I remember visiting a restaurant in Shanghai famed for its melt-in-your-mouth Peking duck and watching my parents deftly use chopsticks to pile shredded meat and crisp skin into the cradle of a paper-thin pancake. Duck pancakes have become a Chinese-restaurant classic and it is not difficult to see why. Dressed with fruity hoisin sauce and paired with fresh slivers of spring onion for crunch, they are fun to assemble and eat. Young green jackfruit stands in for duck here – it can be shredded in much the same way and soaks up flavours beautifully. If you don’t have time to make your own pancakes, feel free to use a dozen shop-bought wheat spring-roll wrappers.
Makes 12 (enough for 4–6 as a starter)
- First make the pancake dough. In a large bowl, knead the flour, salt and water until you have a smooth, elastic dough, about 5 minutes, adding a teaspoon more flour if it seems too sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the shredded jackfruit in a loaf tin. Whisk together the sesame oil, ginger, wine, five spice, black pepper and soy sauce and pour over the jackfruit. Roast for 15–20 minutes or until very tender – there may still be liquid in the tin, and that’s okay.
- Unwrap the dough, roll it into a log and divide into twelve.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten slightly by patting it with the palm of your hand. Brush a thin layer of oil over six of the flattened dough balls, then place the unoiled dough balls on top of them to form sandwiches. Use a rolling pin to roll out each sandwich into a flat pancake, flipping it midway so both sides are rolled evenly.
- Set a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat, place a pancake in it and cook until it is puffy and the bottom is flecked with brown, about 2–3 minutes. Flip it over and cook the other side for 2–3 minutes, then remove. Carefully separate the two layers to give you two pancakes. Keep on a plate, covered with a clean tea towel, while you cook the rest, separating them as well, to give you twelve in total.
- Transfer the jackfruit to a serving platter. To eat, scoop a little bit of jackfruit onto a pancake, top with a drizzle of hoisin sauce and a few slivers of carrot, cucumber and spring onion, then wrap up and enjoy.
- After draining your tin of young green jackfruit, rinse it well in a sieve under cold running water – this helps to get rid of the slightly sweet jackfruit flavour. After rinsing, cut away the tough core of each piece of jackfruit, then shred the remaining flesh into something resembling pulled pork. Discard all the seeds and seed pods.
Credit for the recipes are Jackfruit and Blue Ginger by Sasha Gill (Murdoch Books, £18.99). Photography by Sasha Gill.
Sasha’s cookbook, Jackfruit and Blue Ginger, is available to buy now here: https://amzn.to/2B4Cnjn