Friday, October 1, 2010

155. Oriental Finger Food, Little Circles

I doubt that my family has ever thought that I worry about some of the meals I prepare. No matter how many times I make something, I know that things can and do go wrong. An untimely distraction can lead to measurement errors....familiarity and overconfidence in the-what-and-how of  a recipe can cause a misstep in procedure. My most horrible cooking mistakes have usually taken place when I was ill or very tired and should have delegated the meal planning to another capable family member. Yes, cooking can be a minefield!

In view of the almost constant work that has gone on in my own kitchen, I am intrigued and inspired when I watch another competent cook at work. The newness of flavors and the techniques that others bring with them is not only fun, but for that brief time, someone else is responsible for the end product!

Many years ago, I attended a cooking class taught by a young woman named Hey Sook Huo; she had volunteered to teach a class featuring a recipe from her homeland. It was one of those sit-back-and-relax cooking experiences...not only was I on the receiving side of the table, for a change, but the sometimes mysterious oriental way of doing things become a little less so after the evening was over...

The recipe was simple, inexpensive and tasty. It also was really fun! There were the expected behind-the-scenes preparation steps so common in many oriental dishes...but, that was part of the fun. Hey Sook's recipe is an appetizer that she said was originally only fixed for well-to-do people or royalty.

I loved the precise way the recipe was put together and  all of us who participated, loved the end result. My husband and I like to eat these little circles of food every so often for our breakfast. They are are a fun, healthy and quite a change from our usual breakfast food. Step-by-step directions are below.


Hey Sook Huo Appetizers






Filling

With a sharp paring knife, slice the following ingredients very thinly into sticks about 2/12 inches long:

Carrots (cleaned)
Cucumber
Celery
Zucchini
Egg, beaten and fried (egg substitute may be used)
Turkey sausage, fried

Optional filling ingredients:

Egg white, beaten and fried
Egg yolk, beaten and fried
Beef strips, stir fried
Pork sausage, fried
Avocado
Imitation crab

Set sliced ingredients on plates in attractive piles.

Batter


2 T flour
3 1/2 T water
Dash salt

Heat griddle to med/hot. Put flour in a small bowl and add water, 1 T at a time, stirring well to mix. The finished batter will be pourable, but not too runny. Place 1 soup-sized spoonful of batter on hot, greased griddle. Immediately spread the batter into a 2 1/2 inch circle using the back of the spoon to create an extremely thin pancake. The batter will quickly change to a less white color as it cooks. Immediately, after the pancake is set, flip it over for a few seconds; transfer to a plate. The pancake is not supposed to brown and the first side cooked, is the outside.

Continue with remaining batter. I usually have 4 cooking at the same time, but it does take a little practice to get the circles to be uniform in shape, size and thinness so I would advise only doing one at a time until you are comfortable with the procedure. Makes 11 appetizers or enough for 1 meal.

( Increase recipe amounts as desired).

Assembling Appetizer


Place one or two of each thinly cut vegetable, egg and meat selections in the middle of the inside of one appetizer shell. Fold over and dip and end in one or both sauces. Enjoy!



Dipping sauces
Soy sauce plus a few drops of rice vinegar
Brown mustard

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