Scallion Pancakes Filled with Garlicky Greens and Hoisin Chicken
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD
One of my favorite cookbooks of all time is Donna Hay’s Flavours (this is spelled correctly). In this book, she shares her recipe for Spring Onion Pancakes with Hoisin Chicken. And that is what influenced this winning dish. I have never used hoisin sauce and even had a bit of a time finding it. But this recipe will treat all five senses!
5 oz. spinach (1 pre-washed bag)
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic or 2 tsp Litehouse garlic
1 cup plain, all-purpose white flour
3 eggs, organic
1½ cups milk, organic
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 scallions, sliced thinly (including greens)
½ cup hoisin sauce
4 tbsp low-sodium tamari
2 tbsp sugar or honey
1 lb. of chicken cutlets, thin (pref. organic/hormone free)
¼ cup sesame seeds
Heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat for one minute and then add the spinach. Stir and sauté until all of the spinach is wilted. Place aside with lid to keep warm.
To make the thin pancakes/crepes, place the flour, eggs, milk, and sesame oil in a bowl. Whisk well while adding the scallions. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over high heat and coat with peanut oil. You can use a paper towel to coat the pan with the oil, if helpful. Pour a thin coating, about ¼ cup of the mixture, into the hot pan. Swirl the pan to ensure the mixture evenly spreads out. Cook the pancake for about 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Coat the pan with peanut oil and stir the mix before you pour each new pancake into the frying pan. This will help to ensure the pancakes does not stick and the scallions are evenly dispersed. Keep the pancakes warm in the oven at about 200 degrees while you make the chicken.
In a small bowl mix the hoisin sauce, tamari sauce, and sugar. Heat a frying pan over the medium heat. You can easily use the same frying pan you made the pancakes in. Cook the sauce for 1 minute and add the thin chicken cutlets to the sauce. Add enough to fill the pan, allowing for sauce to cover each cutlet. Cook for about 5 minutes per side.
When all of the chicken is ready, slice each cutlet a few times across its width and place on the scallion pancake. Sprinkle each cutlet with sesame seeds and scallions. Alongside the chicken, place a line of the garlicky spinach greens and then roll up.
Before you take your first bite, just notice the presentation! It’s eye candy! Smell the garlic, onions, and sweetness of the chicken’s sauce. Notice the feel of the pancake in your hand. Finger foods can be uniquely pleasurable, as they most definitely engage the sense of touch. Think of all the time and preparation that went into making this three-part meal. Were you aware of the sizzle the peanut oil made as it hit the hot pan when making the pancakes/crepes? And then, of course, take a bite of your filled pancake, notice each flavor. Do you taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter or? What does this meal remind you of? As you take your next bite, be sure you have taken a deep breath, inhaling the eating experience and exhaling the stress from the day. Your attention is now devoted to this meal. Be grateful to the famers who grew your food, to the grocery store employees who made the food available to you, and of course to yourself, for preparing the meal and feeding yourself.
Eat, Sleep, and Be in Peace.