Flaky, buttery, and fragrant, scallion pancakes are a perfect accompaniment to a hot bowl of soup or as an appetizer before a Chinese feast!
Scallion pancakes remind me of Sunday’s where my dad would make 100 dumplings and I would help him roll and pinch the dumpling skins together. Plump, happy looking dumplings would line up in neat rows on our countertops, and a big pot of soup would always be bubbling away on the stove. After all the dumplings were folded, there would inevitably be a round lump of leftover dough. Rather than waste it, my dad would make the simplest of recipes – scallion pancakes.
The key to a good scallion pancake lies in the ratio of flour to water in dough. Your dough needs to be on the wetter side, stretchy, well-kneaded, but not stiff. And of course, be generous with the oil and margarine so your pancakes are properly flaky and crunchy. Here are some helpful tips:
- Your water for the dough should be comfortably warm when you dip your finger in, but not hot
- Trickle the water slowly into the flour, and stir constantly. If you have a stand mixer, I’d recommend using the dough hook on low while slowly trickling in the water.
- To make layers, you need to repeatedly coil and roll your dough while also layering in margarine, salt, and scallions. It helps to lightly pinch the edges of your coil so the margarine doesn’t leak out. The more times you repeat this process, the more layers you will have. I usually just do it twice.
Servings: 2 ~6in pancakes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Rest time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water (warm to the touch, but not hot)
2 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Slowly combine water and flour, stirring constantly until dough begins to form and come together.
- Knead the dough until smooth (~5 minutes). Place in a bowl and cover bowl with a damp paper towel. Let sit for 20-30 minutes and then cut the dough in half and place one half back in the bowl.
- Flour a surface and rolling pin, and roll out half the dough into a 6 in circle. It should be < 1/4 in thick
- Use a butter knife to spread margarine generously on the surface and sprinkle evenly with salt and scallions.
- Roll the dough so that the buttered side is facing inward, cinnamon-roll style. Place one hand on each side of your roll and stretch lightly. Coil the roll so it looks like a snail shell.
- Form your roll into a rough ball and again roll out into a 6 in circle. Spread again with margin and sprinkle evenly with salt and scallions.
- Roll the dough so that the buttered side is facing inward, cinnamon-roll style. Place hands on either side of your roll and stretch lightly. Coil the roll so it looks like a snail shell.
- Form into a rough ball and roll out into a 6 in circle.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil on a medium-high frying pan and fry scallion pancake until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and repeat on other side.
- Repeat steps 3-9 for your second half of dough.
- Cut into slices and serve. I like it best with hot soup!
Scallion pancakes can be a little tricky, but once you master the consistency of the dough and the process of rolling and coiling, you’ll have a crowd-pleaser you can pull together with only a few ingredients.