Yields 9 pancakes
Add water slowly until you are sure how much is needed. Everything from altitude to the age of the flour can affect the amount required.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾–1 cup boiling water
¼ cup sesame oil
Place the flour in a large bowl. Add the boiling water and quickly stir with a wooden spoon.
As soon as you can withstand the heat, knead the warm dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and let stand for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each half into a 9-inch cylinder. Using a tape measure, lightly score and cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. You will have 18 pieces at this point.
Shape each piece into a ball and then flatten into a circle between the palms of your hands. Brush the top of each piece with sesame oil, and then place the pieces on top of each other, oiled sides together.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pieces into a 5½–6-inch circle. (Don't worry if the edges overlap.) Continue with the rest of the dough.
Heat a dry pan on low-medium heat. When the pan is hot, add one of the paired pancakes and cook on each side for 2 minutes or until brown bubbles appear (the second side will cook more quickly).
Remove from the pan and pull the pancakes apart while they are still hot. Place on a plate and cover with a damp cloth while cooking the remainder.
Pancakes for Dinner
Besides making a tasty snack, mandarin pancakes are served with the northern dishes mu shu pork and Peking duck. In the case of mu shu pork, the pork is wrapped in the pancakes, which are brushed with hoisin sauce. To be completely authentic, the sauce should be brushed on with Green Onion Brushes (page 73).