we had it though)
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 teaspoons salt
1 cup oil

place flour in bowl. add the boiling water and mix with chopsticks immediately. let cool. after three minutes add cold water and knead the dough thoroughly until it is smooth. cover and let rest a while.
remove the dough to a floured board, divide dough into 6 even pieces (or more than 6), knead and roll each piece of dough into 10" round as in making pie crust. rub 1/2 tablespoon lard on dough and sprinkle the whole top with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tablespoon chopped green onion. roll up as for jell roll making sure the ends are tightly closed now form into a round snail shape tucking in the final end into the centre of the bun, then press down and roll out until 1/4" thick.
heat 2 tablespoons oil in frying pan, place the pie in and fry about 2 minutes. use low heat and cover this pan. flip over and splash 1 tablespoon oil down side. continue frying until this side is golden and crispy, shake and juggle the pan often while frying as this action make a flaky pastry.
cut into small pieces to serve.
note: these may be kept in a barely warm oven until all are prepared.

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