Green Onion / Scallion Pancakes
Makes 8 pieces; recipe can be easily doubled.
Tweaked from Easy Chinese Recipes by BeeYinn Low, with permission from the author
I’ve taken some liberties with Bee’s recipe; firstly, I’ve cut out a couple steps– rolling out the dough, adding oil, rolling it into a snake, and then into a snail… These are very classic techniques (which are also use in Paratha making), but I’ve found that you achieve quite similar results by simply making the dough into rounds, and then rolling them out, plus it saves a lot of time! If you’re interested in seeing the classic technique for making these lovely pancakes, please refer to page 47 of Bee’s book, Easy Chinese Recipes.
I cannot stress this enough when making these pancakes, but please try avoid adding too much flour when handing the dough rounds. Adding more flour than necessary results in hard, greasy pancakes, instead of soft and tender one’s.
I’ve made these pancakes more times than I’d like to admit; last week when I made these pancakes, we ran out of all-purpose flour, and without any issues, I substituted Unbleached White Flour (bread flour) for the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe. The pancakes were lovely, and a bit more substantial and chewy compared to the one’s made with all-purpose flour (using my modified technique). If you’re serving these pancakes as a main dish, I highly recommend using bread flour if you’re looking for something substantial, but somewhat light, try using half all-purpose flour, and half bread flour.
If you’re short on time, this dough can easily be made in a standing mixer, just be sure to knead the dough for about 4-minutes, instead of 10.
I like to serve my pancakes with a fried egg or a quickly scrambled egg with sriracha sauce poured over the top, and a soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame concoction, as pictured above (simply mix together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar, ¼ teaspoon sesame oil, and top with ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds); the sesame-soy concoction isn’t very traditional, but it’s lovely for dipping your pancakes in!
1 ½ cups / 180g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling
1 ¼ teaspoons fine grain sea salt
3 green onions or scallions, green parts only, trimmed and cut into small rounds, to yield ⅓ cup / 25g
½ cup / 125ml water
Oil, for frying (Any neutral-tasting oil– Sunflower, Safflower, Corn, Canola, Vegetable, Peanut. Avoid olive oil– it lends an odd taste to the pancakes)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the 1 ½ cups / 180g flour, and the salt. Then add in the scallions, and set the bowl aside.
Bring the water to a boil.
Slowly add the boiled water to the flour and scallion mixture. Briefly knead the dough in the bowl until it’s no longer sticky. If the dough is too dry, keep adding tablespoonfuls of hot water until a soft dough forms; it should be similar to the consistency of chewing gum.
Remove the dough from the bowl, and knead on a clean, lightly floured surface until soft and smooth, about ten minutes.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and let it rest for 30 minutes, or up to a day in the refrigerator.
Once rested, divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. Using your palm, roll each piece of dough into perfect rounds (avoid adding flour when shaping the pieces of dough).
Once all of the pieces of dough are shaped into perfect rounds, lightly dust the tops and bottoms of each round of dough with some flour (Kamran note: I sprinkle it on, however, you can simply dust your work surface with flour, and slightly flatten each dough round into the flour, lightly dredging each side). Then, slightly flatten each dough round.
Using a rolling pin, roll each round of dough into discs, starting from the center-out, into 5 ½-inches to 6-inches in diameter (if you prefer your scallion pancakes on the thicker side– 5 ½-inches; if you prefer them slightly thinner, 6-inches). When rolling out the dough rounds, avoid adding too much flour to the work surface, as this will result in hard, greasy pancakes. To get perfect discs, give the dough ¼ turn each time you roll.
Once all of the discs are rolled-out, heat a dry stir-fry pan, cast-iron skillet, or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high. Pour in about ¼-inch (6mm) of oil into the pan or skillet. Working quickly, dust any excess flour off of the dough disc, and shallow fry each side of the pancake until light golden brown (about 1-minute for each side), pressing down around the edges of the pancake with a large spoon or spatula. the pancake should slightly puff up in places; try to coax the air bubbles to other parts of the dough, creating a big puff; if your dough doesn’t puff up entirely, no worries– they’ll still be perfectly lovely! Add more oil to the skillet, and repeat the same for the remaining pancakes, always making sure to dust off any excess flour before placing the dough discs into the pan. Serve immediately.