Taken from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion
(which is a fantastic field to fork book that I highly recommend).
This is a simple recipe, but it requires several steps with waiting periods in between. So you need to set aside two hours to make these cakes (which really are a side dish), more if you have little helpers.
125g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
20g hard fat (the original recipe said lard *shudder*; I used butter)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salted black beans (these are preserved black beans that you will
find in any Asian supermarket. Alternatively, contact Mike & Jessica
who have a large pot they’re more than willing to share!)
1cm piece fresh ginger
3 spring onions, trimmed & finely chopped
oil for frying
Mix the flour & salt in a bowl.
Melt the fat in the water in a small saucepan over a low heat, then tip into the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon to form a dough.
Once the dough is cool enough to handle, remove it from the bowl and knead for a minute.
Then pop it back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel, & leave to rest for 30 mins.
Rinse the black beans, and then mush them up in a small bowl with the back of a teaspoon.
Mix the mushed beans, ginger, and spring onion together.
Take the ball of dough & divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each
piece out into a small round and brush lightly with sesame oil.
Divide the filling between each dough round, spreading it lightly over the top of each piece.
Then roll each piece up like a cigar, squash down the ends, and roll the cigar up to make a little snail shape.
Leave the dough snails to rest for 30 mins, covered with a tea towel.
Dust the dough snails with flour, and then roll them into small rounds.
Cover with the tea towel & leave to rest for 30 mins.
Put your oven on its lowest heat (100C/gas ¼) and put a tray or oven-proof plate with kitchen towel on inside.
Now you’ll need either a reasonably large frying pan, or a wok, with a
generous amount of oil. Heat the oil, and then fry the cakes - as many
as you can fit into your pan in a single layer - on both sides until
golden brown. While each batch cooks, put the ones already fried onto
the plate in the oven to keep warm/drain off excess oil.
Serve hot with some kind of Chinese food, such as a lovely fresh
vegetable stir fry. You could even make a black bean sauce of your own
to go with that!
This recipe tastes even better made with vegetables from Community Harvest Whetstone