SCALLION ROLLS FROM CHINA (HUA JUAN)
They were a staple at the Chinese grocery store we visited in suburban New Jersey, where the huge wild blue yonder contrasts with the big wild gray yonder we now find ourselves in. Harumph). Let us show you how to make these twisty things as a continuation of our recent all-purpose Chinese bun (man tou) dough post.
To make them into more complex shapes, these “flower rolls” (Chinese for “scallion rolls”) would traditionally be twisted or braided. But fear not, we have a simpler method for you. As with cinnamon buns, we opted to roll and cut them into “butterfly shapes” to keep them from growing and rolling away. Again, simplicity comes out on top!
There are many conventional (and vegetarian) ways to prepare this dish. Then there’s the option to add:
Feel free to stuff these rolls to your heart’s content with as much of it as you like. Bacon and scallions are common ingredients in many Chinese bakeries, so you have a cultural license to do the same.
- 1 recipe mantou dough
- 3 pcs. of scallions (chopped)
- 4 oz. of cooked bacon (chopped or 2 tablespoons sesame seeds)
- The basic mantou dough may be made in roughly two hours.
- Roll out half of the dough into a half-inch thick rectangle. Shallots, oil, and salt, to taste, are combined with the chopped scallions in a bowl. Half of the scallion mixture should be strewn over the dough in an equal layer. Alternatively, sprinkle on half the bacon or one tablespoon of sesame seeds.
- Slice the dough into 3-inch pieces after rolling it into a cigar shape. Each bun should have a crease through the center made with a chopstick. A nonstick skillet with a tablespoon of oil heated to medium-high heat should be used. Allow the buns to cook for a few seconds before serving. Toss in half a cup of water into the pan, then close the lid. About 12 minutes of steaming. Ensure that the pan isn’t drying out, and if it is, add a bit of extra water.
- The water will evaporate if the cover is taken off. When the bottoms of the buns begin to become a golden brown, add more oil if necessary. Serve! Make another batch or save the dough in the fridge if you don’t use it all right away.