Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Chinese Beef & Scallion Pancake - 肉 卷 餅 or 牛肉 卷

Beef Scallion Pancake

On Sunday night, I invited my friends HL, Yoony of Immaeatchu and her beer-guzzling man over for for dinner. The irritating heatwave that had struck upon us a few weeks ago was finally, long gone. When it's cold, I immediately think of beef noodle soup because I am a noodle whore. Beef noodle soup calls for the usage of beef shank, the leg portion of the cow, and because it is tough and sinewy, it requires many hours of braising. Usually when I make this, I'm left with way too much beef. I had run out of soup and didn't know what to do with the remaining meat. Then, I remembered a delicious item I had eaten at Temple City's Mandarin Noodle Deli... scallion beef pancake. Such a good and easy snack to make.

Much like Koreans with their side dishes, known as 'baan chan', Chinese also have their own set of delicious snacks. We have something we call 'lu wei' (滷 味), which literally means 'simmered flavor' and requires hours of braising/simmering foods with spices such as anise, cinnamon and coriander. It's peasant food at its best. If you've been to a Taiwanese or Chinese market/deli, you might see a section of boxed foods with duck's feet, pig ears, tripe, intestines, etc.... that is 'lu wei' food. If you've ever had brown-colored boiled eggs, with that sweet, aromatic and somewhat salty taste... that's 'lu wei'. Good stuff! One of my favorite 'lu-wei' items is cold-sliced beef tossed with cilantro, chili oil and sichuan peppercorns... which is similar to what is used in beef scallion pancake.

Beef Shank Slices

I took my remaining beef shank from the beef noodle soup pot, wrapped it up and threw it in the fridge to let it harden. The next day, I sliced it into 1/8" cuts and poured a little bit of my beef noodle soup over it to revive it from dryness.

Scallions & Cilantro

Next, I chopped up some scallions and cilantro. One of the best kitchen gadgets I own is the scallion slicer/rake. For this dish, you don't want thick cuts of scallions otherwise it'll be overpowering.

Hoisin & Sesame Oil Sauce

For the beef scallion pancake, you need a sweet sauce. Not oyster sauce because it's too salty. Get hoisin sauce. I diluted it with a little water and added about 5-6 drops of sesame oil to brighten the sauce. Tasty.

For the scallion pancake, it's not hard to find it at the Chinese market. They either come fresh in the bread section or frozen. Fresh is best, but if you can't find it, no worries. Just don't use a tortilla or pita bread. Pan fry the scallion pancake for 3-4 minutes on each side until it's slightly brown. If you overfry the scallion pancakes, you'll see the mess you'll make when you try to roll it up. So the softer the pancake, the better it is.

Now, lay the scallion pancake flat, cover it with a generous amount of hoisin/sesame oil sauce, add the scallions and cilantro toward the bottom of the pancake in a tidy row (close to your body), add the beef slices.... and roll tightly away from you. Cut them at a diagonal bias and discard (or eat) the ends.

For the cold beef slices, you can just use the beef noodle soup recipe. Enjoy and thanks for reading.

Beef Scallion Pancake


Chubbypanda said...

*droool* Oh gods. Why am I reading this before bed!?!

SteamyKitchen said...

I'm a noodle whore too.

Is there therapy for us?

Anonymous said...

Would you have a source for the scallion slicer? Please email me at mirinblue@netscape.net if you do. I tried googling it and could not find.

Oishii Eats said...

Loved the beef & scallion pancakes! I'm going to show it off at work today.

JadedOne said...

Damn dude! You're combining two of my favorite Chinese foods together! Chinese burrito oh yeah!

H. C. said...

Yum! Reminds me of the beef/scallion wrap they have at TeaStation, though yours look a gazillion times better!

KirkK said...

Hey EDBM - It's Niu Rou Chuan! That stuff is all over the SGV. BTW, we saw the episode of No Reservations(Dubbed) with you in Lima....you oughta hear what voice they used for the Spanish-dubbed version.....I'll just call you "El Jefe" from now on.

e d b m said...

Anonymous, do you live in the LA area? I can tell you where to find it. If not, feel free to email me with any questions you may have.

J, I tried to feed you while you were taking a nap. I even put it under your nose but it wasn't tasty enough to wake you from your slumber haha.

Jadedone. No need for a bukkake mask for this dish haha.

HC, i've had so many versions of this dish. It's really one of those dishes that are easy to make and home and alter to your liking.

KirkK, yeah there are many ways to say this dish. It's definitely a dish that's easy to find in the SGV. I've heard that 101 Express has a good one too. Please tell me that the voice was deep, not a pip-squeak or tranny.

Bon Vivant said...

Where did you buy your scallion slicer/rake? I have to have one of those! I've always tried to slice them with a knife and lots of patience but my green onion comes out too thick.

oddlyme said...

Okay, count me in for the scallion slicer info as well please.

(As well as where to find pre-made scallion pancakes. In the fridge section? Really? Can I find these downtown, or do I need to head to the SGV?)

And yup, I'm in Los Angeles.

Daily Gluttony said...

duh, why had i never thought of buying some scallion pancakes at the store and doing this? this is such a great idea!! (i'd leave out the cilantro though, but that's just cuz i'm crazy)

e d b m said...


Ok if you live in LA, you might have a few options for the highly coveted scallion rake. I got my last 4 rakes at a place in ktown called Kim's Home Center which has a bunch of cheap/neat things for the kitchen. But they were ALL OUT. Your best bet is at a korean market like in Koreatown. Check in the kitchen accessories section. I've also seen these in japanese stores like Marukai and Mitsuwa. I have also seen this in chinese 99 ranch markets. Hope that helps.

Pam, you cilantro-hater! haha. It'll taste fine w/ just scallions.
Also, most Chinese markets will have freshly made scallion pancakes. But they aren't cheap... nearly $2 for ONE. I've seen some frozen ones which are also expensive, but they look like they are made by a small company... 10 for $10. There's also another brand, i think it's Wei Chuan that makes 5 for $3.50 frozen packs... and they aren't bad.

j! said...

I'd like a good recipe for the soy/tea hardboiled eggs.

Anonymous said...

Aw man, my mother LOVES beef scallion pancake. She'd surely love your version too. It looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm...your scallion pancakes look way better than any restaurant version! I'm swinging by ktown for that scallion slicer thingy. Thank you for the tip!

elmomonster said...

As always, brilliant. And now I know how restaurants get those scallions so thin anbd wispy. I thought they just had mad knife skilz.

joanh said...

hehe. you didn't make the scallion pancake from scratch? :)

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