If you've ever been to a Chinese buffet (at least in the UK... though I guess they must have these elsewhere too?), you'll definitely have seen this kind of Chinese pancake. I have no idea how authentically Chinese they are, but they're usually served with shredded duck in hoisin sauce, and thinly sliced cucumber and spring onion.
It sounds weird, but despite obviously not being able to eat the shredded duck, I do sometimes make myself a pancake (or seven) with just the veggies and hoisin sauce - that stuff is amazing, and the texture of the pancakes is so good too. They're so thin and chewy.
This time, rather than just skipping the meat, I thought I'd make my own vegetarian Chinese pancakes, using various mushrooms and homemade hoisin sauce.
You can just use normal mushrooms if you like, but I also used some 'exotic mushrooms' (shiitake and oyster mushrooms) to add some different texture. You could add extra veggies too, if you like - a bit of onion, for example. I thought I'd keep mine nice and simple. The hoisin sauce packs a huge flavour punch, and it's quite salty, so the fresh, crispy veggies are the perfect accompaniment.
This was my first attempt at making homemade hoisin sauce, and I think I did a really good job! My recipe is loosely based around this one. It contains a tiny bit of peanut butter, which I don't think is something you'd usually find in hoisin sauce (correct me if I'm wrong), but it helps to make the sauce thicker and glossier. It may not be authentic, but I'm guessing if you wanted a super authentic hoisin sauce recipe, you wouldn't be coming to me... I'm more of an 'easy versions of old favourites' kind of girl. So just go with it.
Does anyone else love a vegetarian Chinese pancake, or is it just me? That hoisin sauce is just irresistible...
Vegetarian Chinese pancakes with homemade hoisin sauce
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For the homemade hoisin sauce:
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon smooth peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice
For the vegetarian Chinese pancakes:
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 300 g mushrooms, sliced (~ 5 cups when sliced)
- 100 g exotic mushrooms (I used shiitake and oyster), sliced (~ 2 cups when sliced) - or just more regular mushrooms
- 6 Chinese pancakes
- ½ cucumber, cut into thin sticks
- 4 spring onions, cut into very thin sticks
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- To make the homemade hoisin sauce, add all the ingredients to a small bowl, and mix well. Don't worry if the peanut butter doesn't combine perfectly - it'll all melt together in the pan.
- Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan, and add all of the sliced mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Pour over the hoisin sauce, and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the sauce has become thick and glossy.
- Serve the hoisin mushrooms in Chinese pancakes, with thin sticks of cucumber and spring onion, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1 pancake, including all toppings.