Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crispy Chewy Scallion Pancakes

These are my one of my Chinese carb favorites. They're not like American pancakes per se, which are fluffy and eaten sweet – these are more like a savory, chewy flatbread or roti. They're flaky and come apart in layers, each folded in with oil and a scattering of green onions.

The smell of fried dough and scallions and sesame oil...mmm. Your kitchen will smell amazing.

To get real flakiness, you're technically supposed to use lard, according to the mother. I use oil each time, just cause I'm happy with the texture it produces.  May or may not experiment with lard in the future.

Scallion Pancakes (葱油饼)

Makes 4 pancakes (each with a diameter of a large plate)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ~1/2 cup toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced scallions, green parts mostly
  • Oil for frying
  • Kosher salt to taste


Prepare the dough:
  1. Mix the flour and the salt in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Pour in boiling water into the bowl, mixing little by little with chopsticks. Take out the dough and knead on a floured surface until smooth. 
  3. Cover for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Divide the dough into four portions. 
Make the pancakes:
  1. With each portion: Roll out the dough until flat. Brush with sesame oil. Roll up into a tube, and then into a spiral.

  2. Roll flat again. This time, brush with sesame oil, and then sprinkle some scallion slices on top.

  3. One more time: roll up until a tube, and then into a spiral. Roll flat again for the third and last time.
  4. When each of the portions has suffered through this treatment, you should have four uncooked scallion pancakes. Heat up cooking oil in a flat-bottom skillet, and then fry each pancake until golden brown on each side – about 2 minutes.

  5. Stack the pancakes on a plate, and slice however you'd like. Taste and sprinkle with kosher salt if needed.