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Tradition Meets Innovation: Reinventing Chinese Pancake Recipe for Peking Duck

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've probably heard of Peking duck. This famous dish is known for its crispy skin, tender meat, and flavorful sauce. But did you know that the pancakes served with Peking duck are just as important as the duck itself? Chinese pancakes, also known as "chun bing" or "mandarin pancakes," are a key component of the dish.

A chef spreads hoisin sauce on a thin pancake, then adds slices of succulent Peking duck and crispy scallions before rolling it up

Making your own Chinese pancakes for Peking duck is easier than you might think. The traditional recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients: flour, water, and a pinch of salt. Some recipes also call for oil or sesame seeds to add flavor. The key is to get the dough just right – soft and pliable, but not too sticky. Once you've made the dough, you'll need to roll it out into thin circles and cook them on a hot griddle.

If you want to put your own spin on the recipe, you can try adding seafood to the mix. Shrimp or crab meat can be a delicious addition to Chinese pancakes, adding a touch of sweetness and umami flavor. Just make sure to chop the seafood finely and mix it in with the dough before rolling it out. Serve the pancakes warm with slices of Peking duck, scallions, and hoisin sauce for a truly authentic Chinese dining experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese pancakes are a crucial part of the Peking duck dish.
  • Making your own Chinese pancakes is easy with just a few simple ingredients.
  • Seafood can be added to the recipe for a unique twist on the classic dish.

Ingredients and Nutrition

A table displays flour, water, salt, and duck meat. A nutrition label lists calories, fat, and protein for a Chinese pancake recipe

Essential Ingredients

To make the perfect Chinese pancake recipe for Peking duck, you will need the following essential ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Hot boiling water
  • Sesame oil or other vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Duck pancakes

All-purpose flour is the main ingredient in this recipe. It is a type of wheat flour with medium gluten content that can be used to make pancakes. Hot boiling water is used to scald the flour and make the dough soft and pliable. Sesame oil or other vegetable oil is used to brush the dough during shaping.

Salt is added to the dough for flavour. Hoisin sauce is a sweet and savoury sauce that is commonly used as a condiment for Peking duck. Duck pancakes are soft, moist and very thin Chinese-style tortillas that are used to wrap the crispy skin and meat of the duck.

Nutritional Information

If you are conscious about your nutrition, you may be interested to know that this recipe contains the following nutritional information per serving:

  • Calories: 130
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Potassium: 50mg
  • Iron: 1.5mg

To add more nutrition to your pancake recipe, you can consider adding seafood such as shrimp or crab meat. Shrimp or crab meat can be added to the hoisin sauce or used as a topping for the pancakes. This will not only add more flavour to your pancakes but also increase the protein content of your meal.

Preparation Guide

A table with ingredients and tools for making Chinese pancake for Peking duck

Dough Making

To make the perfect pancake for your Peking duck, you need to start with the right dough. Making the dough is relatively easy and requires only a few ingredients, including all-purpose flour, salt, hot water, and a mixing bowl.

To begin, sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add salt to taste. Next, pour in the hot water and mix the ingredients together until a dough ball forms. Knead the dough for eight minutes until it's smooth and pliable, adding flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least one hour.

Pancake Cooking

After the dough has rested, divide it into small pieces and roll them out into thin circles using a rolling pin. Brush each pancake with oil and stack them on top of each other. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook each pancake for about 30 seconds on each side until they're golden brown.

If you prefer a softer pancake, you can steam them instead of frying. Simply place the pancakes in a steamer and steam for about two minutes until they're soft and pliable.

To enhance the flavour of the pancakes, you can also add seafood to the recipe. Shrimp or crab meat are great options that complement the flavour of the Peking duck. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and mix it with the dough before rolling it out.

The preparation time for making the dough and cooking the pancakes is relatively short, with a total time of around 90 minutes. With the right ingredients and technique, you can make delicious pancakes that perfectly complement your Peking duck.

Serving Suggestions

A table set with a plate of crispy Peking duck, accompanied by a stack of thin Chinese pancakes, a bowl of hoisin sauce, and a dish of fresh green onions and cucumber slices

Accompaniments

When serving your homemade Peking duck pancakes, there are a variety of accompaniments that can be used to enhance the flavour of your dish. Traditional accompaniments include sweet bean sauce, spring onions, and julienned cucumber. These can be served in separate bowls alongside the pancakes, allowing your guests to create their own personalised pancake rolls.

Another popular accompaniment is hoisin sauce, which can be spread over the pancake before adding the duck and vegetables. If you enjoy raw garlic, you can also add a little bit at this stage to give an extra kick of flavour.

If you want to add some seafood to your dish, try serving your pancakes with some prawns or scallops. These can be sautéed in a little garlic and ginger and served alongside your other accompaniments.

Presentation Tips

When serving your Peking duck pancakes, it's important to present them in an appealing way. One way to do this is to arrange the pancakes in a neat pile on a serving platter, with the accompaniments arranged in separate bowls around the edge.

