VEGAN VARIANT ON CHINESE CLASSIC
THIS MOUTH-WATERING PANCAKE RECIPE WITH A DIFFERENCE USES JACKFRUIT INSTEAD OF DUCK
Iremember visiting a restaurant in Shanghai famed for its melt in your mouth peking duck and watching my parents deftly use chopsticks to pile shredded meat and crisp skin into the cradle of a paper-thin pancake. Duck pancakes have become a Chinese-restaurant classic and it is not difficult to see why. Dressed with fruity hoisin sauce and paired with fresh slivers of spring onion for crunch, they are fun to assemble and eat. Young green jackfruit stands in for duck here – it can be shredded in much the same way and soaks up flavours beautifully. If you don’t have time to make your own pancakes, feel free to use a dozen shop-bought wheat spring-roll wrappers.
PEKING JACKFRUIT PANCAKES
Makes 12 INGREDIENTS
1 x 400g tin young green jackfruit, prepared (see note at end)
1 tsp sesame oil
2.5cm ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp rice wine, dry white wine or apple juice ½ tsp five spice powder
Pinch of black pepper
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
½ cup (100 g) hoisin sauce
Thin strips of carrot, cucumber and spring onion, to serve 1½ cups (225g) plain flour, sifted Pinch of salt
2⁄3 cup (170 ml) boiling water 1 tbsp oil, for brushing METHOD
First make the pancake dough. In a large bowl, knead the flour, salt and water until you have a smooth, elastic dough, about 5 minutes, adding a teaspoon more flour if it seems too sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C. Place the shredded jackfruit in a loaf tin. Whisk together the sesame oil, ginger, wine, five spice, black pepper and soy sauce and pour over the jackfruit. Roast for 15–20 minutes or until very tender – there may still be liquid in the tin, and that’s okay.
Unwrap the dough, roll it into a log and divide into 12.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten slightly by patting it with the palm of your hand. Brush a thin layer of oil over six of the flattened dough balls, then place the unoiled dough balls on top of them to form sandwiches. Use a rolling pin to roll out each sandwich into a flat pancake, flipping it midway so both sides are rolled evenly.
Set a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat, place a pancake in it and cook until it is puffy and the bottom is flecked with brown, about 2–3 minutes. Flip it over and cook the other side for 2–3 minutes, then remove. Carefully separate the two layers to give you two pancakes. Keep on a plate and covered with a clean teatowel while you cook the rest, separating them as well, to give you 12 in total.
Transfer the jackfruit to a serving platter. To eat, scoop a little bit of jackfruit on to a pancake, top with a drizzle of hoisin sauce and a few slivers of carrot, cucumber and spring onion, then wrap up and enjoy. PREPARING JACKFRUIT
After draining your tin of young green jackfruit, rinse it well in a sieve under cold running water – this helps to get rid of the slightly sweet jackfruit flavour. After rinsing, cut away the tough core of each piece of jackfruit, then shred the remaining flesh into something resembling pulled pork. Discard all the seeds and seed pods. Images and recipes from Jackfruit and Blue Ginger by Sasha Gill, photography by Sasha Gill, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99.