I think that more than lunch, or dinner, or snacks and what-nots, people tend to have a more fixated idea on what a breakfast ought to be. Even though I may have my Asian background to thank for (if I may) a broader window on other-than-American foods, I’m still sometimes a bit… pleasantly awed by what other parts of the world eat for breakfast during my travels (that’s IF I ever wake up for it… but let’s just pretend I do).
Huh? Macaroni with SPAM swimming in a watered down tomato soup? Really? Coconut rice topped with chili sauce, dried shrimps and marinated squids in banana leaf? You’re kidding. Slimy and stringy fermented beans vigorously stirred and eaten with steamed rice? Uhum, let me wrap my head around that. How about a big, hot bowl of beef soup with rice vermicelli? Tell me that could also be for dinner right? And Americans, don’t feel too good yet. Stacked pancakes with bacon, sausages, eggs AND a pouring of syrup?? NOW, THAT’S absurd! But then JUST a croissant? I feel strangely lonely.
Of course I’m not saying where I come from, people don’t have their fair share of strange breakfast. A fistful of sticky rice stuffed with pork floss and a piece of stale fried dough!? …Touche. And that’s not the only thing because breakfast is… kind of a big thing in Taiwan. An entire market of franchised restaurants would elbow one another, scratch each other’s eye out and bloodbath their way to the top of “The Best Breakfast Joint” in the neighborhood because like I said, breakfast is big here. And any one of them certainly wouldn’t get away without egg crepes on its menu which is Taiwanese chive crepe on one side and scrambled eggs on the other.
I totally have a nostalgic thing for egg crepes since childhood. It makes me wanna pick up a satchel overweighting with textbooks and go to… OK not school. Anyways, I have been making it at home for a long time. Even though recently this tore us apart, I still revisit sometimes. And by which I mean when my husband who is equally egg-crepes-fanatic is devouring it right in front of me, that I could have a lick. But during all these years of a happy relationship with frozen, store-bought Taiwanese crepes (oh… I didn’t mention that?), the freak in me had always wanted to develop my own recipe (there, phew…). For one, store-bought tends to… run out sometimes. It’s in its nature. Girls need a relationship she can rely on, you know. So the other day I did exactly that, and it pretty much kicked store-bought out of the house. It’s exactly what I look for in an egg crepe with a chewy texture and crispy edges. I don’t think I could ever go back to store-bought after this.
Servings: 10 ~ 11 crepes
* UPDATES: I have reduced the vegetable oil from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup for a chewier dough. You could add 1/3 cup if you’d like a softer dough.
- 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of tapioca starch/flour
- 5 tbsp of finely diced chives or scallions
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/8 tsp of black pepper and white pepper each
- 1 3/4 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 8 large eggs
- 3 tbsp of milk
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- White pepper for dusting
Mix together flour, tapioca starch, finely diced chives (or scallions), sugar, salt, black pepper and white pepper in a bowl. Add the water and vegetable oil, and whisk vigorously until the mixture is smoothly combined without any lumps. Set it aside to rest for at least 30 min.
Prepare a flat, shallow and round non-stick skillet. There are two ways of forming the crepes. You could either start with a cold pan, add the batter and swirl the pan to let the batter run in different directions to form a circle. Or you could start with a hot pan, and use a wooden “T-shape” stick to spread the batter into a circle. I find that the wooden stick method is easier because this is quite a thick batter to let “swirl”, and I’m not psyched of the idea of cooling down the pan for every new crepe. So I made my own T-stick by sticking two disposable chopsticks together, which has proven to be a flimsy, one-time-use-only device that was released from its duty right after this. But I thought it did the job pretty well.
Heat up the non-stick skillet over medium heat. Depending on the size of your pan, add enough batter so it can be spread into a thin crepe that fits the diameter of the pan. Use the T-shape stick to swirl over the batter and spread it out. This will take a couple of practices but after the second (or third…) one, it would all come together. Let the crepe toast on the pan until some bubbles start to form and rise up. Flip the crepe over when the first side starts to brown, and do the same for the other side. When both sides are slightly browned, it can be taken out of the pan and cool on a plate. Repeat this for the rest of the batter.
PS, These crepes can be frozen for whenever they are needed. Just insert a piece of parchment paper in between each crepe, slide into an air-tight bag and freeze.
When ready to make the egg crepe, whisk the eggs, milk and salt in a bowl and set aside. Heat up the same non-stick skillet used for making the crepe over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of oil then approx 3~4 tbsp of the eggs mixture. The pan should be hot enough so the eggs would immediately start to sizzle and bubble. QUICKLY lay 1 crepe over the eggs BEFORE THE EGG COOKS so that the crepe could stick to the eggs. Sprinkle a bit of white pepper over the crepe and flip the crepe when the bottom of the eggs is browned. This would happen VERY QUICKLY, like within 30 sec if the temperature of the pan is correctly hot. Toast the crepe side until it’s nicely browned as well, then fold it in half and take it out of the pan. Repeat with the rest of the eggs and crepes.
These crepes can be folded, or rolled, or into whatever form you like, but chili sauce is a MUST companion in my kitchen.