Friday, November 1, 2013

Taro Root Pancakes (Lai Wu Bok Bang)

1½ pounds taro root, peeled, ends removed, coarsely grated (to yield 4 cups, tighly packed)
2/3 cup Chinese bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 extra large eggs
1 cup scallions, finely diced
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1½ tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp Shao-Hsing wine, or sherry
Pinch white pepper
3 Tbsp cornstarch

7 Tbsp peanut oil

In a large bowl mix all ingredients except peanut oil, thoroughly to make a cohesive mass.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for 1 minute.  Add 3 Tbsp peanut oil.  When a wisp of smoke appears, scoop 5 generous spoonfuls of taro root mixture (about 3 Tbsp each) into the pan and flatten them.  Lower heat to medium-high and fry for 2 minutes.  Turn over, fry for another 2 minutes until both sides are browned and crisp.  Remove, drain on paper towels.  Continue until all pancakes are done.  With each batch you may have to add about 2 Tbsp peanut oil to the pan.  When done, turn off heat, transfer to heated dish and serve.

Makes 16 pancakes.

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