Has it ever occurred that you have a great idea for the dumpling filling but with little time or too lazy to make the dough from scratch? I found myself often in such situation. This is why I prefer to either prepare the dough the night before. Or spend long hours to prepare large quantity of dumplings and store some in the freezer (check out how to preserve dumplings). Luckily there is another way to make our life easier! That is making the Chinese pan-fried pie using the pre-prepared pizza dough.
The Chinese pan-fried pie, whose name is 馅饼 (Xiàn Bǐng), was originally a street food from the north China. It is a pie shaped bread cooked in skillet. The traditional, as well as the most popular version, is with beef or pork filling. But in this recipe, I am introducing a vegetarian version, made with cabbage, wood ear mushrooms, etc.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THE PAN-FRIED PIE AT HOME
1. Zero folding skill needed
It can't get more convincing than this! You have nothing to worry about even if you have never, or have failed to fold the Chinese dumplings. Styling and pleating are unnecessary in pan-fried pie preparation. As long as you are not so greedy to overload the filling, I am sure you can easily wrap up the Chinese pie.
2. Use the pre-made pizza dough. It is time saving!
Luckily we are in Italy, a country that can't live without pizza! The pizza dough is perfect for making our pan-fried pie! Nearly all supermarkets sell the pizza dough at their bakery section. Grab one pack and you are almost ready to make this dish. What a time and energy saving method!
3. More options for the filling
Not into the vegetarian diet? No problem at all! I've shared many dumpling recipes with meat filling before. Find out more possibilities for the filling and have fun making the Chinese pan-fried pie your way!
CHINESE PAN-FRIED PIE WITH CABBAGE AND WOOD EAR MUSHROOM FILLING 高丽菜黑木耳素菜馅饼Course: FIRST COURSECuisine: CHINESEDifficulty: LOW
Pizza dough: 800 - 1000g
Wood ear mushrooms (dried): 20g
Vermicelli of sweet potato (or of soy): 140g
Soy sauce: 3 tbsp
Oyster sauce: 2 tbsp
Salt: 3 tsp
Sesame oil: 3 tbsp
- Soak the vermicelli and the wood ear mushrooms in water separately for 30 minutes.The wood ear mushroom before (on the right) and after (on the left) soaked in water
- Shred the cabbage and carrots.
- Squeeze out the water then cut the mushrooms into small pieces.
- Heat up a wok with some oil. Stir-fry the cabbage, carrots and the mushroom together. Add the soy sauce and salt, keep stir-frying until all vegetables are cooked.
- Boil the vermicelli in water for 4-5 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the vermicelli under cold water for a few seconds.
- Cut the vermicelli into shorter pieces, mix with the sesame oil.
- Mix the cooked vegetables and vermicelli together.
- The Chinese Pie
- Divide the pasta dough into smaller portions, around 50g each (note 1).
- Take one portion and put some filling on the center. Close the pie following the tutorial shown in the photos below.
- (optional) Decorate some sesami on top of the pie.
- Heat up the skillet with some oil.
- Lay the pie inside the skillet and pan-fry them with medium heat for 5 minutes until the bottoms turn golden brown.
- Flip them over to cook the other side. Cover with the lid and continue to pan-fry the pie with 8 minutes (note 2).
- 1. It is suggested to rest the dough for 10 minutes before using them to wrap the filling. In such way the gluten shall be relaxed and the dough would be easier to work with.
- 2. If at this stage the wrap is still not totally cooked, turn the pie again and pan-fry them for another 3 minutes with the lid on. Repeat this step until you are sure the dough is well done.
This recipe shows you how I smartly adapt the traditional Chinese recipe to life in Italy. It is also a convenient and convincing way for Italians to start cooking Chinese food in the dumpling category. I am sure you won’t be disappointed by the filling. And you will be happy with the pizza crust outside!