Chinese New Year | January 28

scallionpancakes1

Chinese New Year begins this weekend, so bring on the firecrackers, red envelopes, dragon dances, and delicious food. Last year, we made some delicious dumplings which were also super pretty, if we say so ourselves. Our second time around we’re loving crispy scallion pancakes and these irresistible chocolate dumplings inspired by the ones at the amazing Bao on St. Mark’s Place: if you ever find yourself there, don’t fail to order them–in fact, probably best to get two orders. If you’re far from the East Village, you’re still in luck, because we can help you craft these little flavor bombs yourself (with supermarket ingredients, no less). But first, scallion pancakes! They can be made from a dough, like fried flatbreads, or from a batter like more familiar pancakes. Korean recipes add fermented bean paste, which we’ll have to try next time. These savory pancakes are best eaten hot off the griddle with a dipping sauce that can be as simple as soy or gussied up with mirin and chili oil. Either way, they won’t last long!

scallionpancakes

Scallion Pancakes

Adapted from Chef Hooni Kim

These are nothing like the greasy, chewy, takeout version you may be accustomed to. Crispy and light, they are loaded with sliced scallions. Serve them hot with plenty of dipping sauce.

1 cup flour

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tsp baking powder

1½ cups club soda

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp salt

1 bunch of scallions (about 6) thinly sliced

Vegetable oil for frying

 

For dipping sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp mirin

½ tsp sugar

¼ tsp chili oil (optional)

¼ tsp sesame oil

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the scallions together. Let batter cool in the refrigerator until cold: the colder the batter, the crispier the pancake. Add the scallions to the cold batter. Heat around 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add a large ladleful of the batter to the pan and reduce heat to medium. Fry pancake until both sides are crispy and golden brown, about 5 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Transfer pancakes to a wire rack and let sit for a few minutes before cutting into wedges. You can also keep cooked pancakes in a warm oven while you make the rest.

For dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Serve alongside pancakes.

dessert-dumplings

Chocolate and Banana Dumplings

The magic of so-called “soup dumplings” or xiao long bao, is how they suspend a hot liquid filling inside a delicate wrapper. You can achieve a similar effect with these dessert dumplings, thanks to the judicious use of chocolate spread.

1 package of round dumpling wrappers (you won’t use them all)

¼ cup chocolate spread, such as Nutella

1 ripe but from banana

Place ½ teaspoon of chocolate spread in the center of each dumpling wrapper and top with a slice of banana. Use your finger to wet around the edge of the wrapper, then pinch together two opposite sides, and the other two, until the wrapper is sealed over the top of the filling. Steam over simmering water for 5 minutes or until wrapper is translucent. Eat while hot.

 

 

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