Moo Shu pancakes, sometimes called Mandarin pancakes, are easy to make and simply delicious! They are light, chewy, and so much tastier than storebought options. What will you fill yours with?
Chinese cuisine is so vast and diverse – which makes sense considering the size of the country. There is much to be found, tasted, and enjoyed! I love recipes like my Chinese BBQ pork, five spice ribs, and this Szechuan pork and Chinese eggplant stir fry, to name a few.
Moo Shu pancakes — sometimes called Chinese, duck, or Mandarin pancakes — make for a wonderful addition to dishes like Moo Shu Pork and Peking Duck. They have a similar look to French crêpes but tend to be chewier and have a flavor closer to pasta. You can use them as you would a tortilla – that is to say, you can fill them up with whatever you like and enjoy like a mini sandwich or taco. I wanted to share this recipe as a sort of base for your own unique creations.
Now, they may be called pancakes, but the process to prepare them is quite different. You’ll only need a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably have at home. They cook up in less than 10 minutes, which means you’ll have plenty of time to whip up whatever you want to fill them with!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- All-Purpose Flour - All bread-like recipes need some sort of grain-based ingredient like flour. If you’re gluten intolerant, you can replace it with a gluten-free option. I like almond flour the best.
- Boiling Water - To help form the dough for this recipe.
- Kosher Salt - You’ll need a bit of salt to form the dough. It will also improve the coloring of your final results.
- Sesame Oil - I opt for sesame oil to add a bit of Chinese-inspired flavor to these Chinese pancakes for Moo Shu. The oil helps to ensure that the dough doesn’t stick to your rolling pin as you roll out your pancakes.
HOW TO MAKE MOO SHU PANCAKES
1. Mix. Add the flour, salt, and hot water to a bowl and mix with a fork until the dough holds together. Let it cool.
2. Knead. Place the dough on a floured countertop or cutting board and knead until it’s smooth. If you find that the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for about an hour.
3. Roll. Take your dough and form it into an 8-inch long roll. Cut it into eight 1-inch pieces, then cut each piece into halves. You should have 16 pieces in total. As you begin to form the individual balls of dough, keep the rest covered so it stays fresh!
4. Form. Take 2 pieces and roll them to form small balls and flatten them slightly. Brush one of the flattened discs with sesame oil and place another flattened disc on top. Press together and, using a rolling pin, roll them into a disc that’s about 7-8 inches wide. Repeat with the rest of the dough and keep covered.
5. Fry. Place the pancakes (one disc at a time) into a heated wok or frying pan and cook for less than a minute on each side. If you see air bubbles forming, press down on the Moo Shu pancake gently to remove them.
6. Fold. Remove the disc from the pan and peel apart the two pancakes that have formed. Fold them into quarters and set them aside, making sure to cover them so that they stay warm. Serve with the fillings of your choice and enjoy!
Can You Freeze Chinese Pancakes for Moo Shu?
Absolutely! If you want to make your Moo Shu pancakes ahead of time, you can freeze them for up to 1 month. Once they have completely cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then place them inside a freezer-safe Ziplock bag. When you’re ready to enjoy, let them thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating in the microwave. You can also reheat them in a frying pan or wok them over medium heat until warmed through.
How Do You Soften Moo Shu Pancakes?
If you find that your Chinese pancakes for Moo Shu have hardened, you can use a pot of boiling water to soften them. Simply place chopsticks over the pot of hot water and then place the pancakes on top. The steam from the water will heat and soften them.
You may want to use this technique for frozen pancakes instead of reheating them in the microwave or on the stovetop for the best results!
Are Chinese Pancakes for Moo Shu the Same as Tortillas?
While Moo Shu pancakes look similar to tortillas, they aren’t the same. They are thinner, smoother, and have the same consistency as pasta. Visually, they look a lot like French crêpes. That said, if you’re in a crunch and want to enjoy some pancakes with Moo Shu Pork or Duck Peking, you can use tortillas instead. Opt for flour instead of corn.
Moo Shu Pancakes
- 270 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- Mix the flour, salt and water with a fork until the dough holds together.
- Once it is cool enough to handle: on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 8 minutes until smooth, adding flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 1 hour.
- Shape the dough into an 8-inch roll and then cut the roll into (8) 1-inch pieces. Cut each slice into halves for a total of 16 pieces. Keep the dough covered so as to not dry out and start shaping two at a time.
- Roll 2 pieces of the dough into small balls, flatten slightly. Brush the top of one with sesame oil and top with the other circle of dough.
- Press together and roll the double discs into a 7-8 inch circle. Keep your rolling pin and surface floured so they do not stick or slide due to sesame oil. Repeat with remaining dough and cover.
- In a heated frying pan or wok add a pancake, one at a time and cook for 30-45 seconds. If air bubbles arise, press down gently. Flip over and cook another 30-45 seconds.
- Remove from pan and carefully peel apart the 2 pancakes and fold into quarters. Set aside covered to stay warm and repeat with remaining pancakes.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.