Surprisingly, I learned that these pancakes are actually Shanghainese! So, they're traditionally filled with adzuki bean paste filling when served sweet. But with as much as I could recall, those that I had were normally filled with sweetened lotus seed paste filling instead. I guess this may be due to the cultural environment I grew up in as most Chinese descendants in Malaysia and Singapore are of southern Chinese descent, including Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Teochew and Hainanese.
Since there isn't any Asian grocer around where I'm, I could only use what was on hand: adzuki beans! Wasn't it a good thing that I was sticking to the Shanghainese way of fixing this dessert LOL! Remembering I still had some homemade adzuki bean paste frozen, I took it out to use in this beloved dessert. It's always nice to have some homemade paste on hand. So, it's advisable make a big batch and freeze for future use. Trust me, nothing beats homemade adzuki bean paste! Just a few days ago, my family-friends bought some canned one. And oh my, it was yucky! No adzuki bean flavor and very sweet! Tasted just like a plain cotton candy!
Both the recipes for this pancake dessert and the adzuki bean paste were taken from one of my favorite bloggers Seadragon, another fellow Malaysian beaming from the Down Under. Making them on your own is really worth the effort because having them at restaurants is really a rip-off! Just look at the ingredients! Do you think you deserve to pay that much money just to eat it!?
Without further ado, here're the recipes (adapted from Seadrogon's):
For the pancakes:
Makes about five 20cm pancakes
120g all-purpose flour
1 egg 250ml water
1 tsp all-purpose flour/cornflour
1 tsp water
250g sweetened adzuki bean paste (the amount is really up to you actually and depends upon the number of pancakes you get out of the batter)
- Sift flour into a mixing bowl; combine (B) together and gradually mix into flour, mix whisk together until smooth and lump-free--strain it through a fine tammi if you have to
- Mix in the oil to the wet mixture to combine and let rest for 15 minutes aside
- Heat a nonstick frying pan, for 20cm pancakes, over moderate heat. Then, lightly rub some oil over the surface of the pan
* I don't have a frying pan that fits the description exactly. So, I just made the pancakes with my wider pan. That means, my pancakes were wider than 20cm ones. Nonetheless, nonstick ones are highly recommended to avoid possible mess!
- Pour in about 80ml of the batter onto the pan and swirl to coat the surface of the pan with the batter evenly
*This is also a matter of personal preference. If you like your pancakes thinner and crispier, use less batter for each pancake. And, vice versa. But of course, not too thick!
- Cook the batter over medium heat till set on one side, then flip the pancake over and cook the other side for about 30 seconds. Dish the pancake out and onto a plate
- Repeat with the remaining batter till it's used up. Stack one pancake over another, cover with a towel till you're ready to use them. Let them cool slightly before filling, folding and rolling
- Divide the bean paste into 5 portions with each weighing at 50g, then roughly shape each into a 7cm x 14cm rectangle
*Again, it's a matter of preference whether you like yours with lots of filling or less. And, it depends on the size of your pancakes
- Combine together (C) to get a slurry
- To assemble:
(i) Brush the edges of each pancake with the slurry to create a "glue"
(ii)Place an adzuki bean paste rectangle at the center of the pancake, then fold one end over and towards the center to cover the bean paste
(iii) Next, fold both the ends/sides (whichever you'd like to consider them as) that are now on your left and right respectively towards the bean paste
(iv) Finally, bring the last end that's unfolded towards the center to enclose the "package"; repeat with the remaining pancakes and bean paste
You can freeze the "packages" now, wrapped in plastic film, if desired. There isn't a need to thaw them--just remove them from the freezer and shallow-fry as they're.
- Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, then pour in enough oil for "shallow-frying"
- Fry each "package" of the pancakes till golden brown on both sides, dish out onto a plate
- Slice each into e.g. 4 sections, served hot or warm
Makes about 500g
300g dried adzuki beans
150-200g sugar, or adjust to taste
50-100g lard/cooking oil, or adjust to taste (but, lard really gives the paste an oomph)
- Soak the beans in enough water for at least 3-5 hours, or overnight; drain
*I always soak these beans for two nights. That's an advice from my mom, she always told me that they're tough beans. So, it's best to soak them for a long period to cut down on the cooking time.
- Bring the 800-1,000ml water to a rapid boil in a saucepan, then add in the beans to cook over low heat until they're split and softened
*I always check for their doneness by squishing a bean to see if they're soft enough to pass through the sieve
- Drain the beans and pass them through a sieve as this will give you a very fine texture
*I'm thinking of puréeing the whole beans in a blender the next time I make them as it's less time-consuming. It may turn out to be a bit like the Japanese anko with the shells in it
- Melt lard and heat it till hot in a wok, stir-fry 1/4-1/3 of the sugar till melted. Then, add in the bean paste and stir-fry--mixing in the remaining sugar little by little till incorporated. Continue stir-frying till the paste becomes thick and can stand in peaks
- Let the paste cool aside till ready to use. For the extra, freeze and thaw for later use accordingly.