June 20, 2009

A Tale of Two Treats

Two of my all-time favorite Chinese treats are sesame rice balls and scallion pancakes. So I tried making both of these in the past few weeks, with mixed results.

Black sesame dumplings. Though they were delicious, they were also pretty frustrating to make. Basically you take glutinous rice flour (usually a clear package with green lettering) and add enough hot water until it forms a dough that's easy to work with (not too wet, not too dry). If it's too wet, it'll stick to your fingers and be impossible to work with. If this happens, don't fret: just add more flour. Similarly, if it's too dry, add more hot water.

Once it reaches the right consistency, roll a chunk out on the palm of your hand, stuff with a bit of black sesame powder & sugar mixture (equal parts) + a dab of oil. Form the dough around the filling, being careful not to let the filling leak out. Roll into a ball. This was the frustrating part, since the dough isn't very resilient to being rolled & folded onto itself. But tread forth with nimble fingers, and you shouldn't have a problem. Meanwhile, clumsy fingers like mine probably won't be making these again, at least not while they're conveniently available frozen at your local Asian supermarket.

Scallion pancakes were a bit more successful, but not by much (since I don't currently own a rolling pin). I tried to cram as many scallions in there as possible, mainly by slicing the scallions as thin as possible. That way when you're pressing the dough flat, you can keep the scallions from oozing out of the dough. Check out the recipe at My Kitchen Snippets.

Basically, a scallion pancake is made with flour, water and scallions (as well as a bit of oil). But some recipes call for egg in the recipe, which most likely results in a different sort of texture. I'll have to give it a whirl sometime and see for myself.

1 comment:

Resh said...

I love scallion pancakes. my favorite. I think my stomach just grumbled. LOL Never had much experience with dumplings tho..