26 September 2010

Shanghai Scallions (葱油饼) with Smoked Salmon

Shanghai Scallions with Smoked Salmon

Over at the Almost Bourdain blog is a very simple recipe for Shanghai Scallions (葱油饼), a savory dough like pancake. This is a bit like an up market Australian damper.

They are quite easy to make, and the ingredient list is stuff you likely have lying around the house. After I'd made them a few times, we were looking for something simple for lunch, and tried them as a base for salmon and a bit of dill. Not quite traditional, but very tasty!

To make this, you will need:
  • 250 g all-purpose flour, with some extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 110 ml warm water
  • 20 g spring onions, finely chopped from the green part of the onion
  • 50 g vegetable oil
  • smoked salmon
  • cream cheese
  • dill
  • a drop or two of lemon juice

Making the pancakes takes a bit of preparation, for full details, refer to this article.
  1. To make the dough mix the sifted flour and salt, then slowly mix in the warm water. It took a few attempts at making these until I got the dough consistency to my liking, however they still taste great if the dough isn't quite right.
  2. Rest the dough under cling wrap for half an hour or so.
  3. Split the dough into two pieces and then roll out into a quite thin circle. The thinner you get it, the better the pancakes turn out.
  4. Brush the surface of the pancake with a generous amount of the vegetable oil, and sprinkle the spring onions around. This helps the layers form, so don't skimp on the oil.
  5. Roll the pancake and then pinch the ends together. Then flatten slightly and twist into a spiral. (Look at the pictures here).
  6. Flatten the spiral into a pancake. Either use your hands or the rolling pin.
  7. Cook the pancake in a fry pan on medium heat, with some oil, for 3-4 minutes on each side. If the pan is too hot, the outside will burn and the middle will be raw. Cut into wedges and serve.
  8. For the topping, mix together a generous amount of dill and the lemon with the cream cheese. Spread generously over the pancake wedges and top with the smoked salmon.

The pancakes are a great side dish, and with the salmon make a very tasty lunch.
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