Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Chinese Tortilla (Mandarin Pancakes)

Breakfast burrito or mu shu pork wrapped in a mandarin pancake? Easy; its the mu shu pork wrapped in a mandarin pancake. Okay, so not so easy to tell. But yes, that is more of a mandarin pancake, and less of a Mexican tortilla. It may come across a little hard to believe, but that in fact, is what I like to call a Chinese tortilla. Why not, right? I mean it is made of flour, looks like a tortilla, almost taste like one, and is used to wrap up all the goodness in order to eat with one's hands. So am I the first to say that not all Chinese food requires those tricky and impossible little sticks that are magically somehow supposed to scoop up not even half a bite size? Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against those who value meal time and don't mind finishing a meal in about four hours. But for me, when I use chopsticks, by my next attempt at getting even that second bite my food has gone terribly cold. Maybe that is why I loved this Chinese dish so much. I was able to eat it at a moderately and average time which allowed my mu shu pork to stay warm the whole way through dinner. (This made me happy.)

These Mandarin Pancakes are extremely easy to make, for they have very few ingredients. In fact, to my surprise, these simple little pancakes call for flour, oil, and water! Yep, that is it. . . just flour, oil, and water. In fact the ingredient list is so surprisingly short that I am going to say it again. Flour. Oil. Water. Flour. Oil. Water. Flour. Oil. Water. Easy, right? So few ingredients, anyone can remember them! Flour. Oil. Water. Not only is this recipe short, simple, and easy to remember, but also has a simple and light, airy taste to them as well! They are simply and perfectly delish!
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup boiling water
about 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Measure flour into a bowl and mix in water with a fork. Work dough several minutes until it holds together, then knead on a lightly floured board until smooth. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 min. Roll dough into 12 inch long log and cut into 12 equal pieces and keep covered. To make each pancake, cut one piece of dough exactly in half. Roll each half into a ball and flatten slightly. Roll each ball on a very lightly floured board to a round 3 inches in diameter. Brush sesame oil lightly on top of one round and cover with another round. Press the 2 rounds lightly but firmly together. Place the double round on a lightly floured board and roll out, from center to edges until 7 or 8 inches in diameter. Turn frequently, brushing board lightly with flour as needed. Repeat procedure until you have 2 or 3 pancakes; then cook before making more. Heat a wide frying pan over medium-high eat, then place a pancake on the uncreased surface. Turn about every 16 seconds until cake is blistered by air pockets, turns parchment color, and feels dry. Cake should not brown, but a few golden spots won't hurt. If overcooked, cake becomes brittle. Remove from pan and carefully pull the two halves apart and stack on a plate. Keep covered to stay warm. When ready to serve, brush hoisin sauce lightly on one side and fill with mu shu pork or whatever else you please! oh, and enjoy!

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