Sesame pancakes

This northern Beijing speciality (known locally as shao bing), is a savoury delight. Recipe by Gary Rhodes
By Gary Rhodes
Sesame pancakes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus one hour resting
  • Effort: easy


  • 200 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100 ml water
  • 50 ml sesame sauce
  • chinese five spice, to taste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 50 g sesame seeds
  • 50 g finely chopped ham
  • 50 g finely grated carrots
  • 20 g finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten


1. Put the self-raising flour into a bowl and gradually work in the water, mixing well until a soft dough forms. (You may not need all of the water.) Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and put in a warm place to rise for one hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

3. Put the sesame sauce into a bowl and add a dash of water to loosen to a soft butter consistency, then stir in the five spice and salt.

4. Heat the oil in a small pan, then pour over the plain flour and mix until well combined and smooth. Stir into the sesame mixture.

5. In a bowl, mix together the ham, carrot and spring onion. Season with a pinch of salt.

6. Take out the dough and roll out thinly on a floured work surface. Brush the dough with the sesame sauce, then roll the dough up into a roulade shape. Trim the edges, then cut into 15 small pieces and roll out into thin discs.

7. Pinch the ends together, then place a spoonful of the ham, carrot and spring onion mixture in the middle. Lift up two opposing edges and bring together to join in the middle. Turn the pancake over and press down to form a shape similar to an Eccles cake.

8. Brush the top of the pancake with egg yolk and press in the sesame seeds. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pancakes are golden-brown and crisp.

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