International Blog of Food

Glorious Cuisine From Around the World

Sunday, October 08, 2006
Still on the Chinese theme in India...

My HK guests and I made some Chong Yao Baing today for the PIGS (Punjab International Gourmet Society) brunch. This is basically the only authentically Chinese dish that I know how to make well and boy did it every come out deliciously! You just make the dough from flour, water, salt and sugar. Roll it out, spread on the olive oil, some salt and loads of chopped green onions. Then roll up the dough, separate it delicately into the pieces and roll them out before you fry them to that perfect golden brown colour.

They are so simple, easy and cheap to make. And they're a great comfort food for me. Thanks Grandma!
posted by Samantha Lee at 5:11 AM


Blogger nicholas said...

Mmmmmm, sounds good. Is it basically a green onion cake? I'm requesting the recipe if you have one.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

That is a rough translation. Have you had it before? Everyone seems to make it a little differently, but my grandma's is the best!

Okay, I'll try to type out a rough recipe:

Take two cups of flour. Add a good pinch of salt and a good pinch of sugar to it, because that's what my grandma seems to add to everything she makes!

Have some boiling water ready (from a kettle or whatever) and some regular water ready. Add the boiling water a bit at a time and mix it into the flour until it becomes a dough, but just before it becomes a dough, add some of the regular water so that you can knead the dough without scalding yourself. The dough should be kneadable without getting all sticky and goopy on your hands. After you've kneaded it so that it's fairly consistent, cover it and put it in the fridge to sit for 30 minutes so that the flour can properly dissolve into the dough.

Chop lots of green onion into fairly thin pieces (I guess look at the picture to get an idea). If you chop them too long, they'll break through the layers. When the dough is ready, take it out, knead it a bit and split it into two. Take one and roll it out into a big rectangular-like shape. It should be nice and thin. The thinner and bigger it is, the more layers it will have and layers are good. But you don't want it so thin that the green onions break through and escape.

Then spread some oil on it. I just pour a little around the centre, then fold it in half and sort of slide it back so that the oil spreads out.

Sprinkle some salt all over and do the foldy thing again a few times to make the salt even.

Spread on the green onion - basically as much as you can fit into one layer.

Roll up the dough. Seal the two ends of the roll by squishing the dough together to prevent the green onions from escaping.

Now this is a little delicate. Split the roll in half down the middle by sort of squeezing gently with your thumb and index finger wrapped around the roll in the middle. If you kind of squeeze alternately, the middle part will get smaller and smaller until you can separate the two halves with both sides sealed off.

Do that a few more times so that you end up with 6 pieces in total.

Then sit a piece on one of its sealed ends on the palm of one hand. And take your other hand and push them together while turning your palms in opposite directions. It flattens them a little so that you can roll them out and gives them a bit of a spiral flair. You don't have to flatten them much though.

Then roll them out very gently so tha they're nice circles without causing all the green onion-y goodness to burst out.

Fry them with a bit of oil over a slow heat so that they turn that perfect golden brown colour.

Enjoy them hot! Let me know how it goes!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Oh ya, and do the same to the other hunk of dough you have left over!

Do you want to hear something really lame? I used to be allergic to eggs and milk which meant I couldn't eat cookies. So I would pretend these were my cookies and separate the layers and stuff them into my mouth like I was the Cookie Monster. I even made the sound effects - it was SO fun! Aarr-arr-arrrr-nyum-yum-yum. Cooookiieeee.

9:50 AM  
Blogger nicholas said...

Awesome, thanks. I've had green onion cakes before but never so intricate and layered. Sounds kinda like making a parantha. MMmmmm can't wait to try them but seriously, a lame cookie, haha.

9:25 PM  

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