Courgette pancakes hu ta zi

Courgette Pancakes – a Hu Ta Zi Recipe from Beijing

Summer has brought courgette spaghetti/noodles onto the shelves in some supermarkets here, so yes, this is another courgette recipe! If you can’t buy courgette spaghetti, then just spiralise a normal courgette.

Hu Ta Zi is a snack from Beijing, and is originally made with calabash (bottle gourd), but as that’s difficult to buy in many countries, I’ve adapted the recipe using courgette, and it’s just as delicious! The pancakes is best served hot, and usually dipped in a rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic powder/chopped garlic sauce. However, they are also delicious by themselves. Ideally, you’d have some tempura paper for this, as it absorbs excess oil, but if not, then you can use a clean piece of kitchen roll.

The recipe makes roughly 5 pancakes, and serves 2. It takes around 5-10 mins to prep, and then you’ll just need to cook the pancakes over the stove one by one, so the cooking time will depend on how many pans you can get going. To make it suitable for vegetarians or for your Meatless Monday, you can swap the chicken stock cube for a vegetable stock cube.

Ingredients
250g spiralised courgette
3 eggs
1 cup of plain flour
1 crushed chicken stock cube
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Dipping sauce (optional)
Rice vinegar
Garlic powder
Soy sauce

Step 1: Place the spiralised courgette into a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs in and mix it by stirring in one direction. Allow to rest for 2 minutes.

Step 2: Add in the flour, crushed chicken stock powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper and again, mix in a single direction until a thick paste forms. Once more, allow to rest for 2 minutes.

Step 3: In a frying pan, coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil, and once the oil is hot, drop in a dollop of the pancake mix and nudge/flatten it into a circle. Allow it to cook for a minute before turning.

Step 4: Turn until both sides begin to brown, then remove it onto a plate lined with tempura paper. Dab both sides, and it’s ready! Cook the remaining batter in the same way.

Step 5: Slice and serve with the dipping sauce, if desired, by mixing around 70% rice vinegar with 30% soy sauce and a touch of garlic powder or chopped garlic.

If you want a semi-vegetarian version, then of course you can sub the chicken stock powder with vegetable stock. This pancake recipe contains no milk, so it works well for those who don’t want that in their diet, don’t you think?

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