These Peking mushroom pancakes are a vegetarian riff on the classic Peking duck pancakes and are made with roasted mushrooms (!), hoisin, cucumber, and scallions. Spectacular stuff.
These are an easy and tasty alternative to Peking duck pancakes. Instead of duck, I have used an array of mushrooms. If you are not a fan of mushrooms, you can use seitan, smoked tofu, cauliflower, or courgettes, but the mushrooms really do work well—they provide a bold umami flavor and take on the Chinese five-spice powder brilliantly.–Ching-He Huang
Peking Mushroom Pancakes
- Bamboo steamer
For the mushrooms
- 1 pound 2 ounces mixed mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster, king trumpet, and enoki mushrooms, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
- Large pinch of crushed red chile flakes
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
- 16 to 18 store-bought wheat-flour pancakes (or use washed little gem lettuce leaves)
- 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 scallions trimmed and sliced into julienne strips
- 1 cucumber deseeded and sliced into julienne strips
Make the mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Scatter the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the five-spice, chile flakes, and sea salt, and drizzle with the tamari or soy sauce and oil. Roast in the oven until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, 20 to 22 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Meanwhile, pull out your wok and a small bamboo steamer. Fill the wok halfway with water and place over medium-high heat. Place the pancakes in the small bamboo steamer and set them over the wok. Steam the pancakes for 8 minutes.
☞TESTER TIP: If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, stack the pancakes on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1 minute, or according to package directions.
- To serve, pile the mushrooms on a plate and place the hoisin sauce, scallions, and cucumber in small dishes. Place the steamer basket of pancakes on the table and let everyone help themselves.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This Peking mushroom pancakes recipe is a great option for vegetarian eaters and those who can’t find duck. I love sharing my favorite Chinese recipes with my family, to share my experiences living near Shanghai for a few years. However with at least one member of my family being vegetarian, it’s not always easy. This had a wonderful robust flavor that evoked everything I love about the dish, and it felt hearty enough for a meal, without leaving my veggie family out.
I used a mix of oyster, shiitake, and king oyster mushrooms. I didn’t see any directions for cutting the mushrooms, so I cut them into larger bite size pieces.
I found wheat-flour pancakes at the Asian food store that I’ve used before. I steamed half in the bamboo steamer for 8 minutes and microwaved half on a plate with a damp paper towel over them for 1 minute, according to package directions. The quality of both steaming techniques was very similar so it’s nice to have options.
I did not have light soy sauce so I used regular soy sauce. I didn’t find the taste too heavy or salty.
This Peking mushroom pancakes recipe opened a whole new world for me. It was my first introduction to wheat-flour pancakes, and now I’m going to use them frequently. I used a recipe where you brush the dough with sesame oil and sprinkle on green onions before you roll out the pancake. It was amazing. Then the mushrooms! I was really worried about the amount of five-spice powder, it’s not a seasoning I’m incredibly fond of. But, you were right, it played against the earthy-ness of the mushrooms perfectly.
At the end, they really screamed for more salt. I think the hoisin was too sweet and mimicked too much of the five-spice flavor. It would have been really nice with an oyster sauce, soy sauce, chili crisp, or black bean-garlic sauce. Overall, it has a really good foundation that would need just a few tweaks to be a perfect dish.
I LOVE Peking duck, so I was thrilled to try this vegetarian variation.
The hoisin did a lot of heavy lifting in these pancakes, but the combination is undeniable with the five-spice, cucumber, and scallion. The mushrooms were a little one-note. I drizzled on some toasted sesame oil, a little more soy sauce, and a bit of rice vinegar. This dish was a real delight and something I usually reserve for the pros.
Originally published January 28, 2021