How about we head off to another dazzling Mediterranean city? To Nice, where we’ll introduce you to an incredible restaurant that’s still the talk of the town nine years after it opened.
For Banh Meï and chef Thi-Hieu Nguyen have been delighting locals and visitors to the city centre for nearly a decade now. Blending Asian and Mediterranean staples, with a focus on seasonal produce, the menu is consistently adventurous (and delicious, too). And with Renaud Châteaugiron (Paris’s Clown Bar and Saturne) as sommelière, there’s all the more reason to visit. In other words, you get two gastronomic geniuses for the price of one.
Whether you bag a table or take your food away to the beach, their dishes are perfect for sharing and nibbling on – think wontons, bibimbap and spring onion pancakes, the latter brilliantly elevated by a generous helping of those sumptuous legumes. And now you’re in luck, as Thi-Hieu Nguyen has shared with us the recipe for that very dish. Enjoy!
For the dough:
120ml hot water
60ml water at room temperature
For the roux:
120ml neutral oil
For the topping:
One bunch of spring onions
A pinch of pepper
A pinch of salt
In a mixer, blend the flour and hot water for two minutes, before gradually adding in the room-temperature water, sugar and salt until you obtain a smooth and consistent mixture. Leave the dough to sit for 30 minutes in a covered bowl.
Meanwhile, prepare the roux, mixing the oil and flour on a low heat.
Wash and finely slice the spring onions.
Now knead the dough to remove any air bubbles and split the dough into five parts of 110g each (in a rectangular shape). Smear them in roux, before seasoning them and sprinkling with the spring onions.
Take the five dough balls and roll out them flat until they become a long sausage shape of around 1cm thickness. Roll them up into a snail shape.
Cover the shapes with a tea towel and leave to sit for five minutes. Oil and flatten with a rolling pin so you form a pancake with a thickness of around 2mm.
Cook your spring onion pancakes in an oiled pan on a medium heat for three minutes on each side.
Serve with a mix of soy sauce, chilli oil and orange juice.