taking it to the streets

food detective

Categories: Eggs, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Posted on March 1, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten

I miss food trucks. They are such a bang for your buck. Getting in line behind one not only satisfies whatever you’re craving, they provide inherent camaraderie with your fellow cue-mates. An all-inclusive culinary passport, if only for the moment.

Lately I’ve been transporting myself to faraway lands one recipe. As we near the one-year mark of sheltering in place, comfort, especially food, is high currency.

I’ve never been to Asia, but I love its cuisine. There’s an amazing breakfast wrap called jian bing. A batter made of wheat and mung bean is spread thin on large griddles then topped with beaten eggs, scallions and pickled greens. I once had one in Central LA. It was warm, chewy, crunchy, the epitome of comforting.

Last week I channeled my inner street vendor and tweaked a recipe by Genevieve Ko. For convenience she made hers with store bought flour tortillas, but because I had time and a certain hankering, I decided to make mine with homemade mandarin pancakes. They’re easy enough to do and just like homemade tortillas, freeze pretty well. Meaning this wrap can come together whenever the mood strikes.

And when it does, be sure to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go, because these jian bing wraps come together quickly.

I couldn’t find pickled mustard greens, so I subbed sautéed shitake mushrooms. Their seared meaty texture coupled with the salty sweet hues of the hoisin made these jian bing memorable. 

Thinly slice two to three shitake mushrooms. Melt one teaspoon butter in an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms along with a pinch of salt and a little freshly ground pepper. Sauté until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the pan. (The mushrooms can be sautéed a day ahead of time and refrigerated. Warm them in a dry skillet before using.)

With a fork beat an egg with a pinch of salt until almost blended. Set aside.

Heat a small 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place a mandarin pancake or flour tortilla in the pan, turning until warm and pliable, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.

Add two teaspoons vegetable oil to the skillet, then the sliced scallion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the scallions are bright green and tender, about 30 seconds.

Add the beaten egg, swirl the pan so the egg covers the bottom of the pan.

Immediately scatter a tablespoon or two of cilantro and the sautéed shitake mushrooms on top.

Press the warm pancake or tortilla on top and continue to cook until the egg is just set and sticks to the pancake or tortilla, about 30 seconds. 

Flip onto a plate, egg facing up.

Drizzle a little hoisin sauce and siracha over the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Fold in half, then in quarters and serve immediately or wrap in foil. Serve with additional hoisin sauce and siracha. The egg wrap will stay relatively warm for about 15 minutes when enclosed in foil. Though I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long.

If you want to up your game here’s how to make your own mandarin pancakes. Feel free to make a double batch and stow them in your freezer.

Mix one and a half cups flour and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt in a heatproof bowl.

Pour two thirds cup boiling hot water into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until a dough ball forms.

Knead the dough for eight minutes until smooth, adding a little more flour if the dough becomes too sticky. The dough can also be kneaded in upright mixer, such as a KitchenAid, on low speed with the dough hook attachment.

Cover the dough ball with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least one hour.

Roll the dough into a cylinder.

Then ccut into 12 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a dough ball, then flatten with the palm of your hand to form a small disc about 2 inches in diameter.  Lightly brush the tops and sides of six of the discs with oil.

Place the remaining six discs on top of each of the oiled discs. The result will be six pieces comprised of two discs each.

With a rolling pin roll each disc into a 7-inch circle, flip the pancakes frequently so that both of the dough discs are rolled into the same size.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. One at a time, place a pancake into the pan. After 30 to 45 seconds, pockets of air should begin to form between the two pancakes.

Flip the pancake. (It should be white with just a couple of faint brown patches, take care not to overcook). After another 30 seconds, larger air pockets will form which will allow you to separate the two pancakes. Remove the pancake to a plate, and let it cool for another 30 seconds.

Carefully pull apart the two pancakes at the seams. Place the finished pancakes onto a plate and cover with a warm kitchen towel. Repeat until all pancakes are done. The pancakes can be reheated in a dry nonstick pan. The pancakes can also be frozen. Cool the pancakes completely, then individually wrap in plastic wrap. Place in a large Ziploc bag and freeze for up to a month. Defrost before using.

These will definitely be stacked in your favor.

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