Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jade: Bitemycrullers

I love "you tiaw". It's one of the things I look forward to before going home...Piping hot, crunchy chinese crullers...Savoured as is....dipped in congee..dunked in bak kut teh..spread with peanut butter...or better yet, soaked in 'lek dao suan'...I could go on..It's probably one the few things that can get me out of bed at 6 in the morning..a trip to the market with my mum, carrying bags of fresh produce...barely registering where I am...all so I can be rewarded with some freshly made crullers, complete with the comforting oily scent of anything deep fried.

You Tiaw~ I was shown how to do this by an auntie I met right in the middle of finals. She used only SR flour and water...I thought I'd be clever and use beer...mine look like anorexic crullers:( cést la vié. Beggars can't be choosers.

1 cup SR flour
water/ beer~ enough to yield a soft dough. I thought beer would give it a nice yeasty flavour and extra lift
Pinch of baking powder and bicarb
Salt, you tiaw isnt you tiaw if it isnt salty

1. Sift all the dry ingredients.well...all 3 of them..make a well in the centre, add liquid of choice
2. Mix gently until it comes together to form a soft dough
3. Cover and rest for about an hour
4. Heat up some oil..I used a small saucepan because it meant less oil..maybe that's why my crullers didn't puff up as much
5. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, divide into little sticks. Stack 2 pieces together and press down lengthwise down the centre with a chopstick
6. Stretch the dough pieces, drop them in the oil and fry over medium heat till golden brown and hopefully puffy
7. Leave to drain on a rack and enjoy with some steaming hot congee:)

Jade: Bitemyscallions

You know one of those things you see in nearly every restaurant you go to, every blog you read..but you just never quite get around to trying. That's how scallion pancakes were like for me. Something more exciting always caught my eye....and I'm only sorry for how long it took me to get acquainted with this flaky, fragrant pancake. I was watching some food show and the hosts had gone to a rural part of China to have the famous 'lao bing' reminded me of scallion pancakes and that technique of slowly stretching soft dough until it was paper sheer you could see the woodgrains of the table holding it..well..I couldn't resist.

Cong You Bing~ adapted from Almost Bourdain

250 g all-purpose flour
salt~ I like my salt, but feel free to season to taste
110 ml warm water
1 bunch spring onions, bruised and chopped
Scallion/ shallot oil or lard~ I used shallot oil but I imagine lard would be amazing for flavour and extra flakiness

1. Make a well in the flour, add warm water slowly and mix slowly until you get a soft dough
2. Cover in cling film and let it rest for about half an hour
3. Cut the dough in 2. Take one portion and roll it out. I did what I learnt from the show~lift the edges of the dough and gently stretch it out..this probably warrants a step-by-step pictorial guide or a video of some sort but I can't even bring myself to get up and put on a jumper. So yes, coax the dough gently until it is paper thin..I was well chuffed when I could see the marbling on my counter top through the dough.
4. Brush generously with oil/lard and sprinkle on the spring onions
5. Then starting from the edge closest to you, roll it up, sealing the 2 ends.
6. Now roll it up again into a snail, flatten slightly and roll it out
7. Heat up some oil in a pan, brush both sides of your pancake with lard/shallot oil
8. Pan fry till crispy...cut into fat wedges that make the most satisfying crunch..serve hot:)