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Warqa (Ouarka) - Moroccan Paper-Thin Pastry

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Warqa-4000-x-3000.jpg

Warqa-Moroccan Pastry

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Definition:

Moroccan Arabic: ورقة

Warqa (also warka or ouarka) is a paper-thin Moroccan pastry similar to commercial brick pastry, phyllo dough or spring roll wrappers. Freshly made, it's a tender and flexible pastry sheet. Once baked or fried, it turns delightfully crispy. The pastry takes its name from the literal meaning of the word warqa – a leaf from a plant or tree, or a sheet of paper – in reference to its thinness. Outside of Morocco, warqa is often referred to as "brick pastry."

Making warqa in the traditional manner requires significant skill. Wet dough is quickly and repeatedly dabbed onto a hot flat pan until the pan is covered by a thin layer of dough. Cooked one-by-one and only on one-side, the sheets of warqa are carefully lifted from the pan before being oiled and stacked

Substitutes for Warqa

Most Moroccans can conveniently purchase fresh warqa at a local market. Outside of Morocco, spring roll wrappers, thick country style (#10) phyllo dough sheets, or frozen brick pastry can be used as substitutes. If using spring roll wrappers, be sure you're buying frozen flour-based wrappers and not dried rice paper wrappers.

Make Your Own Warqa

Moroccan cookbook author Paula Wolfert introduced me to an easy technique to Make Homemade Warqa, which involves brushing batter onto a non-stick pan. This is surprisingly easy in comparison to the traditional dabbing method.

Moroccan Recipes with Warqa

 

Pronunciation: war-kuh

Alternate Spellings: warka, ouarka

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