Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green Onion Pancakes

AKA Scallion Pancakes, or more commonly known to us Chinese folks as "Chong Yow Bang". ^_^

It's not really a pancake...think of a really thin pizza crust that's crispy on the outside, and just a little chewy on the inside, and flavored with fragrant green onions. =) So it's not really a cake, because it's dough-y, but we Chinese like to use the word "bang" (cookie) for anything that's snack/morsel-like. However, it is made in a pan, so that's part of its name. It may sound weird if you've never had it, but it's quite delicious. I don't know any Chinese person that doesn't like it. =)

I borrowed this book from the library. Pages were ripped out of it...which is sad...but it was good enough that I'm going to buy it online with a gift card I have. =) If you want to try making dim sum, I do recommend it - I've read many dim sum making books, and many are complicated or full of ingredients that are generally hard to find. This one, by far, is the best I've seen.

The recipe is from this wonderful book, and it's amazingly short and simple to make Scallion Pancakes!

1.5 Cups of flour, and more for dusting
1/2 Cup of boiling water
2 Tbsp. cold water
1 Cup of thinly sliced green onions/scallions (about 6)
3 tsp. of toasted sesame oil (or 1 Tbsp shortening...I prefer the oil)
2-4 Tbsp of peanut or vegetable oil to cook


1. Sift the flour into a large bowl, and stir in the bowling water until well blended. Then add the cold water.

2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is firm and elastic. Form it into a ball, and dust it with flour before wrapping it in plastic and letting it rest for about 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels, and set it aside.

4. Divide the scallions into 6 parts. Also divide the dough into 6 pieces.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one dough piece into a circle, about 7.5 inches round.

6. Use your fingers to help spread 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil/shortening onto the dough to within 1/4 inch of the edge, and sprinkle with a scant 1/4 tsp of salt (I used less, about half of that. The first one I made seemed too salty), and top with one part of the scallions. Lightly press everything into the dough.

7. Fold the dough into thirds, and pinch to close the ends before jelly-rolling up the dough loosely on one short end.

8. Turn the coil round side up, dust a little flour on it, and flatten with your fingers, and roll it into a circle...about 5 inches in diameter, or as thick/thin as you'd want your pancake to be.

As you can see above, I need a rolling pin of some sort. Using a cup is difficult, heh heh...subsequent cakes were better rolled (this one, and the following two pictures, are of the first one made. ^_^ The previous pictures were latter cakes. ^_^)

9. Repeat steps 5-8 for all the other dough pieces.

10. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add 1 tsp of oil to cook. When it's almost smoking, place one pancake on the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping it over only once, until golden brown and fragrant. Add another tsp of oil when you flip the pancake.

11. Lift an edge of the pancake to check for overbrowning and reduce the heat if needed.

12. Transfer pancakes to a baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven while cooking the rest; cut each pancake into 4-6 pieces when ready to serve...and serve hot and fresh! =)

Some variations you can try:
If you make your cake really thin, it's really good if you roll it up with warmed up roast beef and cilantro (lots of it, if you like it)...and then it becomes this roast beef roll...I think it's Taiwanese. I've had it a few times before with Anna, and it's REALLY good. ^_^

Instead of green onions, you can also exclusively sprinkle a ton of toasted sesame seeds for a sesame version. This pancake is often served green onion style, or sesame style!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this looks yummy! And so does the book!
    And, you can try using a bottle or the like if you don't have a roling pin, it works quite well.