Leftover Stir-Fry Pancake
What to do with leftover stir-fry? Here’s an easy, tasty solution, and (as if you needed an “and”), it only takes fifteen minutes.
The problem with leftover stir-fried vegetables, especially greens, is they seem to exude more liquid the longer they sit. I hate to throw them out, but I can’t ever get any takers for soggy vegetables in a puddle of water. It’s weird.
Flipping through Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking, I spotted a recipe for savory Squash Pancakes. I didn’t have zucchini, but I did have a leftover stir-fry of bok choy, mushrooms and bean sprouts that was destined for the compost bin. Somehow I came to the conclusion that the bean sprouts mixed with egg batter might resemble egg foo yung, which sounded really tasty at the time.
Within three minutes, the batter was made and poured into the wok. It was that fast. In fact, it was flipped, cooked, sliced, and halfway eaten before I could seriously question the validity of the whole idea.
This savory pancake could be made with almost any leftover stir-fry you have on hand — Kung Pao Chicken, Hoisin Pork, or Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce. I think Pad Thai, or another noodle dish, would also be terrific — it’d be like a Chinese version of Italy’s noodle pie. Another thought: rather than making one large on in the wok, you could make tiny, appetizer-sized ones, top them with a pickled chutney of some sort, and serve at your next dinner party. (I’ll work on a topping.)
Leftover Stir-fry Pancakes
Based on Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking, by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo
serves 4 to 6
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups leftover stir-fry (in this case bok choy, mushrooms and bean sprouts)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1 Tbs. Shaoxing wine
- 3 Tbs. flour
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground white pepper
- 3 Tbs. thinly sliced scallions
- 2 Tbs. peanut or grapeseed oil, divided
Drain leftover stir-fry in fine mesh sieve over sink, pressing contents against the bottom to release as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
In medium bowl, gently stir together egg, soy, Shaoxing, flour, salt and pepper until just combined and smooth. Fold in drained vegetables and scallions.
Heat wok over high heat until a bead of water evaporates within a second. Swirl in a tablespoon of the oil. Immediately pour in batter, spreading it into a thin, even layer. Using the handles, move the wok in a circular motion so the pancake moves around and cooks evenly. Cook for about 2-1/2 minutes, until bottom browns.
Slide pancake from the wok onto a large, flat plate. Invert a second plate of about the same size over the top, and flip the plates over, so the cooked side is now on the top. Remove the top plate, swirl in remaining tablespoon of oil, and slide the pancake back into the wok. Reduce heat to medium and cook 3 more minutes, or until pancake is golden on the other side and set in the middle.
Transfer to plate or cutting board, slice and enjoy while it’s hot.