My husband bought some of these scallion pancakes from an Asian supermarket here in the Atlanta area a few weeks ago. He explained their place in the Chinese culture of simple yet amazing foods. For some reason, I thought it was an egg based pancake and browned eggs disgust my palate for some reason. So, honestly, I did not get excited in the least. I was pretty stoked for the black sesame balls and the steamed pork buns he had found though!
On the night that we decided to stir fry all of the bok choy (Báicài) and Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan) – Vince steamed the pork buns and skillet ‘fried’ the cong you bing. The meal was outstanding! It was my first taste of the steamed pork buns, which Vince said were just ‘ok’, and my first scallion pancakes. To my surprise, they were not made from eggs at all! Flour, scallions and toasted sesame oil and a smidge of salt Vince explained to me. I can tell you that if you have ever fallen in love with a flaky pastry of any sort, this one will rival it to no end. I was smitten as a kitten!
I asked him why he had never made them for me!? Does Mother Wang make them? Yes, he said. But it’s a pain. A mess. Just so much easier to buy frozen. THIS ANSWER WAS NOT SATISFYING TO ME! Sounded more like a challenge in fact! Vince had just spoiled me a new Ninja Mega Kitchen System and a new Candy Apple Red Professional Kitchen-Aid 6 QT, 10 speed stand mixer…So, ‘these are easier to buy frozen’ just won’t cut it in my kitchen! I aim to spoil him as much as he does me, by golly!
I set out to unravel the lore and mystical tales of the flaky pancake of Chinese nirvana. After much studying, questioning and 3 fails, I finally got it right! I also know how to pronounce it properly, even with my southern accent, and now I will share it with you!
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of flour for dusting
- 3/4 – 1 cup of boiling hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 5 green onion stalks; washed, excess water shaken out, and thinnly sliced -use green and white parts
- Sea salt for seasoning (I used pink Himalayan flakes)
- 2 tablespoons of toassted sesame oil to brush on during rolling
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
- sliced green scallions
- *adjust to taste of use a soyaki type sauce for dipping
My husband doesn’t use a dipping sauce at all, he prefers the perfectly delicious taste as it is!
Supplies that are helpful:
- Parchment Paper, cut into 4 or 5 sheet for layering the pancakes
- large nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron skillet
- tongs for turning
Preparing your dough:
Let it be known that I cheat and use my Ninja food processor to bring the dough together.
- Add flour and salt to food processor
- close top and turn on processor as you start to pour in the boiling hot water. Use about 3/4 of a cup of water and only a little more if needed to bring the dough together to form a slightly sticky ball
- only mix it enough for it to “come together”…
- removed from processor and dump onto a lightly floured surface (I use a silpin and mat for easy cleanup)
- keep the extra ‘dusting’ flour nearby for easy access
- knead the ball on the floured surface for about 8 minutes- it will begin to look smooth and not sticky
- cover the ball of dough with a damp cloth or damp papertowel and then a tea towel or cloth — allow to rest for 30 minutes
- separate the rested dough into 4 equal parts
- while working on the first piece of dough keep the other 3 pieces under the dam cloth and tea towel
- roll the first piece out to about a 10-12 inch circle; dust with flour as needed to keep dough from being to tacky/sticky
- brush with sesame oil, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and springle with about a 3 tablespoons of the scallions
- with your fingers, from one side to the other, roll the circle into a long tube, as you would a jelly roll
- curl the tube into a cinnamon roll type coil, tucking the end piece snugly underneath.
- set the ‘coiled’ dough back under the damp cloth to rest for another 10 minutes or so
- repeat the process with the other 3 pieces of dough; allowing each to rest for about 10 minutes
- take the first piece of dough you rolled and press it down with your hands on the floured surface
- roll the dough out to about an 8 inch circle, keeping it evenly flat
- set aside on a cut sheet of parchement paper
- Preheat a skillet with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil until it’s shimmering
- Cook the first pancake over medium heat; shake the skillet back and forth to keep the pancake moving- when the pancake starts to turn golden; flip and repeat on the other side
- Flip back to the first side and lightly brown up the ‘bubbled’ parts of the pancake, being careful not to overcook it- repeat on the other side
- Remove and set on wire racks to drain – keep in a warm place if possible while the other pancakes are cooked
- Cut pancakes into wedges and serve while warm with a dipping sauce
Dàjiā chīhē; dàn zhǐyǒu shǎoshù xīnshǎng shíwù de wèidào
Everyone eats and drinks; but only a few appreciate the taste of food.