This is a family style dish from the Northern region in China. Usually you can find these on a menu of a Chinese restaurant that serves dumplings. My mom always kept homemade ones in the freezer. If you like pan fried dumplings or gyoza, these taste like you are eating the outer fried dough of those. If you have had these before you will remember the flaky, layered texture of each bite. They are nothing like a pizza crust. That is from the the the flattening, the rolling, the twisting, then the flattening again.
It’s a great vegetarian alternative to dumplings and can be served with various soy dipping sauces. You can slice up slivers of ginger, douse it with some hot sauce, or keep it simple and just add sesame oil.
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
makes about 4-6 servings as a starter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced green onions aka scallions (about half a bunch)
1 tbs sesame oil
salt to taste
canola or vegetable oil for cooking
Boil the water. Put the flour in a bowl and slowly stir in the water with a spatula until it is all absorbed. Set the mixture aside, covered with a damp, clean cloth for about 1/2 an hour.
On a smooth, floured surface, roll the piece into a large, thin rectangle. Less than a 1/4″ thick. (If doing a double batch, don’t forget to only do this with half your dough!)
Drizzle the sesame oil on the dough. Sprinkle salt on it and spread the green onions evenly. Starting at the bottom, roll the rectangle up till you have something like a skinny, jelly roll cake. Now cut the rod into 4 equal pieces. Take each chunk and twist it about 3 times and smoosh it down to a disc with the palm of your hand. On the floured surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll each one out into a 5-6″ round.
Do not stack these unless you separate them with plastic wrap or parchment paper. They will stick together.
When ready to cook, heat up a skillet (preferable non-stick) on low-medium heat with about a tablespoon of oil. Fry on each side till golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side, checking as you go. Add a little oil if needed after cooking the first side, so that both side get golden brown.
Cut into quarters or sixths. Serve hot plain or with a side of dipping sauce.
- When making these, I make a double batch. They freeze very easily and are great to have around.
- To freeze these: Freeze the pancakes raw, between layers of floured plastic wrap. Place in a freezer storage bag and place flat in the freezer. If your freezer is pretty packed, do an initial freezing round on a plate, then once they are stiff, place in the plastic bag and they can go in vertically.
- Once frozen, they can be cooked directly from the freezer into the heated skillet. They should come apart individually with the plastic. Just be careful of any popping, sizzling water from the ice hitting the oil. They keep for 4-6 weeks, if they last that long!
- When cutting these, you can us a pizza wheel, knife, or even scissors if they have cooled down enough
- Dipping sauces are not traditional. It’s somewhat akin to putting soy sauce all over your white rice. Just fyi, but Sriracha (red hot sauce) sure tastes good on them.
- Using oil and low heat will render these pancakes the perfect crispiness. This is very subjective so after a few times you will figure out how you like these.
- Try making them a little thicker for a different consistency.