Scallion Pancakes

Scallion pancakes and dipping sauce

The Spruce / Pete Scherer

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yields: 6 pancakes

The best part about making your own scallion pancakes at home is learning to create the perfect texture for your palate. These pancakes are simple, but can vary quite a bit with small changes to the recipe. The temperature of the water, the thickness of the pancake, and the amount of oil in which they're fried all contribute to the taste of the finished dish. A hot water dough tends to be softer, while a cold water dough is chewier. Thicker pancakes fried in more oil are rich and flaky, while lightly-fried thin pancakes feel more delicate. This recipe aims for a middle ground. Play around with it, discover what you like, and make these scallion pancakes truly your own.

Ingredients

  • For the Pancakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 2 cups chopped scallion greens
  • 1 tablespoon five spice powder
  • For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 scallion (white parts only, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan chili oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Combine well.

  3. Make a small depression in the center of the flour and pour in the hot water. Don't mix it; just let it soak in. Wait 10 minutes, then add the cold water and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil.

  4. Mix into a rough dough, then knead with your hand until smooth, about 3 minutes. Leave the dough on the counter to rest for 20 minutes, covered with an upside-down bowl.

  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, each about the size of an egg.

  6. Lightly oil your work surface. Roll one of the dough pieces into a thin circle about 7 inches wide. Brush the dough with a little oil and top with a sprinkling of five spice powder and about 1/2 cup of the chopped scallions.

  7. Fold the pancake in thirds like a business letter, then fold in half again in the same direction. This will give you a long rope with six layers of dough. Coil this rope into a spiral. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Cover the spirals and rest for 15 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and combine well.

  9. When dough spirals have rested, roll each piece once more into a pancake, roughly 7 inches wide.

  10. Set a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a small amount of vegetable oil. When pan is hot, fry a pancake for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, then flip and fry for 1 to 2 minutes more until golden brown. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

  11. Cut each pancake into 6 wedges. Serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side.

Tips

  • The key to flaky scallion pancakes is to first roll them very thinly on a lightly oiled surface, rather than a floured surface. For this reason, a hard smooth surface like granite, marble or a smooth plastic board works best. Then, brush the pancakes with oil before topping, folding, coiling, and re-rolling into their final shape.
  • You can form the pancakes a long time before cooking and serving. Simply separate raw pancakes with sheets of lightly oiled wax or parchment paper and store in a zip-close bag in the refrigerator for up to a few days.
  • You can also cook the pancakes ahead of time and store between sheets of parchment in a freezer bag for up to four months. Thaw frozen pancakes and briefly fry again to crisp them up before serving.