Scallion pancakes

I still remember the first time I had these. My good friendster AJ took me to a little whole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant for lunch and, there, she opened my eyes to the delicious beauty and simplicity that is the scallion pancake.

How would I describe these? Kinda like having scallions/green onions and butter sandwiched between 2 thick flour tortillas. They’re awesome. They rock. They are SO hard to find. I’ve only come across one other restaurant i Houston that serves them, so, I went on a recipe search to make them whenever the whim hit me. I found a few different recipes but settled on this one by Jen from Use Real Butter. I’ve made them a few times since, and tweaked at will. Without further ado, I bring you:

Chinese Scallion Pancakes


1 cp all-purpose flour
1 cp self-rising flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 Р2/3 cp warm water
3-4 scallions, finely chopped
Sesame and vegetable oil

To make the dough:
I used my mixer with the dough hook, but you could use a food processor.

Add the flour and salt¬†¬†in the bowl, get the mixer going and slowly add the water.¬†I used a full 1/2 cp plus about another 1/8 cp. You want to add water¬†until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is wrapping itself around the hook and isn’t sticking to the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat for about 3-4 minutes, to develop the gluten.

You’re looking for dough that is firm and silky without being sticky. Remove from the bowl and turn onto your counter and knead the dough a few times.¬†Form it into a ball, return it to the bowl and allow it to rest for at least¬†¬†15 minutes covered with a damp towel.

To roll the dough:
Pretend you’re back in kindergarten and roll out the dough into a long cylinder¬†on the countertop. The roll should be about 1-inch in diameter; cut into 12¬†pieces that are about 1-1/2 inch long and roll them into balls, just smaller than golf balls.

Flour your countertop and roll out one of the balls¬†into a circle (or as close to a circle as you can get, I know I can’t roll a circle to save my life, but it doesn’t matter). Roll it pretty thin, about 1/16th inch).

Drop sesame oil onto the center, a drop about the size of a nickel. Spread the oil evenly over the pancake (use vegetable oil if you can’t find/use sesame). Sprinkle with scallions.

To roll the  pancakes:
It’s time to make a cigar and pretend you’re a kindergartener¬†again. Fold in the edge closest to you, then roll it like a cigar until you reach the other end. Pinch the seams a bit, then curl it onto itself and into a spiral. Pinch that end again,¬†otherwise you’ll end up with a little handle when you fry it. Set it aside and roll the rest of the dough.

Let them rest for another 15 minutes, before doing this part. It’s time to make them into pancakes. Again, make sure your work surface is well floured. Take one of the rolls and flatten it a bit with your hand. Roll it into a pancake about 1/8th inch thick. Set it aside and work your way through, separating each pancake with wax paper.

To fry the pancakes:
Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan and heat it up over medium high temperature. Carefully slide one pancake in the oil and fry it until it is golden brown before flipping it. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately.

PS: I have to admit it. I added about 1 tbsp of butter to the hot oil before frying, the drawback to this method is that the butter inevitable burns and the pancakes are slightly darker when done. But for the buttery taste, it’s worth it!

10 thoughts on “Scallion pancakes

  1. Oh my gosh they sound great. So many fried dough posts the last few days, I had no idea how many different doughs and countries that fry it!

    • Do you have access to flour tortillas that have not been cooked yet? Here we get some that you must finish cooking yourself, the dough is essentially raw. You may be able to make those work. I think the regular, already cooked tortillas would be too dry.

      Another thought, using the regular tortillas, put the oil and allow it to seep through for a few minutes before frying…??? Either way, let me know how it goes.

      • I did it, I made scallion pancakes this morning. It was satisfying to think I took time to cook for myself. I did use uncooked flour tortillas and I substituted finely chopped green beans for scallions. (Not a fan of onions.) Then as I was adding some butter, I added some chopped shiitaki mushrooms, because I remembered my acupuncturist talking about a study that showed people who ate shiitaki mushrooms with their butter had better cholesterol levels than people who didn’t eat butter.
        The house now smells like pancakes and i like it. I realize I can use your recipe and make the tortilla with spelt flour too since I don’t do so well with white flour either. Geeze I sound like a basket case. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement. I’m grateful for this feeling of being good to myself on a primal level. XD

  2. These just look heavenly! Anything that looks that good, I’ll have to try. I found your beautiful blog through Food With Style. I can see why you were highlighted.
    I’ll be back to visit!

  3. OMGoodness, JD! This is like giving birth. Or being a fairy godmother. Or something else that’s really, really exciting. When I started this blog, my biggest wish was to inspire people to go play in their kitchen. Sometimes I wonder if my posts are serving that purpose, so THANKS EVER SO MUCH.

    I’m glad your kitchen smells like pancakes and that you cooked Just.For.Yourself. Isn’t it fun? I mean, cooking for others is awesome, but there’s something very satisfying about spoiling yourself.

    Tell me more. Us, tell us more. How did you slice the green beans? and where did you put the shitakes. I want to know EVERYTHING. And I’m waiting on the lamb report.

  4. Okay, well I bought scallions because my husband likes them but he declined to have pancakes. Since I was making them for me, I didn’t want scallions. I thought I would put in some green pepper but when I opened the fridge, some washed and ready to go green beans were looking at me.
    I minced them, thinking they would not have much cooking time.
    I cooked one side of the tortilla with a dab of olive oil. I didn’t have any sesame. Then i turned it and put the green beans on the tortilla while the second side cooked. I planned to put a dab of butter inside the pancake so it wouldn’t burn. I put it right on some minced shiitaki mushrooms. Then I pushed them all around the surface till the butter melted. I folded it and ate it. The vegetables were al dente which is how I like them. It was very good and I liked getting some vegetables first thing. It was yummy. I would do it again.

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