This Sichuan-style Guo Kui is a healthier, pan-fried flatbread dough filled with a savoury and flavourful ground pork mixture. It's great as an appetizer or snack.
I don't know if it's just me, but I barely have any time to sit down and watch TV anymore.
Between getting the kids fed, cleaned, and ready for bed... sometimes I don't make it to my bed until 11:30pm.
But on the rare occasion my hubby and I get the kids down by 10pm, what do we end up doing?
Watch Youtube. LOL.
Usually it's mukbang videos, where we laugh at people trying to kill themselves over spicy nuclear noodles, but this one instance, we watched The Food Ranger try this impossibly delicious street snack food in Chengdu called Guo Kui.
What is Guo Kui?
Guo Kui is actually a general term meaning flatbread in China.
It's usually made from flour, yeast, and water.
So what's this Sichuan-style guo kui?
It's a pancake-style snack made of flour and water, filled with meat (usually pork).
These guo kui are filled with lightly seasoned, but flavourful ground pork and is finished with the tingle of ground Sichuan peppercorn.
The guo kui is deep fried in a lot of oil and then oven-baked in a tandoor so that it's crispy and flaky with lots and lots of layers.
How to make a healthier version
Of course, I don't have the traditional tandoor-style oven that is typically used to oven-bake these Guo Kui (or naan).
But, I think I've nailed a healthier approximation.
I added instant yeast to my dough to give it a little rise and volume.
Also, it's not deep-fried. Rather, I pan-fried and then oven-baked them to obtain it's crispness.
Ingredients you'll need:
For the dough, you'll need:
- all-purpose flour: regular all-purpose flour will work just fine for these flatbreads
- instant yeast: you can use active dry yeast; just be sure to activate it in a little lukewarm water before adding to the flour mixture
- hot boiling water: adding hot boiling water helps make the dough more pliable
- sesame seeds: I used white sesame seeds, but you can use black if you like; or omit if you don't like them
For the meat filling:
- ground pork: or you can use ground beef if you like
- aromatics: garlic, ginger, onion, green onion/scallions -- finely minced
- Sichuan peppercorns: give a tingly, numbing sensation -- if you don't like spicy, you can omit
- chili oil: adds a little heat to the meat mixture
- sesame oil: adds additional fragrance to the filling
- soy sauce: I like using a light soy sauce for this; flavours the meat filling
- sea salt: gives the pork additional savoury seasoning
How to make it
For the dough:
Combine the flour, hot boiling water, and stir together with chopsticks until it appears shaggy.
Sprinkle the instant yeast on top and knead it in.
Knead the dough until smooth.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover for about 30 minutes. This helps to relax the gluten in the dough.
For the meat:
Combine the ground pork with aromatics (minced onions, garlic).
Add in the flavourings: Sichuan peppercorn, chili oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt.
Mix everything together.
Divide the dough in 8 pieces.
Roll out a piece of dough into a rectangle.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of meat filling on the dough.
Roll the dough lengthwise into a cigar.
Turn it 90 degrees, and roll it again, so it resembles a snail. This is similar to making Green Onion Cakes.
Flatten with your palm and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Repeat with the remaining.
Add approximately 1-2 tablespoon of vegetable oil to a frying pan over medium high heat.
Place the dough discs onto the pan and fry for about 5-6 minutes per side, until golden brown and crisp.
How to serve
Guo kui is best served hot and freshly made.
They would be great as a snack or an as appetizer, similar to Green Onion Pancakes.
How to store and reheat
Store any leftover guo kui in an airtight container in the fridge.
Guo kui can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Reheat the guo kui in a 350F oven, until warmed through about 10-15 minutes.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out:
Let me know if you try making this popular Chinese street food at home! Tag me @siftandsimmer on Instagram or leave me a comment/rating below.
Healthier Sichuan-Style Guo Kui
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 5 g instant yeast
- 230 g hot boiling water
- 25 g white sesame seeds
- 215 g lean ground pork
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- ½ inch ginger finely minced
- ½ small white onion finely chopped
- 1 green onion chopped
- 2 tablespoon ground Sichuan peppercorn can decrease to taste if you don't like it too spicy
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan-style chili oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
Prepare the dough:
- Place the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add in the hot boiling water and stir with a pair of chopsticks until it forms a shaggy dough. Sprinkle in the instant yeast.
- Use your hands and knead until the dough becomes smooth.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Prepare the meat filling:
- In a medium bowl, add the ground pork, salt, garlic, ginger, onion, green onion and stir until combined.
- Add in the ground Sichuan peppercorn, chili oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and mix until everything is incorporated.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.
- Roll out the dough into a long rectangle. Smear approximately 1 tablespoon of meat filling over the surface of the dough.
- Roll up the dough into a cigar. Turn the dough 90 degrees.
- Roll the dough again so it coils into a snail-like shape. Flatten the coil with the palm of your hand so it now looks like a pancake with swirls. Scatter some sesame seeds on top of the dough.
- Use a rolling pin to even out the dough. Flip and add a little more sesame seeds to the other side. You should obtain a disc about 4" in diameter.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Preheat oven to 300°F/149°C.
- Heat up a frying pan over medium high heat with about 2 tablespoon of oil.
- Place the dough discs into the frying pan (depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to fit 2-3 pieces).
- Fry for about 5-6 minutes per side, until crisp and golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Place the pan-fried guo kui onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and keep in the oven to warm until ready to eat.
- Serve warm with additional chili oil, and garnish with cilantro and green onion.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.