Alternatively, you can serve the pancakes and accompaniments on separate plates, allowing your guests to create their own personalised pancake rolls. To do this, place a pancake on each plate and add a spoonful of hoisin sauce to the centre. Add a few strips of duck, some cucumber and scallions, and then roll the pancake up tightly using chopsticks.

It's important to serve your pancakes at room temperature, as this will help to keep them soft and pliable. If you need to reheat them, you can do so by steaming them for 3 minutes if they are chilled or 6 minutes if they are frozen. Alternatively, you can use an oven to defrost them first if they are frozen.

Storage and Leftovers

A table with ingredients like flour, water, and duck meat. A mixing bowl and rolling pin for dough. A frying pan with pancakes and leftover Peking duck

Storing Pancakes

If you have leftover pancakes, you can store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to three days. Make sure to cool them down to room temperature before storing them. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them for up to one month. To reheat the pancakes, you can either steam them for three minutes if they are chilled or six minutes if they are frozen. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the oven at 350°F for five to seven minutes.

Reusing Leftovers

If you have leftover Peking duck, you can use it to make a variety of dishes. You can make a delicious duck soup by simmering the leftover duck bones and meat in a pot of water with some vegetables and herbs. You can also use the leftover duck meat to make moo shu pork by stir-frying it with some vegetables and hoisin sauce.

If you have leftover pancakes, you can use them to make stir-fried dishes. Simply cut the pancakes into thin strips and stir-fry them with some vegetables and your choice of protein. You can even add seafood, such as shrimp or scallops, to the stir-fry for a delicious twist.

Storing and reusing leftovers is a great way to reduce food waste and get creative in the kitchen. With these tips, you can enjoy your Peking duck pancakes and leftovers for days to come.

Cultural Significance

A chef prepares a traditional Chinese pancake, used to wrap succulent pieces of Peking duck, symbolizing the cultural significance of this iconic dish

Chinese cuisine is renowned for its unique flavours and textures, and Peking Duck Pancakes are no exception. These pancakes play an important role in Chinese culture, both in traditional celebrations and culinary context.

Traditional Celebrations

Peking Duck Pancakes are a staple of Chinese New Year celebrations, a time when families gather to share a meal and exchange gifts. The pancakes are often served with Peking Duck, a dish that symbolises wealth and good fortune. The combination of crispy duck, bean sprouts, and savoury sauce wrapped in a soft pancake is a treat that everyone looks forward to.

Culinary Context

In Chinese restaurants, Peking Duck Pancakes are a popular appetiser or main course. The pancakes are served with a variety of fillings, including seafood, vegetables, and meat. They are a favourite among diners who appreciate the delicate balance of flavours and textures.

If you are looking to add a seafood twist to your Peking Duck Pancakes, consider using prawns or scallops as a filling. These seafood options complement the savoury sauce and soft pancake, adding a new dimension to the dish.

In Chinese cooking, the pancakes are often used as a wrapper for stir-fries and other dishes. The versatility of the pancake makes it a popular choice in many Chinese recipes.

With that, Peking Duck Pancakes are an important part of Chinese culture and cuisine. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a meal at a Chinese restaurant, these pancakes are sure to delight your taste buds.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef prepares Chinese pancakes for Peking duck, ingredients laid out on a wooden table, with a rolling pin and skillet nearby

How do you make Chinese pancakes for Peking duck?

To make Chinese pancakes for Peking duck, you will need all-purpose flour, hot water, and a pinch of salt. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, then slowly add hot water while stirring until a dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes, then let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough into thin circles and cook them in a dry skillet until they puff up and turn slightly brown.

Where can one purchase Chinese pancakes suitable for Peking duck?

You can purchase Chinese pancakes suitable for Peking duck at most Asian grocery stores. They are typically found in the frozen section and can be reheated in a steamer or microwave.

What ingredients are typically used in Peking duck pancakes?

The typical ingredients used in Peking duck pancakes are all-purpose flour, hot water, and salt. Some recipes may also include oil or sugar.

Could you recommend a good side dish to accompany Peking duck?

A good side dish to accompany Peking duck is stir-fried vegetables such as bok choy or broccoli. You could also serve it with steamed rice or noodles. Additionally, seafood dishes like shrimp or scallops would be a great addition to the meal.

Is it possible to substitute dumpling wrappers when making Peking duck pancakes?

While it is possible to substitute dumpling wrappers for Peking duck pancakes, the texture and taste will be different. Dumpling wrappers are thicker and chewier than Chinese pancakes, which are thin and soft. It is recommended to use Chinese pancakes for an authentic Peking duck experience.

What is the secret to creating the perfect Chinese pancake for Peking duck?

The secret to creating the perfect Chinese pancake for Peking duck is to roll the dough thin enough so that it is soft and pliable, but not so thin that it tears easily. Additionally, cooking the pancakes in a dry skillet until they puff up and turn slightly brown will give them a crispy texture.