Monday, March 24, 2014

Dan Bing (Taiwanese Egg Crepe)

I've been traveling for work a lot recently, and while I definitely can't complain about being able to expense all my meals, sometimes I just want something simple.  Comforting.  That I made myself.  This morning I woke up and had a craving for dan bing, a Taiwanese breakfast dish that's basically a thin crepe with an egg on top.  I used to buy it all the time from street vendors when I lived in Taiwan, but I'd never tried to make it myself. 

A quick Google search brought me to this translation of a Taiwanese recipe.  I took one of the commenter's suggestion and added some sesame oil to the egg mixture.  It's a good thing the recipe was for 3 crepes because I needed 3 tries to get a good one.

On my first try, when I tried to flip the crepe, it was so soft that it just collapsed into a sticky mess on the pan.  The second time, instead of trying to flip with a spatula, I just dumped the crepe upside-down onto a plate and then slid it back onto the pan.  It worked well enough but then I ended up overcooking the crepe so that it was too hard to roll up without cracking (above left).  Finally, on the third try, I ended up with a pretty decent looking and tasting dan bing!

Dan Bing (Taiwanese Egg Crepe)
makes 3 crepes

1/2 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup water
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 heaping tablespoons chopped scallions
Soy paste and sweet chili sauce (optional)

Mix the bread flour and corn starch together in a small mixing bowl.  Add the water and a pinch of salt and mix well.  Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

For each crepe, beat 1 egg with 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of water, a pinch of salt, and a heaping tablespoon of chopped scallions.

Start heating a non-stick pan on medium heat and lightly oil.  Once the pan is hot, stir the batter again (it may have separated slightly) and add a third of the batter (about 1/2 cup) to the pan.  Swirl the pan around to coat the bottom with a thin layer.  Cook the crepe until the top is set and the edges pull easily away from the pan.  Flip the crepe onto a plate and slide the crepe back onto the pan, cooked side up.

Pour the egg mixture on top of the crepe, and carefully spread it out with a spatula.  Try not to have any of the egg go over the edge of the crepe if possible.

Continue cooking until the egg is mostly set and then flip (the crepe will be sturdy enough to flip with a spatula now).  Cook for 10-20 seconds and then flip the crepe egg side up onto a plate or cutting board.

Quickly roll the crepe into a long, rectangular roll.

Cut into sections and serve hot with soy paste and/or sweet chili sauce.

Soy paste and sweet chili sauce are the more traditional sauces, but you can also try oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, or even ketchup.  You can also eat this on the go by spreading the sauce on the egg before you roll it up and eating it like a wrap or burrito.  Feel free to try different fillings in the egg mixture (e.g. chopped ham, crumbled bacon, corn) or on top of the cooked egg before rolling it up (e.g. shredded cheese, rou song [pork floss], cilantro), but I wouldn't put too much in because you want to make sure you can still roll it up easily.

Next:  Nutella Mini Crepe Cakes
Previously:  Miso-Glazed Eggplant
Four Years Ago:  Duck Fat French Fries with Rosemary, Maldon Salt, and Truffle Oil
Five Years Ago:  Cincinnati Chili

Friday, March 7, 2014

Miso-Glazed Eggplant

It seems like a running theme in the last couple of posts has been how I've used up vegetables from my Boston Organics deliveries, so here's another one.

I made this back in August, when eggplants were still in season, and I got these lovelies in my delivery.  I was inspired by Nobu's eggplant with miso, but instead of frying the eggplants first, I roasted them in the oven.  The ingredients for the glaze are the same as for the marinade used for Nobu's miso-marinated black cod, just different proportions since you want more of a paste for this recipe.

Miso-Glazed Eggplant
serves 2

5 small Japanese eggplants
Canola oil
1/4 cup white miso
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoon rice wine
Toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cut off the top of each eggplant and slice in half, lengthwise.  Carefully cut crosshatches into the flesh of the eggplants, but do not cut all the way through.  Place the eggplants skin side down on a baking sheet and brush the tops with some oil.  Bake for about 8 minutes, until the flesh starts to become tender.  Remove the eggplant from the oven and set your oven to broil.

In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine the miso, sugar, mirin, and rice wine.  Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Top each eggplant liberally with the miso glaze.  Place under the broiler until browned and bubbly, just a few minutes. 

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with rice.

Next:  Dan Bing (Taiwanese Egg Crepe)
Previously:  Mushroom Marsala Pizza
Last Year:  Happiness Cake
Four Years Ago:  Momofuku Milk Bar's Crack Pie
Five Years Ago:  French Red Onion Soup

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mushroom Marsala Pizza

Every time I get crimini mushrooms in my Boston Organics delivery now I've been making this pizza.  I've made several variations--with fresh mozzarella, with shredded mozzarella, with rosemary, with thyme instead--and this is my favorite iteration so far.

Mushroom Marsala Pizza
makes two 10" pizzas

2 8 oz. balls of pizza dough
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 small or 1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Preheat the oven to 550°F or as hot as it will go.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium-high and add the sliced onions.  Cook until browned, but not burnt.  Add a glug of olive oil and continue to stir while cooking.  Add another glug of olive oil when the onions become dry and start sticking to the pan, about another 5 minutes.

Once the onions are evenly caramelized, add the mushrooms and garlic.  Saut√© for 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside while you prepare the pizza dough.

Stretch the dough onto a parchment paper-lined flexible cutting board.  Lightly brush with olive oil.  Top each pizza with half the mushroom and onion mixture.  Top each with half the cheese.

Slide one of the pizzas and parchment paper onto the pizza stone and bake for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil for 1-2 minutes.

Use tongs to slide the pizza with the parchment paper from the pizza stone onto a cutting board.  Slice and serve.

Next:  Miso-Glazed Eggplant
Previously:  Hotter Crash Potatoes
Last Year:  Peking Duck Pizza
Four Years Ago:  Bacon Fat Caramels
Five Years Ago:  Potato Leek Soup with Bacon