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I like this recipe because it uses only a few simple ingredients. This is a common Chinese Appetizer -- cooked and sold in the Chinese-equivalent of a New York hotdog stand. They go for around $0.10 each in China and are typically purchased as a light breakfast or a quick snack between meals.
- Boil 1 cup of water; Add 1/4 cup of cold water to the boiled water.
- Put 3 cups of flour into a large bowl; Slowly pour approximately 1 cup of the hot water into the flour and stir the bowl while you pour.
- Knead until all of the flour in the bowl has joined the dough; (It may seem like there is too little water at first, but be patient; The dough will be kind of hot when kneading; When you are done, your dough should not be sticky and should look grayish).
- Cover the ball of dough with 2 layers of moist paper towels; Leave covered for at least 1 hour; After an hour or so, the dough should have transformed from gray to white; (You can use the wait-time to prepare the next step).
- Have your chopped onions and cooking oil ready in small bowls; Make sure your rolling pin and rolling board are floured; The steps to follow will need to be repeated until all of the ingredients are used up.
- Make a ball of dough 6-10 ounces in volume; (6 ounces will give you a pancake the size of a CD and will allow you to o fry 2-3 of them at the same time;) Make sure you re-cover the bowl each time you remove some dough.
- Use the roller to flatten the ball into a round circle 2-mm thick; Sprinkle salt (you decide how much) uniformly over the'circle;' Use the roller to roll the salt crystals into the dough.
- Brush a thin amount of cooking oil uniformly over the circle; Then sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of chopped onion uniformly over the circle; (Read the next step before applying the onions, so as to better understand how much onions to apply).
- Roll the circle into a cylinder; (If you put too much onion, it won't roll well) Gently squeeze as much air out of the'cylinder' as you can; Pinch the ends so the onions wont fall out; (If the sides of your cylinder start popping holes, you made the circle too thin, but don't worry).
- Roll the cylinder along the length and tuck the outer-end into the roll; Your creation should look like a snail shell and be shaped like a rollerskate wheel.
- Rest the'wheel' on its face and use your roller to flatten it into a pancake, around 4-5 mm thick; Don't be worried if onions start spilling out when you flatten.
- Brush your frying pan with cooking oil and fry on low heat; Turn when the bottom is crispy; The final pancake should be crispy on the outside, with a few burn spots on the surface, and dense and chewy on the inside.
- I recommend tasting the first one to decide if you want to add more salt or onion, or if you want to make the pancake thicker or thinner.
I love this recipe! The pancakes taste far better than the store-bought version, maybe even better than the ones that I have had in restaurants.