I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for ages, but was having trouble locating Szechuan peppercorns. Finally, I found some in the bulk section of my least favorite grocery store ever, Rainbow. Everyone in San Francisco raves about that place but I think that it has poor lighting; it’s difficult to find things; it’s very overpriced; and, the worst thing of all, the staff is rude. Ugh! I rarely shop Rainbow but this time I was desperate so put up with the rough conditions.
This recipe comes from my favorite East-meets-West cookbook, Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey. The dish is surprisingly easy to make, particularly considering that it’s a bread. It was delicious: not too spicy but very flavorful. The sauce is sour and a little savory, which matches perfectly. Brilliant work, Najmieh!
I served this with Szechuan style green beans with zucchini, essentially using the same recipe as the one with long beans. We loved it.
Szechuan fry bread
3 cups flour, sifted
1¼ cups boiling water
¼ cup sesame oil
1 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 spring onions, shredded
Olive oil for frying
½ cup vegetable stock
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 hot red pepper, crushed
1 spring onion, chopped
2 tbsp. soy sauce
Place flour in food processor with bread dough attachment. Pulse in water to mix and make dough. Mix for three to five minutes until a soft dough is formed. Place in bowl and cover with damp cloth. Let rest for thirty minutes.
Place rested dough on floured surface. Roll into a long cylinder about two inches in diameter. Cut into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a flat round about six inches across. Paint each piece with sesame oil on one side. Sprinkle sesame seeds, Szechuan pepper and shredded spring onion over each. Roll each round into a cigar shape. Twist each cigar into a spiral. With a rolling pin, gently flatten each spiral to form a round. When I did this, some of the sesame oil and stuffing came out. That’s o.k.
Heat a non-stick pan on medium high. Pour about two tablespoons into pan then add first bread. Fry for a few minutes until the edges dry out and the bottom becomes a reddish brown. Flip and fry reverse in same way. Repeat with remaining breads.
To prepare dipping sauce, mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Serve with hot bread.