Garlic chive pockets 韭菜餅

Pan fried garlic chive and egg pockets (韭菜盒子) *** Memories of a TV set made of a heart-rate monitor

Ingredients – dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2.5 cup plain flour
  • more flour for dusting
  • a few pinches of salt

Ingredients – filling

  • 100g garlic chive, remove the tough ends, washed, chopped to 0.5cm length
  • 100g chicken fillet, finely diced
  • 3 eggs, scrambled and diced
  • 25g Chinese mushrooms, soak in hot water for 20 minutes, remove steams, squeeze out excess liquid,  finely diced
  • 10g shrimp shell 
  • 50g mung bean vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes; drained, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • cooking oil
Trimming the stems of hydrated Chinese mushrooms
Trimming the stems of hydrated Chinese mushrooms
Mung bean noodles
Mung bean noodles
Shrimp shell
Shrimp shell

Method

  • Mix flour, salt and warm water and knead into a dough; cover and rest for 30 minutes or until the dough is completely cooled.
  • In a frying pan, bring some cooking oil to medium heat; add chicken, Chinese mushrooms and sauté until the chicken is nearly cooked; add shrimp shell, cook for a few more minutes; add oyster sauce, sesame oil, mung bean vermicelli, mix well; ad egg pieces, toss; remove the frying pan from heat, add garlic chive, salt and white pepper to taste, mix well; transfer filling to a plate to cool.
  • Roll the dough to a long snake, divide the log into 10 pieces; roll each piece into a ball with the palms of your hands, then press it down as a round disc; roll the disc into a round wrapper with a rolling pin (or use a pasta machine like I did, run the disc through the machine twice, rotating 180 degree each time).
  • Spoon a couple tablespoon of filling onto the wrapper; brush a little water on the edge of half of the wrapper; close the edge tightly to form a half moon pancake; repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  • Brush each pancake with cooking oil.
  • In a frying pan, bring plenty of cooking oil to medium heat; pan fry a few pancakes over one layer until golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes;  use a lid to keep the moisture in and speed up the cooking process.
  • Serve warm with chili sauce (optional).

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Chinese garlic chive pocket
Pan frying the Chinese garlic chive pockets

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A TV set made out of a heart rate monitor

When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by my cousin Yang’s skills in making dumpling wrappers.

Yang was the eldest daughter of my 2nd aunt. My aunt joined the army and met her husband in Northern China. When the family moved back to Guangzhou, my aunt was re-trained as a technical for medical equipment.

Being smart and innovative, my aunt made our first TV set out of an abandoned heart-rate monitor. Its screen was 3-inch in diameter but it was the only TV set in the neighborhood. The kids loved to gather around to enjoy a green and grey version of the ‘Sound of the Music’.

As talented as her mum and deeply connected to her northern origin, my cousin Yang was a true master of the rolling pin. She could make hundreds of dumpling wrappers in a flash. Their house ws filled with the aroma of mouth watering noodles, juicy dumplings and aged vinegar which was used as a dipping sauce. 

Cousins from GuangZhou
The cousins in early 70s. Clockwise from top left, Yong, Zhi, Yang, Jie, myself

Unashamedly a ‘southerner’, my rolling pin skills are lacking and frustratingly slow. To compensate my deficiency, I managed to utilize my Italian pasta machine to roll out wrappers rather efficiently. The trick is to first roll a small amount of dough into a ball, then press it to a round disc, and put it through the pasta machine twice rotating 90 degrees each time.

 I made these northern style garlic chive pancakes with eggs, Chinese mushrooms  and shrimp shell.  The traditional pancake uses heaps of garlic chive and has as a very strong taste. In this recipe, I used smaller amount of garlic chive and added chicken and mung bean vermicelli for extra texture and flavor.

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Garlic chive pockets 韭菜餅
Garlic chive pockets 韭菜餅

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