For the Master Chef cooking show audition, I made a plate that I call Sichuan Street Food. It had four components:
Pan Sauteed Shrimp Dusted with Ground Sichuan Peppercorns
Scallion Pancake Ribbons
Spicy Sichuan Dipping Sauce
Marinated Roasted Vegetables
I'm happy to share the Scallion pancake recipe I created, because it requires no special ingredients (kind of - see *** below) and are surprisingly easy to make With a simple dipping sauce, it might make a good addition to a Super Bowl party or for the next time you want an interesting appetizer.
Let's start with the dipping sauce. The one I made for the audition is a complex blend of peppers in multiple forms, and requires some exotic specialty ingredients only available in Asian markets or made at home. That's not the kind of recipe I'm sharing in this newsletter, so here's a version you can make out of ingredients you can find anywhere. It also is good for dumplings or spoon a little over white rice.
Simple Asian Dipping Sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and diced finely
2 scallions (green onion), chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (use the dark green parts, a few light green parts are OK)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (not the seasoned type).
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Stir together all the ingredients.
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour (***or substitute with more all purpose flour, if necessary)
1/2 teaspoon salt
A pinch or two of cayenne pepper (***if you happen to have ground Sichuan peppercorns, use them here)
1 cup water
1 whole egg and one egg white
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Vegetable or peanut oil
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Whisk eggs, then add water and sesame oil, then whisk again and add to the dry ingredients, whisking until the batter is smooth. Add the scallions and stir.
- Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Dip a 1/2 cup measuring cup into the batter, filling it not quite all the way. Pout the batter into the skillet, holding the cup about 8 inches above the pan (to create a more uniform pancake.
- Cook pancake about 2 minutes. Bottom side should be golden, but not dark brown, except in a few small spots, if desired.
- Flip pancake and cook for 1 minute. Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. If you see any oil visible on the top surface, blot it off with another paper towel.
- Make additional pancakes in same manner.
- Cut pancakes into strips, approximately 3/4 inch.
Toss pancake ribbons on a serving plate, accompanied by the dipping sauce.