Cipolla rossa and ginger pancake
This Chinese dish is crispy, chewy, and slightly flaky. It is perfect as a snack or accompaniment to a main meat dish or paired with sauces. It is similar to a roti or flat bread and it is one of my favourite little pleasures. Normally this dish is served only using spring onions as a filling, however this recipe includes fresh ginger to add that extra warmth to the taste buds. This recipe is vegetarian and vegan friendly and is perfect to share with your loved ones.
Makes 4 pancakes
300g plain flour, or tipo “00” flour
1 tsp salt
50g boiling water
100g room temp water
For the filling
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
1-2 cipolla rossa, or 8 spring onions thinly sliced
1 pinch of salt
1-1½ tbsp rice brain oil, or a flavourless oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Chinese black vinegar to serve
In a large bowl, sieve the flour and salt (if you are using tipo “00” flour no need to sieve). Start stirring and add the boiling water to the flour, then straight after add in three quarters of the room temperature water. If the dough needs more water, slowly add the rest of the water. Start kneading the dough for 5-10 minutes or until it is smooth; the final result of the dough should feel a little tacky. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film, and allow to rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the cipolla rossa or spring onions thinly, followed by the ginger. Add the sliced ginger in the mortar and pestle and start to bash. Then add half of the portion of cipolla rossa, salt, and oil, and start to bash until you get a thick paste which is spreadable. Taste to see if you need to add more salt. If the paste is too thick add a little more oil. Then set aside for later.
Roll the dough into a fat sausage shape and cut 4 equal sized dough portions. Take one portion and cover the rest in cling film. On a lightly floured surface, start rolling the dough into a square shape to 1-2mm thickness with a rolling pin. Then add 1 tsp of oil in the middle, and spread the oil out with your fingers around the whole surface area. Afterwards, add 1 tsp of the cipolla rossa and ginger paste in the middle and spread until you have covered the whole surface area. You want a thin layer – if there is not enough add ½ tsp more, but if you add too much then the filling becomes too wet. Add a sprinkle of the freshly sliced spring onion on top – not too much just a small amount.
Starting from the bottom, roll the dough upwards, as if you were rolling up a towel (make sure you do not roll too loosely as you do not want trapped air bubbles which makes it harder to roll out in the next step). Then from one end, start to roll the dough to the other end, so it is like a snail shell shape. Tuck the end under the dough, then repeat step 3 and 4 again. Cover each dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat the frying pan with ½ tsp oil (you do not want too much), spread the oil across the pan evenly, and allow the pan to heat up. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a circle shape and 2-3mm in thickness. Then place on the pan and cook until each side is golden brown.
Mix the soy sauce and rice vinegar together in a small dipping bowl (if you have Chinese black vinegar that is even better). Eat the pancake as it is, or you can cut them into 4-8 slices and enjoy! It is best to eat is straight away after it has been cooked.
NB: You can try this with a curry dish, or even have it as a wrap with meat or tofu. Or as an alternative, you can eat it with siracha sauce if you want the heat.