Memory is a funny thing. There are memories I have from my early childhood that I’m sure aren’t mine. Really. I had this story in my head of eating these early in the morning, at a hawker stall with a plate of these in the middle of the table. A rather large and mean-looking beetle landed on the table and started helping itself to the bread. It was so big we could hear it hissing as it breathed. Being a child, it looked enormous and scary, and I didn’t dare swat it. Not long ago, Mum told the same story and it got me wondering if the memory is actually hers and I’ve appropriated it somehow. Anyways, they’re rather yummy for breakfast if you fancy a change from the norm. People in Taiwan have this all the time.
What it is in essence is a layered flatbread with lots of spring onions in it, commonly rolled up with a very thin omelette in it. I like to add some garlic to it as well, but that’s because everyone chez foodie is a total garlic freak.
Makes about 5 flatbreads
Cheaty no-knead dough
300g strong bread flour
200ml water (at 37C if you can get it there)
3g garlic salt
Mix all of the above together and leave it overnight – I tend to do this because these flatbreads are a breakfast thing, and even I won’t get up at 4am to knead the dough so that it’s ready for 6-7am when we start making breakfast.
The proper stuff!
Same as above but you knead it for about 5 minutes, leave it covered in a warm place to rise till doubled in size. Then you’re good to go.
Bread dough as above
Spring onions chopped finely
Deep fried shallots (Optional)
4 or so beaten eggs.
Fold the edges towards the centre and once again roll it thin. About 3-4mm is about right.
When they’re done, beat a couple of eggs and make a very thin omelette. Put a frying pan on medium heat put a little bit of oil in it. Pour a little bit of beaten egg in it and swirl it round so it gets really thin. If you get it thin enough you won’t need to flip it because the heat of the pan will just cook it through.
Place it in the flatbread, roll it up and Bob’s your uncle.
What I’ve learned
Sometimes when they puff up they’re a lot harder to cook properly because the bottom of the flatbread doesn’t sit flush against the pan. This can be rectified if you gently press down with a potato masher.
Finely chopped garlic, sauteed, is also a great filling.
I have not yet tried this with a filling of bacon and cheese, but to be honest it’s calling me.