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Chinese Squash Pancakes

Chinese Squash Pancakes
These Chinese squash pancakes, traditionally made with a Cantonese squash, are whipped up with more readily available zucchini and contain peanuts, scallions, egg, and soy sauce. A marvelously savory appetizer.
Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

Prep 25 mins
Total 25 mins
Sides
Chinese
4 to 6 servings
201 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons raw peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled zucchini cut into 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick slices and then cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide strips
  • 3 tablespoons scallions cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick slices
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Pinch white pepper
  • 3 1/2 to 5 tablespoons peanut oil

Directions 

  • First, dry roast the peanuts. Heat a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the peanuts, spread them in a single layer, lower the heat to medium, and let roast for 30 seconds. Turn the peanuts over and stir continuously for about 5 minutes, or until they are light brown. Turn off the heat and transfer the peanuts to a dish. Allow them to cool completely, then place them on a sheet of waxed paper and crush them with a rolling pin.
  • In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, zucchini, scallions, egg, soy sauce, wine, flour, sugar, and pepper and stir until a smooth batter forms.
  • Heat the wok over high heat for 1 minute. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil and, using the spatula, coat the wok with the oil. If making a single pancake, pour in the batter and spread in a thin layer. Using both handles of the wok, move the wok over the burner in a circular motion so the pancake moves around as well and does not stick. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom browns. If making individual pancakes, separate the batter into 4 equal portions. Then, cook each smaller pancake, 1 at a time. Using both handles of the wok, move the wok over the burner in a circular motion so the pancake moves around as well and does not stick. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom browns.
  • Slide the pancake from the wok onto a large, flat plate. Invert the pancake onto a second plate of the same size. Lift off the top plate. Slide the pancake, browned side up, back into the wok and lower the heat to medium. Cook, occasionally patting the pancake down with the spatula, for about 3 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so that the pancake is neither undercooked nor burned, and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil only if the pan becomes too dry and the pancake begins to stick. The pancake is done when the zucchini has softened and tiny brown spots appear on the second side.
  • Turn off the heat. Slide the pancake(s) onto a heated platter, cut into wedges, and serve.