I am taking Asian cuisine this quarter. It is not my usual fare—though I enjoy the flavors and am intrigued by the many tastes. In fact, I had a choice of a handful of different classes and effectively made myself take Asian: just for exposure sake. Asian cookery is known for its different techniques and emphasis on texture; it is often quite counter to what is ‘classic’—aka French—cuisine.
Some of the ingredient lists and recipes are impressively long (I could go on and on about the arduous process of making spinach paste, but I figure you didn’t want the 10 page post. Suffice it to say it involved a blender, multiple rounds of straining, lightly foaming over the stove, cheesecloth, etc. What a hoot.). While others are more approachable and easier to execute. We made scallion pancakes (bottom left in photo above). I really liked them, and used them the following week as a base for a canape. Easiest way to enjoy them it right out of the pan with a simple soy based dipping sauce. Recipe straight from my Asian class:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup boiling water
1 T cold water
3 T toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup scallion greens, finely sliced
Salt to taste (TT)
Add boiling water to flour in medium mixing bowl. Mix with wooden spoon to moisten flour; add cold water. Mix to form soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead 4-5 minutes. Cover with moist towel and let rest 30 minutes. Divide dough into 4; take 1 and roll into 5 inch circle. Brush with tsp of sesame oil (leave 1/2 inch dry border) and sprinkle with scallions. Season with salt. Roll up dough into a log. Press down on it to slightly flatten (when I pressed it was about 2 inches wide). Roll up again, like it was a sleeping bag. Place upright and let rest 5 minutes. Press down to slightly flatten and roll [yep again] into a six inch circle. Repeat withe other 3 portions. Griddle in saute pan over medium low heat in 1 T vegetable oil a fe minutes each side until golden brown. Blot with paper towels, cut in wedges and serve. Serves 4.
Soy, Chili and Sesame dipping sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup chili oil
1 T roasted sesame oil
1 scallion finely chopped
Combine, serve. (From The Food of China, 2001. Murdoch Books, 282).