Tasty Chinese meat pie.
Xian Bing is a Chinese meat pie. There are many variations, but one popular such variation is almost identical to the Romanian placinta. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if trade routs of the past resulted in some culinary inspiration on either side, but what I do know is that both Xian Bing and placinta are wonderful foods.
The Xian Bing dough
- 5 dl all-purpose flour
- 1 dl of water, maybe some more to adjust
- A pinch of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- First, boil the water
- Mix flour, salt and baking powder. The latter to give it a slightly better texture.
- Add the boiling water while staring. You want a soft and tacky dough.
- Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour
The Xian Bing filling
- 1/2 onion
- 3 scallions
- Ginger the size of four thumbs
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 pinches of salt
- 400 grams of minced pork/beef (half half)
- Finely chop onions, scallions and garlic.
- Grate ginger
- Stir it all, and save half of it for later (remember, I’ll get back to it…)
- Now add the minced meat and salt. Combine thoroughly.
- Leave refrigerated for about 30 minutes, it makes it hold together better.
- honey or sugar
- the mix from before (see above, I told you to remember!)
- 2 tablespoons of dried chili flakes (or less if you don’t want it spicy)
- 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (e.g rapeseed oil)
- A couple of drops of roasted sesame oil
- Heat up the oil in a saucepan until smoking hot
- Combine the mix from earlier and the chills flakes in a heat resistant little bowl
- Pour the hot oil over the mix so it starts bubbling and cooking in the bowl. Careful so you don’t burn yourself!
- When it stops bubbling, add soy sauce, vinegar and a couple of drops of sesame oil
Now, put it all together
- The meat mix
- The dough
- Some chopped scallions
- Neutral oil (e.g. canola oil)
- Make a large ball of meat
- Then, cover the ball with flour by rolling it around a bowl of flour
- Take a handful of dough, about the size of the meatball
- Flatten out the dough into disk shape using your hands
- Place the meatball in the middle of the disk, and then stretch the dough over the whole meatball, so you basically have a round ball of dough in which you know there’s a meatball.
- Grab the excess dough on the top of the ball (where you pinched the dough together) and just twist it until it comes off. Now you’re left with a large ball of dough with a large meatball inside.
- Place the ball on a flat surface, sprinkled with some flour, and use a rolling pin to roll it flat. You now have a flat disk in which there’s meat.
- A lot of oil in a pan, and heat it up
- Place the flat pie on there and fry it on one side, and then turn it around and fry the other side until all crispy and nice on both sides.
- Serve as is, or cut it in half
- Finally, sprinkle with some chopped scallions on top and a bowl of dipping sauce on the side
- Absolutely wonderful!