Chewy, flaky, and savory scallion pancakes are one of our very favorite Chinese restaurant treats. This pan-fried bread has a lot in common with Indian parathas and other simple flatbreads, and if you follow a few simple steps, they are easy to make at home. Here are instructions on how to make addictively delicious Chinese scallion pancakes in your home kitchen!
I've eaten more than my fair share of scallion pancakes over the years, yet somehow I haven't made them until now. When I saw this recipe, I immediately filed it away as too good to be true. There are so few ingredients and it's so straightforward I convinced myself that there had to be a catch somewhere.
Except, there's no catch and it's not too good to be true. Scallion pancakes really are that easy to make home. I can't believe I've been ordering them from my neighborhood Chinese take-out, when I could have been making them all this time?!
One thing to note is that when making them, don't be afraid to liberally season the dough (which is just flour and water) with salt. I seasoned the first batch very lightly and they were a little too bland. And, of course, don't forget the soy sauce for dipping!
- Kelli, February 2015
How To Make Scallion Pancakes
What You Need
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup warm water
Oil for the pancakes, such as vegetable, sesame, or shortening
Coarse kosher salt
1 bunch scallions
High smoke point oil for the pan, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil
Spray oil or cooking spray
Baking sheet or pastry board
10-inch heavy skillet or sauté pan
1. Make the dough and let it rest: Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 cup water until it forms a smooth dough. Knead by doubling the dough over and pressing it down repeatedly, until the dough is even more smooth and very elastic. Coat this ball of dough lightly in oil and put it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the dough: Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Lightly oil the back of a large metal baking sheet (or a smooth stone countertop or pastry board). Roll out one part of the dough on the back of the baking sheet. Roll until it is a thin rectangle at least 12 x 9 inches.
3. Chop the scallions: Finely chop the bunch of scallions. (I usually use the green tops and just the very top of the white parts.) Set them on your work surface along with a small bowl of kosher salt.
4. Top the dough: Lightly brush the top of the dough with oil, then sprinkle it evenly with chopped scallions and kosher salt.
5. Roll up the dough: Starting from the long end, roll the dough up tightly, creating one long snake of rolled-up dough.
6. Cut in half: Cut the dough snake in two equal parts.
7. Coil the dough and let it rest: Take one of these halves and coil into a round dough bundle. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes and ideally longer, while you repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
8. Roll out the coil: Pat a coiled dough bundle into a flat, smooth, round pancake. You can do this with a rolling pin or with your hands.
9. Cook the pancake for 2 minutes: Heat a 10-inch heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, and oil it with a drizzle of canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. When the oil shimmers, pick up the pancake dough and lay it gently in the pan. It should sizzle, but not burn. Cook for 2 minutes on one side.
10. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes: Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown. Repeat steps 9-11 with the rest of the pancake dough coils.
Cut the pancake into wedges with a pair of kitchen scissors, and serve immediately with soy sauce or another dipping sauce.
On Oils: This recipe calls for oil in two different places: Once to make the filling, and once to fry the pancakes. For the filling, any neutral oil will do, but commenters (and I!) prefer sesame oil. Other recipes call for shortening. For the pan, use a high smoke point oil such as peanut.
Make-Ahead Tip: If you would like to make a few pancakes but save the rest for later, you can save the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just make sure the dough is oiled and well-covered. You can also roll out individual pancakes and stack them between well-oiled layers of wax paper.