The perfect marriage of chewy and flaky, this popular Chinese appetiser is a breeze to make at home. When frying the pancakes, use at least a teaspoon of oil for each one – this ensures they get scorched and golden in patches, otherwise they’ll be all chew and no flake!
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil, then add the salt and garlic powder and stir to dissolve. Sift the flour into a large heatproof bowl, then slowly pour in the hot stock. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together, then tip out onto a flour-dusted work surface. Let it cool slightly if it is still too hot to handle and then knead until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough – this should take about 5 minutes. Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.
Put the sesame oil in a shallow bowl. Roll the rested dough into a log and divide into eight. Take one dough portion and roll it out with a rolling pin into a circle about 3 mm thick. Lightly brush with sesame oil, then sprinkle with about a teaspoon of spring onion. Starting from one edge, roll the dough up into a tight roll, as if you were making cinnamon buns. Pinch the ends of the roll to seal, then coil up the roll of dough like a snail shell. Now use your rolling pin to roll it out again into a thin pancake. It is this coiling and rolling that creates the flaky layers in your pancake. Repeat for all the other dough balls.
When you’re ready to cook your pancakes, pour a little vegetable oil into a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Fry each pancake for about 1 minute on each side, or until lightly golden with spots of brown.
Serve the pancakes with a bowl of the dipping sauce.
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