Chinese Wraps- Recipe- Urumqi, China
I was wandering around the streets of Urumqi on the search for something really hard to get:” Kodak Filmrolls!!” Without a word of chinese its almost an impossible mission. I desperately looked for photoshops in the area around Hong Shan. After 2 hours of walking in the heat i was too exhausted and stopped at a foodstall to buy some water.It then happened that i bumped into this funky looking chinese girl with a “beatle haircut”.
She saw me and directly asked me if i would need help. Her english was fluent and her name was Ilona. Wow! I was speechless! I was lost in the jungle and suddenly this. I started to explain Ilona about my foodvagabond project and how desperately i need some filmrolls for that. What happened then was awesome! She made a phonecall, took me to the next photostore that sells Kodakfilms. Then she invited me to her house to cook a Chinese dish with her Mum. Isn’t that awesome??
Ilona is a journalist based in Urumqi. Her Mum is a Highschool teacher and her Dad runs a cafe named after their dog , where they sell Hotdogs, which he learned cooking in Russia 🙂
Ilona´s Mums dish is seperated many tiny dishes which each get served in seperate bowls. Each of them is used as a filling for wraps later. Here is the step by step instruction on how to make Chinese Wraps- Urumqi Style!
For the vegtable fillings
1 small bowl of green jalapeno peppers. sliced finely
1 small bowl of red jalapeno peppers, sliced finely
1 small bowl of potato cut in fine julienne stripes
1small bowl of bean sprouts
6 or 7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 chinese onions ( they looks like small leeks), cut into thin julienne stripes (if you cannot find any, use a bunch of spring onions and slice them finely)
Dark chinese vinegar
Sichuan peeper (powder)
Oil for frying
Ingredients for the porc filling
1 bowl of porc meat,cut into strips
2 tablespoons of starge ( to soften the meat)
1tablespoon of gingerpowder
1 tablespoon of sichuan pepper powder
Chinese red bean paste ( chinese bean paste available in asian grocery stores)
Preparing the ingredients
First do all the preparation and slice all the vegtable down before stir-frying can begin.
1.The green japalenos filling!
Get a wok with some oil on a high heat. Add a tablespoon of the chopped garlic and a handful of chinese onions first and stirfry for 1 minute. Throw in the bowl of green jalapenos and stir. Add a pinch of salt, a tablesppon of sichuan pepper. When the colour of the veg is changing add a dash of vinegar and a dash of soysauce.Keep stiring! Have a taste! Then transfer back to the bowl. First filling is ready for the table Wash the wok well!
2. The potato & red jalapeno filling
Add oil to the wok. Same procedure! Add garlic and chinese onion stripes and stirfry for 1 minute. Then add the red jalapenos as well and keep stiring the mixture. Add salt and sichuan pepper as above.Stir! When the colour of the veg is changing and transulent add a dash of the vinegar plus a dash of soysauce. ( you can always add more if, just make sure you taste) The filling is done. Have a final taste and take it out of the wok.Transfer to a plate or a bowl. Done!
3. The beansprout filling
Pour some oil into a wok and start stirfrying garlic and chinese onion stripes. After a minute add the bean sprouts. Stir! Add a some genrouse amount of salt now. And now pour in some vinegar. Sirfry for another 2 minutes and then take out the veg.Have a taste first! Transfer into a bowl. Done!
4.The meat filling
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except for the bean paste. Let it rest for some minutes.
Get started: Get a wok with oil on a highheat . Add the meat and stirfry until the meat until its crispy but half cooked. Take the meat out. Now add some more oil to the same wok and throw some garlic and some stripes of chinese onions in. Stir for a minute. Now its time to squeeze the red bean paste in (the whole pack) and get it all disssolved and boiling. When the paste mixture is hot add in the half cooked meat and give it a good stir. Have a taste. Maybe more salt?
Stir for another 2-3 minutes before taking it out. Before transfering the meat into a bowl or onto a plate, cut some fresh chinese onions or spring onions lenghtways and fill up a quarter of the bowl with it. Then you place the meat filling on top of that. Thats the way Ilona´s mum did it.
Now you should have 4 bowls with 4 diffferent filings on the table. Just the bread is missing.
The Dough for the Wraps
Ilonas mum just did a dough out of:
Water, 2 eggs, few drops of oil and wheat flour.
When you finished knitting the dough, just roll out flat breads with a rolling pin. Then you place them in a pan without oil and get them golden brown. Make sure you check that they wont burn.
Don´t do this on a high heat. As you can see on the pictures she used the rolling pin to make the wraps. They are very similar to the Turkish Lahmacun wraps. You could buy them already made in the supermarket but they will never taste as fresh as i had them in Ilona’s place. I never had chinese wraps before. It was such an amazing meal and definitely worth all the work in the kitchen.Trust me!! 🙂