Let me explain. This is actually my version of Chinese spring onion pancakes. It is not at all your typical soft and fluffy American pancakes. It is made with a dough, not batter. Probably the only similarity is that they are both flat and fried in a pan.
The classic Chinese spring onion pancake is firm rather than soft. It might seem bland but this is actually the sort of food that is appreciated for its simplicity and clean fresh taste. It is usually eaten as a snack, with fresh brewed Chinese tea.
The traditional process for making these pancakes involves making a dough with flour and boiling water then rolling the dough, sprinkling with the spring onions and rolling like a jelly roll. Portions of this dough are flattened and pan fried.
Although, this traditional method results to delicious pancakes, I personally do not like its texture. Parts of it are crisp and parts are dense and a touch chewy.
I love spring onions and I thought I must make a pancake that will be perfect for my taste (hence the addition of bacon...kidding). After a few tries, taste tests and reviews, this is the one that the panel (my family I mean) chose (or rather didn't criticise). This is an abbreviated version of the spring onion pancake. It is a quick stir and mix method and results to crisp, tender crust pancakes with bacon and spring onion studded centers.
It is nice on its own but, hey, since we're making a twist why not add a dipping sauce, like the one for Korean spring onion pancakes. I thought it is just apt to have maple syrup in the sauce. I never thought maple syrup would go so well with soy sauce. It was just the perfect dip for the pancakes.
This recipe makes 6 small pancakes, good for 4 servings.
8 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
3 tbsps. of oil rendered from the bacon
2 c. plain flour
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. finely sliced spring onions
1/2 c. + 2 tbsps. water
cooking oil for pan frying
Heat up a frying pan. Add the chopped bacon when hot. Fry the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp and browned. Strain. Keep the oil that has been rendered.
In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder with a whisk. Add the spring onions and browned bacon bits and mix again.
Make a well in the center and add the water and 3 tbsps. of the bacon fat. Mix gently until it forms a medium soft dough ball.
On a lightly floured board, roll each piece into a rough circle approximately 6" in diameter.
Heat up a pan and add about 2 tsps. of oil. Pan fry the pancakes until it has brown spots and is slightly puffed up, about 3 minutes on each side.
Cut each pancake into 4 wedges and serve with the dip.
For the soy and maple dip:
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
2 tbsps. malt vinegar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
Mix all of the ingredients together and serve as a dip for the pancakes.
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