When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

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Homemade Mu Shu Pancakes

Making homemade pancakes seems like a bit of a chore. But it’s really not that bad. In fact, they are quite simple and nothing tastes better than something fresh and homemade. These light and thin pancakes can be used for all traditional “mu shu” fillings. And here’s a tip: Make them well in advance. Refrigerate or freeze and just steam when you are ready to serve.

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup boiling water
1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil placed in a small dish

– Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add boiling water (the boiling water is key). Mix with a fork until combined.
-When the dough is cool to the touch, knead the dough in the bowl by hand for 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth.
-Form the dough into a rope and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a uniform ball and then flatten with the palm of your hand.
– Take two pieces (one in each hand ) and dip one side of each in the oil. Press oiled sides together and again with the palm of your hand, flatten into a 3 inch circle.
– Use a rolling pin, roll each circle into a thin, larger circle approximately 8 inches in diameter. Repeat, making three more pairs of two pancakes each.

To Cook:
-Heat a 10 inch, non-stick frying pan over low heat until the pan is hot. Place one of the four (paired) pancakes in the pan. Cook for 1 minute on each side.
-Place in a covered casserole dish and set aside on the counter.
-Repeat above steps with the three remaining pairs of pancakes.
-Allow to cool approximately 5 minutes at which point they should be soft, moist and easy to peel apart. Keep them covered (to retain moisture) in warm oven until ready to serve.

Tip: If your rolling skills need help, trim each pancake with kitchen scissors to smooth the edges for a pretty presentation.

To Serve:
Place a warm pancake on a plate. Spread 2 teaspoons of hoisin sauce on the center of the pancake. Add a  ½ cup of the mu shu mixture in the center of the pancake. Fold each side into the center of the pancake. Roll the pancake from the bottom up creating a pouch around the mixture allowing for it to be picked up and eaten with your fingers.

Makes 8 pancakes
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

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