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Chinese Pancakes (Cong You Bin)

“My first attempts at cooking were terrible. But I like to eat so I stuck with it.”
“My first attempts at cooking were terrible. But I like to eat so I stuck with it.”

Recipe by Tony "Chu Jung" Su, Executive Chef, Del Mar Rendezvous

Place

Del Mar Rendezvous

Del Mar Plaza, 1555 Camino del Mar, Suite 102, Del Mar

I like cooking because I can be myself. When I cook at home, it’s simple. We do a lot on the grill: steaks, ribs, and pork chops. On a special occasion, we make traditional dumplings and chicken feet or pork stomachs and hot noodle soups. I came to America 13 years ago, when I was 19. Before I became a chef, I was a luggage porter. When my uncle (Chef Mau Sun) opened Szechuan Mandarin, he hired me as a dishwasher and eventually I worked my way up to a prep cook.

My first attempts at cooking were terrible. But I like to eat so I stuck with it. My uncle went on to open Dumpling Inn and he kept telling me, “You need to learn how to cook. The restaurant may have an emergency and you may have to jump in!” I told him I didn’t see that happening. Then one day, the chef of Dumpling Inn got really sick and didn’t show up for work. No one else could cook but him. I walked into the kitchen that day and said, “Don’t look at me!” I had cooked for family before but never for paying customers. My family said, “If you don’t do it, we will all have to go back to Taiwan.”

So I jumped in. We cooked about 400 meals that day and I was so nervous I tasted every plate before it left the kitchen. When my uncle opened up Del Mar Rendezvous, I took over as chef. I like to stay in the kitchen and watch after our guests try the food. After one bite, their face tells me everything I need to know. I am not famous enough for people to come to a restaurant because of me, but people come to the restaurant because the food is so good. That makes me happy.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups sweet rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon soybean oil (can substitute vegetable oil)

13 tablespoons cooking oil (about ¾ cup)

1 cup chopped scallions

salt to taste

HOW TO DO IT

In a large bowl, combine the flour and hot water until a loose dough has formed. Slowly add the cold water.

In a separate bowl, add one teaspoon of soybean oil and coat the bowl. Place the dough in this bowl and let rise for 20 minutes, covered, at room temperature.

After dough has risen, remove and roll very flat and thin until about ½ centimeter thick. Spread the chopped scallions, salt, and three tablespoons cooking oil on top of the flattened dough.

Start at one edge of the dough and roll up tightly until it forms a long cylindrical shape. Cut the cylinder into ten equal pieces and lay each piece with the cut edge face down. Smash each piece flat with your hand and then use a rolling pin to roll it into a very thin, round, pancake, roughly half a centimeter thick.

Heat a frying pan or skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon cooking oil (you will need to add another 1 tablespoon of cooking oil for each new scallion pancake you cook). Put one of the pieces of dough in the pan and cook it until it’s golden on one side (roughly 2–3 minutes), patting it flat with a spatula.  Flip it over and repeat the same on the other side. Serve hot.

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“My first attempts at cooking were terrible. But I like to eat so I stuck with it.”
“My first attempts at cooking were terrible. But I like to eat so I stuck with it.”

Recipe by Tony "Chu Jung" Su, Executive Chef, Del Mar Rendezvous

Place

Del Mar Rendezvous

Del Mar Plaza, 1555 Camino del Mar, Suite 102, Del Mar

I like cooking because I can be myself. When I cook at home, it’s simple. We do a lot on the grill: steaks, ribs, and pork chops. On a special occasion, we make traditional dumplings and chicken feet or pork stomachs and hot noodle soups. I came to America 13 years ago, when I was 19. Before I became a chef, I was a luggage porter. When my uncle (Chef Mau Sun) opened Szechuan Mandarin, he hired me as a dishwasher and eventually I worked my way up to a prep cook.

My first attempts at cooking were terrible. But I like to eat so I stuck with it. My uncle went on to open Dumpling Inn and he kept telling me, “You need to learn how to cook. The restaurant may have an emergency and you may have to jump in!” I told him I didn’t see that happening. Then one day, the chef of Dumpling Inn got really sick and didn’t show up for work. No one else could cook but him. I walked into the kitchen that day and said, “Don’t look at me!” I had cooked for family before but never for paying customers. My family said, “If you don’t do it, we will all have to go back to Taiwan.”

So I jumped in. We cooked about 400 meals that day and I was so nervous I tasted every plate before it left the kitchen. When my uncle opened up Del Mar Rendezvous, I took over as chef. I like to stay in the kitchen and watch after our guests try the food. After one bite, their face tells me everything I need to know. I am not famous enough for people to come to a restaurant because of me, but people come to the restaurant because the food is so good. That makes me happy.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups sweet rice flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon soybean oil (can substitute vegetable oil)

13 tablespoons cooking oil (about ¾ cup)

1 cup chopped scallions

salt to taste

HOW TO DO IT

In a large bowl, combine the flour and hot water until a loose dough has formed. Slowly add the cold water.

In a separate bowl, add one teaspoon of soybean oil and coat the bowl. Place the dough in this bowl and let rise for 20 minutes, covered, at room temperature.

After dough has risen, remove and roll very flat and thin until about ½ centimeter thick. Spread the chopped scallions, salt, and three tablespoons cooking oil on top of the flattened dough.

Start at one edge of the dough and roll up tightly until it forms a long cylindrical shape. Cut the cylinder into ten equal pieces and lay each piece with the cut edge face down. Smash each piece flat with your hand and then use a rolling pin to roll it into a very thin, round, pancake, roughly half a centimeter thick.

Heat a frying pan or skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon cooking oil (you will need to add another 1 tablespoon of cooking oil for each new scallion pancake you cook). Put one of the pieces of dough in the pan and cook it until it’s golden on one side (roughly 2–3 minutes), patting it flat with a spatula.  Flip it over and repeat the same on the other side. Serve hot.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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