Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Liam's Recipes

Guokui (军屯锅盔)

3-4 (6 guokui)


1 hour 30 minutes

active time


total time



300 g all purpose flour

150 g hot water (70 C)

30 g room temperature water

18 g oil (vegetable, canola, rapeseed)

¼ tsp salt

⅛ tsp instant dry yeast


42 g all purpose flour

42 g oil / lard

1 tsp five spice powder

1 tsp toasted sichuan peppercorn powder

½ tsp salt


90 g minced beef

10 g ginger

5 g doubanjiang (can sub gochujang)

1 tbsp spicy chili powder

4 tsp toasted sichuan peppercorn powder

2 tsp light soy sauce

2 tsp Shaoxing wine

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp chicken bouillon powder

¼ tsp MSG

Sesame seeds

Oil for frying (canola, vegetable, rapeseed, etc)


Create the dough

Add the flour into a large bowl. Add in the salt on one side, and the yeast on the other side. Add in the room temperature water, aiming at the yeast. Form that small portion into a small flour ball and remove from the bowl.

Add in the hot water and oil, then start kneading the dough (careful, it’s a little hot). Once it’s no longer hot to the touch, add back in the yeast ball and knead it together for 5-6 minutes.

Form the dough into a cohesive ball and coat it with a little bit of oil to prevent the surface from drying out. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour (longer for lower room temperature). Begin working on the rest of the ingredients

Store the dough in the fridge after the resting time ends to prevent over-fermentation

Make the Yousu paste

Add the flour into a heat proof bowl or small pot, and add in all of the seasonings. In a separate pot, heat up the oil to 180C, then carefully pour the oil onto the flour and quickly mix well. Set aside.

Make the beef filling

Put the beef, ginger, chili powder, peppercorn powder, and doubanjiang onto a cutting board and mince it together into a paste, about 5-10 minutes. Once it’s pasty, transfer it to a separate bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and set aside.

Wrap the Guokui

Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into 6 even pieces, each about 80-85g. While keeping the remaining dough pieces covered in the bowl, take one piece out and flatten it with the palm of your hand.

Roll the dough out in both directions, creating a long and thin strip of dough. Lift it up and slap it on the counter using your rolling pin or hand, getting it as thin and long as possible, shooting for about 20 inches of length and 1mm thickness.

Take ⅙ of the yousu and smear into one thin layer, careful not to drag too hard and tear the dough. Smear pretty close to one end, but leave about a 10cm gap on the other end to seal the dough together.

Take ⅙ of the beef filling and do the same thing, evenly spreading it. Take the end closest to the smeared fillings, and begin folding about 4cm each time. When you reach the end of the roll, start folding at an angle, and twist the dough together on that end to seal it. For the other side, gently press it into a bowl of sesame seeds to seal it.

Return the rolled log into the covered bowl, then repeat with the rest of your dough pieces and fillings.

Fry the Guokui

Take a log out onto a work surface, sesame side facing up, and flatten it with your palm into a disk. Using a rolling pin, roll out the disk until it’s about as wide as you can get, turning the disk to get an even thickness. Don’t worry if something tears at this step. Press along the edge of the disk to get it as thin as possible if you want a super crispy edge. Repeat for all the filled logs.

Heat a dry pan to around 130C, and place in one or two guokui. Swirl them around with your hand initially, then flip to the other side for another minute, then remove from the pan. If your guokui sticks initially, then your pan wasn’t hot enough, so increase the heat for the next ones.

In another pan, add enough oil to get about halfway up each guokui, and heat it to 120-130C. With the heat on medium low, add in as many guokui as you can without overcrowding the pan. Slowly fry each of them, flipping every minute or so until they are lightly golden brown.

Take out the fried guokui and place it vertically into a tray lined with paper towels, or onto a rack set over a baking sheet to catch the oil. Repeat with the rest of your guokui, storing them in a low temperature oven to stay warm as needed.

Serve these warm or at room temperature, alongside noodle soup or another dish.


A flat, flaky pancake made of laminated dough filled with spicy numbing beef. Said to have been originally developed as a part of Shaanxi cuisine in northwestern China during the Tang Dynasty, guokui is now a common street food around China with many regional variants. This recipe details the Sichuan version, with most of the flavor coming from the flavorful yousu (flour, spice, and oil mixture), and the spiced minced beef. These freeze well and are very addicting! Makes 6 guokui.

3-4 (6 guokui)


1 hour 30 minutes

active time


total time
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