Makes 4 Servings
Hands-On Time: 30 Minutes
Total Preparation Time: 35 Minutes
8 thin pancakes (see recipe below for Basic Crêpes)
4 medium scallions
One 3-inch piece fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
1/2 pound baby bok shoy (2 or 3) or napa cabbage (about 1/3 head)
1 medium red bell pepper
8 oz shitake mushrooms
2 T vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 c bean sprouts
½ c unsalted roasted whole cashews
2 T sake, rice wine, or dry sherry
1 T hoisin sauce, plus more for serving
1 T soy sauce (low sodium if you prefer)
1. Prepare or warm the pancakes and keep warm. Trim and thinly slice the scallions (about 1/2 cup); transfer them to a small bowl. Peel and Microplane-grate the ginger (about 1 tablespoon) and add to the bowl; press the garlic (about 1 tablespoon) into the bowl and stir to combine.
2. Slice the bok choy crosswise into 1/4 inch strips (about 4 1/4 cups); thinly slice the bell pepper (about 1 cup). Clean the shiitakes, trim off and discard the stems, and thinly slice the caps (about 2 2/3 cups).
3. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the scallion mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and bell pepper; cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes.
4. While the mushroom mixture is cooking, lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Stir the bok choy and bean sprouts into the mushroom mixture and cook until they are just softened, about 2 minutes.
5. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs, swirling the pan so that they coat the bottom of the pan, and cook until they are just set, like a pancake, turn the egg out onto a cutting g board and coarsely chop. Coarsely chop the cashews.
6. Combine the sake, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir into the vegetables along with the chopped egg and cashews; cook just until everything is heated through, about 3 minutes. Serve with the pancakes or over rice. Pass additional hoisin sauce.
Makes eight to ten 8-inch crêpes
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total preparation time: 50 minutes
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1. Melt the butter; set aside 2 tablespoons and combine the remaining 3 tablespoons with the milk, flour, eggs, and salt in a bender; blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Lightly brush a 10- inch crêpe pan with some of the reserved melted butter and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce the heat to medium.
3. Stir the batter and ladle a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, tilting and rotating the pan until the batter coats the bottom. Cook 30 to 45 seconds until the surface of the crêpe looks set and the bottom is barely golden. Turn the crêpe and cook for 30 seconds more on the second side.
4. Transfer the crêpes to a cooling rack as they are cooked. Once they are cool, stack them until you are ready to use them. Wrap and freeze any extra crêpes for later use.
The secret to stress free crêpe making is using the right pan. The French use a well seasoned black steel pan which can behave in a stick resistant fashion if it is used over and over again. But most of us are not whipping up a batch of crêpes every day so we would probably not manage to get our black steel pan to that blissfully seasoned state. There are the old nonstick standbys but I am not a fan of them. When heated too high (which is very easy to do), they can give off toxic fumes that kill baby birds. Did you ever have a canary keel over for no apparent reason when you were a kid? I have always found this confusing –remember how they used to use canaries in coal mines to make sure the air was acceptable for miners?
My go to pan for making crêpes is a 10-inch Chantal copper fusion pan. It has three layers of materials – a copper core, surrounded by black steel, surrounded by enamel (aka glass). When the pan is heated at high heat to fuse all those layers, the enamel layer becomes very smooth and essentially stick resistant. And enamel is non toxic. I have never lost a crêpe when I use this pan. You might want to invest in a fish spatula too (see note above), a Chantal pan is a little deeper than the traditional crêpe pan. You can find Chantal at many kitchenware stores and also on line.
I generally reach for one of two oils when I am cooking. If I am going a Mediterranean route I use olive oil. If I am going any other route, I use grapeseed oil. It has a neutral taste and nice texture. Canola oil is supposed to be good for you but most of what you buy is genetically modified and I am not a fan of that. Also, I find canola oil heavy in texture and almost fishy in taste.