Peking duck pancakes are also called “chun bing” (春饼) in Chinese, which means spring pancakes. They are super thin Chinese-style tortillas.
Known to most people as the pancakes served with Peking duck, these spring pancakes are also served with stir-fries. There is a custom of eating stir-fried dishes wrapped in spring pancakes on the “beginning of spring” day in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. I first shared this recipe in my Vegan Chinese Cookbook. Watch the video below for how easy it is to make these pancakes.
How to Make the Perfect Dough
This recipe calls for hot water in the dough mix. Hot water partially cooks the flour, shortening the cooking time on the pan.
When measuring the flour, do not pack the flour tightly into the measuring cup. Scoop loose flour into the measuring cup and then use a leveller to level the flour at the top of the cup. This is the best way to make sure you are not picking up more flour than called for in the recipe. Use this method to achieve the correct flour to water ratio.
After adding the water into the flour, I use a pair of chopsticks to stir the flour and water together until strips of dough form in the bowl. The absorbency of flour can vary from brand to brand, and even batch to batch from the same brand. If there is a lot of dry flour left, you may add a little more hot water. If the dough is too wet, you can add a little more flour.
The perfect dough for making Peking duck pancakes should be very soft without sticking all over your hands when kneading the dough.
Tips for Super Thin Peking Duck Pancake
The authentic Peking duck wrap features a super thin pancake. Chefs create these thin pancakes by stacking 2 dough pieces together and then flattening them at the same time, so that each pancake is half the thickness. To prevent the 2 dough pieces from sticking together, brush a layer of oil on top of each dough piece, then sprinkle some dry flour on the oiled side of one piece of dough, then place another piece on top of the first one, oiled side down. When rolling out the pancakes, flatten them as thin as you can. The oil and dry flour barriers prevents the 2 layers from completely merging together.
Cooking Peking Duck Pancakes
You don’t need to oil the pan when cooking the pancakes. Simply toast the pancakes on a dry flat skillet over medium heat. When the bottom side begins to turn a slight golden yellow colour and puff up a little, it’s time to flip the pancake to cook the other side. It takes about 1 minute to cook each side. Be very careful not to overcook them. The cooked pancakes should be still completely soft not dried.
Once the pancakes cool down for a few minutes and not burning your hands, you can peel them apart. It’s easier to separate the pancake layers when they are still hot. When the pancakes are completely cooled down, it will be a little harder to separate them.
Storing and Reheating
You can store separated pancakes in a sealed ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a steamer, or cover them with a damp towel and warm them up in the microwave.
Making a Full Meal
Peking duck wrap is a fantastic meal and must-try.
Or, use them as thin tortillas and make the Shredded Chipotle Beef Tacos.
More Tasty Pancakes and Flatbreads You Will Love:
- Chinese Scallion Pancakes (葱油饼)
- Injera (Fermented Ethiopian Teff Flatbread)
- 5 Ingredient Gluten Free Zucchini Crepe
- Overnight Banana Spelt Pancakes
- Mini Mushroom Pancakes (Keto, Paleo, Whole 30)
Peking Duck Pancakes
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Place the flour in a medium bowl. Pour the hot water into the bowl while stirring quickly with a pair of chopsticks, to form lumps. Press the dough together, and knead the dough inside the bowl for 2 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 1 hour.
- Dust a work surface with flour. Cut the dough in half and keep one half under the damp towel. Roll one half of the dough into a rope, then cut it into 10 equal pieces. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Press each piece into a flat round using the palm of your hand.
- Brush a little oil on top of each piece of dough. Sprinkle a pinch of flour onto the oiled side of one piece of dough, then place another piece on top of the first one, oiled-side down. Press the pieces together, then use a rolling pin to flatten them into a thin pancake about 6 inches in diameter.
- Heat a large dry skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a pancake and cook it for 1 minute on each side, until it is slightly golden yellow and puffed up but still soft. Repeat to make 10 pancakes.
- Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate. Peel the two layers of each pancake apart to make a total of 20 individual pancakes. Serve immediately.