The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Moo Shu Pancakes (Mandarin pancakes) (Báo bǐng)

  • Pin It
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Moo Shu Pancakes (Mandarin pancakes) (Báo bǐng)

Anyone have a reliable recipe for Moo Shu pancakes, like these in the upper right-hand corner:

I can't evaluate the (very different) ones I see online.

I'd prefer not to have to make 10 versions before I find one that's close to authentic.

The first try was a bust: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Moo-Shu-Pork-243065

(I have several Asian markets at my disposal, so maybe I can find them pre-made. Alas, everytime I try to find something in an Asian market, it's like taking a trip (in every sense of that word) down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. They find me a few days later lost and crying next to the dried shrimp, item thoroughly searched for but unfound.)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Not much of a recipe.   Thicken water and fry.  too tough, more water,   to soft, more flour.   Mix up and let stand 30 minutes before frying.  Stir often.  Pinch of salt.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Crêpes will work in a pinch, but these pancakes are usually paper thin.

Rolled out?

I can't get a crêpe that thin. Maybe with more practice (and more liquid) and a crêpe pan.

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Crêpes, have a very different texture, mouth feel, and taste compared to the kind of bǐng you need. :) I was once at a Chinese-American restaurant and ordered mu shu vegetables. It came with....spring roll wrappers that were steamed! YUCK! I guess they thought westerners wouldn't know the difference (except I'm Chinese!).

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Sesame oil is a nice touch. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

They should be very thin and near-translucent.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

-

These are the ones they use at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. Cheap, mass-produced, but I like them. I can't find anything remotely similar in any Asian market here in Denver.

-

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)  

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I brought pictures to the local Korean gigantamart and pointed at them until someone told me where to find them.

He said, "Duckwrap."

I said, "No, no, not duck. Pork. Pancakes. Moo shoo pork."

He said, "You want duckwrap!"

I must have used the right facial expression to convey confusion because he walked me over to the frozen food section and pointed to "Wei-Chuan Moo-Shu Shells & Peking Duck Wrapper and said, "DUCKWRAP!"

They aren't half bad either. Texture is like '2-sheet thickness' of phyllo dough and dries out just as fast.

-

If anyone's interested: Recipe (I'm using) for Moo Sho Pork is from Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking, a real treasure of a book.

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Yes, what they call duck wrapper I suspect is quite similar to what is used for Mu shu wrapper here, if not the same. There are various types of Peking duck wrappers though. Some are leavened and formed in the shape of a lotus leaf. Others are more flat and unleavened. There are myriad types of wrappers for the same kinds of dishes. Heck, one can even use lettuce cups, which Chinese do, for another kind of Peking duck dish (usually for the meat portion, not the skin).

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I found won-ton wrappers and these for mu shu, but not much else. (I also found dried wrapper for Thai/Vietnamese fresh rolls).

I'm sure these Asian groceries must have many other varieties, but I just can seem to find them.

Where do you look for them? What aisle? Near the ____?

-

There are a lot of Thai/Vietnamese dishes that use lettuce for wraps. One of my favorites (don't know the name) is a sautée of (pieces of) chicken thigh in a garlic clove-cilantro paste (that's made in (pulverized in) a mortar and pestle). It's served in lettuce wraps. When I tried that ridiculous  no-carb diet, I lived on this dish. ;D

 

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Where to find those mushu wrappers in the store. Good question! I've never attempted to look for it myself. Hmm...

thihal123's picture
thihal123

Yes, I have a recipe from Pei Mei's cookbook, volume 1. She was a well-known Taiwanese author. The recipes should be authentic since the volumes were meant for overseas Chinese community (and are written in both Chinese and English). Here it is.

Ingredients:

3C. Wheat flour (all purpose)

1C. Boiling water

1/3 C. Cold water

1 T. Sesame Oil

 

Procedure

1. Add 1 C. boiling water to the 3C. flour and mix well. Add 1/3 C. cold water. Knead dough until smooth. Cover and let rest 15 minutes

2. Working on lightly floured board, divide dough into 2 parts and roll each 15" long and 2" round; cut or pinch into 1" pieces (about 40). Flatten each piece with hand keeping cut sides on top and bottom. Lightly oil whole top surface with sesame or cooking oil. Lay a second pancake on top of oiled surface, pat down a little then roll out both layers very thin, to about 5" rounds.

3. Using an unoiled pan heated to medium heat, cook pancake on 1 side until bubbles rise (about 20 sec.) turn and cook about 10 sec., until light brown. Remove and seaparate quickly by pulling 2 rounds apart very carefully. This leaves you with 2 original layers

4. Stack these separated layers in a pile and cover with a dry towel. When all are prepared, fold each one into quarters.

(from page 361, abbreviated)

=========

Hope this helps!

Source: Fu, Pei-Mei. 1969. « Pei Mei's Chinese Cook Book, Volume 1 ». Taipei: Chinese Cooking Institute.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I own both of Pei-Mei Vol 1 and 2.

I can't search them, alas, so always go to Google instead.

Thanks for the pointer.

(Recipe looks similar to the one from Epicurous above. Maybe I'll try them again, just rest the batter for a shorter period and/or use a lower protein flour).

thihal123's picture
thihal123

That's great! I own all three volumes. All-purpose flour should be fine. :)

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

This is how they came out last time. The flavour was fine (it's flour, water, oil), but the texture was all wrong–more like a flour tortilla than a báo bǐng.

Not my pictures, but mine looked exactly like these:

Source. http://theallamericanchinesecookbook.com/2008/10/homemade-mu-shu-pancakes/

thihal123's picture
thihal123

There might be another recipe that is closer to what you want. I don't know of it. However, have you ever seen how spring roll wrappers are made? I saw it in a Chinese restaurant kitchen. It's a lot of hand technique. I don't know exactly how the wet dough is made, but after this really wet dough is made, a hot plate is heated and then the dough is rubbed on the hot plate, creating a thin layer. The dough is pulled off. Process repeats.

Here's a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU6FNI_cdOA

I wonder if the kind of mushu wrapper you want can be/or is made similarly.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Those are exactly like the ones I want.

The ingenuity of Asiatic cuisine never ceases to amaze me.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Confound it. I missed one!

This will not stand.

;D

thihal123's picture
thihal123

There are at least three volumes :) I do believe there are only 3 volumes, but I could be wrong. They're actually my late mother's cookbooks which a close friend of the family gave her. She has many other ones in Chinese which I don't have here at home. It's at my father's now.

Stine47's picture
Stine47

I was looking for a moo shoo pancake recipes when I found this forum.  One of the link's posted here led me to another and this recipe looks pretty promising.  I believe it is more about the technique and this recipe shows just that.  Hope it is helpful...if you are still looking! :)

http://www.houseofannie.com/homemade-popiah-skins/

I am off to try it!