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 – 2/3 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).
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.
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!