Monday, March 16, 2009

Scallion Pancakes


My daughter Christina has been making scallion pancakes for years. It's her signature dish -- at the ripe old age of ten.

With just flour, warm water, salt, and oil that you knead into a smooth dough, it's a tactile experience perfect for children and moms/dads in the kitchen. Rolling the dough out into a pancake, brushing it with sesame oil and sprinking it with minced scallions, rolling it up like a cigar and then again like a snake, and finally into a new, layered pancake adds another level of excitement.

When you slide the pancake into the hot oil, it bubbles happily and browns to perfection. Served with a simple sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar, it's the perfect snack.

2 cups flour
3/4-1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp. salt
Sesame oil
Scallions, finely chopped
Vegetable oil for pan-frying


Place flour in bowl. Add water and stir with fork until the dough starts to stick together. On a lightly floured board, knead the dough for five minutes or until satiny smooth. If the dough won’t stay together, add water in small increments. If dough is too wet, slowly add flour. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. If you're not ready to make the pancakes yet, you can put the dough in the fridge for up to a day or so.

Take rested dough and form it out into a cylinder on a floured cutting board. Cut into 6 portions.

Take one piece and keep the rest of the dough covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out.

Flatten out into a disk with the palm of your hand and roll out dough until it’s about 1/8 inch thick and 8 inches in diameter (if it’s smaller, don’t worry about it; if it’s bigger, consider if it will fit into your skillet). Brush top of pancake with sesame oil and distribute green onions. Roll dough into a cylinder and roll again into a coil (kind of like a cinnamon bun). Tuck end of dough underneath. Flatten out into a disk with the palm of your hand and roll out again to make an 8 inch circle, 1/8 inches thick.



Heat 10-inch skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add 2 tbs. oil minimum and swirl it around; you can put a little more oil too if you're not oil-adverse, enough so that the pancake will float a little and the oil will go slightly over the sides of the pancake, like pictured below. Add a pancake and cook until golden brown and dry on the edges, about 2-3 minutes, and flip over to cook the other side. When done, drain pancake on paper towels and repeat process with remaining dough.


Cut pancakes into wedges and serve with dipping sauce of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil:

General Dipping Sauce for Japanese Gyoza, Scallion Pancakes or Anything
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar
½ part sesame oil or chili sesame oil
1 part sugar (optional)

Combine ingredients and serve.




17 comments:

pepsakoy said...

Oh..very tempting and looks delicious !!

TabzChewy said...

Oh! My dad makes these pretty often, but I don't know how since he never uses exact measurements.

So delicious! We also have them with curry sometimes :3

Ninette Enrique said...

Neat, I never thought to have them with curry. We don't use exact measurements either ... it's pretty much 2 parts flour to 1 part water. Depending on the humidity in the air, it will be more or less water. 2 cups of flour mixture will basically make 6 pancakes and take care of 4-8 people, depending on how much they eat.

Aggie said...

Will your daughter come over and make some for me?? These look wonderful, I would love to be snacking on them right now! Great photography!

jDub said...

this looks seriously amazing.

Hungry Gal said...

Didn't realize these were so easy to make... Yours looks light and crispy. Yum

Ninette Enrique said...

Yes, super easy. And very inexpensive. Big crowd pleaser too. You can also make them and heat them up in the toaster oven afterwards. Sometimes I use them as a base. I'll take something that's leftover, like chicken or pork, cut it up and stir fry it in hoisin sauce. Put on an a scallion pancake wedge, top with a teeny bit of very thinly sliced coleslaw and serve as an appetizer.

~Carole said...

I just found your blog and I'm so glad I did. I'm in need of a great appetizer to share with my family tonight; your Scallion Pancakes will be perfect! Can't wait to try them.

Ninette Enrique said...

Hey Carole,

Let me know how it goes. I'd recommend using more than 2 tbs. of oil -- use enough oil so there's a layer of oil on the bottom of the pan and enough so that the pancake floats. If you use less oil, the pancake has to be pretty thin; more oil is more forgiving. Also, it's okay that when you're rolling the dough, some scallions "escape" and it seems like a lot of scallions have ended up on one side. It happens. I think is the dough is rolled pretty tightly this won't happen as much, but it doesn't really matter.

lisa (dandysugar) said...

These look soo delicious. They're so light and crisp. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Ninette Enrique said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by and taking time to write a comment!

~Carole said...

Hi Nineette,

Well, they were a big hit last night. Thanks for the tips. A few scallions did sneak out of the pancakes, but that's OK.

It's important to roll them as flat as you can, right?

I'll add them to my blog later tonight, linking to your blog.

Thanks for such a great recipe!

Ninette Enrique said...

I try to roll them pretty thin. I think if they were thicker, they'd still be good, just thicker (:)). You'd have to cook them a little longer.

Shiori said...

I love it! I made it twice, the first time failed. ^^;; You should never use rice flour for this. XD The second time I made it, the dough was very sticky... so I was hesistant, but they turned out well! A bit thicker than the store-bought ones I'm used to, but still very good. I didn't have sesame oil, so once I finished I coated it with a layer of soysauce. The nest day, I used the remaining dough to make lunch. I stirfryed some beef, cut the pancakes in half, and me and my brother ate it with beef wedged inside and dipped in soysauce. My brother, who hates scallions, ate them without a complaint.

Ninette said...

Hey Shiori, glad you tried them and liked them. A few tips: your dough shouldn't be sticky, so if it is, just sprinkle it with flour and knead it; keep adding a little flour at a time until you get the dough to a state where it's soft, smooth and not sticky -- like a "baby's bottom" is terminology I've heard. You definitely need oil to make the layers, so if you don't have sesame oil, brush the dough with vegetable or plain oil instead. Soy sauce won't help here. Finally, to make the dough thinner, just roll it out more. If it won't roll out and keeps springing back, let it rest for 20 minutes to let the gluten in the dough relax and try again. Hope this helps in your pancake making endeavors!

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Jen said...

I've been making these pancakes since last summer. They're so good that I actually get cravings for them! I think they're a lot of fun to make too with all the twisting and rolling of the dough. Thanks for the recipe!