Dec 9, 2016

Scallion Pancakes

Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 10 mins
They remind me of a cross between croissants and naan bread seasoned with diced scallions. Painting the layers of dough with sesame oil as you roll the dough will yield flakey layers.

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Scallion pancakes, cong you bing in Chinese, are a “must-order” for me at any dim sum or Chinese restaurant. I love the crisp outside and fluffy inside. They remind me of a cross between croissants and naan bread seasoned with diced scallions. Painting the layers of dough with sesame oil as you roll the dough will yield flakey layers in this scallion pancake recipe.

Scallion Pancakes

closeup of Chinese-style Scallion Pancakes cooked in a skillet served on a plate with chili crisp and Chinese black vinegar

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Green onions – Green onions, also referred to as scallions or spring onions are in the allium family. They are harvested young before they form bulbs. Green onions have a milder flavor than onions or shallots and are what give the scallion pancake recipe most of their flavor. The lower, white parts of the green onions contain the most intense flavor which is why they are usually used for cooking while the upper green parts have a more subtle flavor and are used as a garnish.
  • Sesame oil – Toasted sesame oil has a strong nutty flavor and high smoke point (450ºF). It’s used to paint the dough which creates those signature flakey layers in the dough.

How to Make Chinese Scallion Pancakes

  1. Mix dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine the flour and vegetable shortening. Mix on low speed until the shortening disperses into chunks.
  2. Add water and knead the dough. With the mixer running, slowly add 1 cup of boiling water and the salt. Continue to mix until a shaggy dough forms. Next, turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Then knead until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough and roll out. First, wrap the dough in plastic and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Next, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Then, working one at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be thin and about 8” in diameter.
  4. Brush the dough with sesame oil and top with scallions. Brush about 2 teaspoons of sesame oil on the dough and top with about ¼ cup of scallions. Roll the dough away from you (like a jelly roll) into a thin cylinder. Starting at an end, coil the dough into itself, like a cinnamon roll.
  5. Let the dough rest. Cover with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining dough. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  6. Flatten and re-roll. Flatten each gently with your hand then re-roll into a thin 8-inch disk. Paint with another layer of sesame oil, sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons of scallions and roll up like a jelly roll again. If the dough becomes too wet, sprinkle with additional flour.
  7. Repeat. Again, twist into a spiral then flatten gently and re-roll into an 8-inch disk. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
  8. Cook the scallion pancakes. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and heat through. Working one at a time fry the pancake until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Add another 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and repeat with the remaining pancakes, adding additional oil.
  9. Serve. Cut each pancake into 6 pieces and serve warm.
Chinese-style Scallion Pancakes cooked in a skillet dipping piece in Chinese black vinegar

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What should I serve with scallion pancakes?

I love serving the savory pancakes with a dipping sauce made from equal parts sesame oil and Chinkiang vinegar also known as black vinegar (you can find it at Asian markets or online here). If you are a fan of spicier foods serve with sambal oelek or keep it classic with soy sauce.

How do Chinese-style scallion pancakes differ from Korean-style?

Chinese scallion pancakes are made from a dough while Korean scallion pancakes are made with a batter.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this Chinese scallion pancake recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Scallion Pancakes

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4 pancakes (serves 6).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for workspace
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • cups thinly sliced green onions
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, divided

Instructions:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine the flour and vegetable shortening. Mix on low speed until the shortening disperses into chunks.
  • With the mixer running, slowly add 1 cup of boiling water and the salt. Continue to mix until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Working one at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be thin and about 8” in diameter.
  • Brush about 2 teaspoons of sesame oil on the dough and top with about ¼ cup of scallions. Roll the dough away from you (like a jelly roll) into a thin cylinder. Starting at an end, coil the dough into itself, like a cinnamon roll.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining dough. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  • Flatten each gently with your hand then re-roll into a thin 8-inch disk. Paint with another layer of sesame oil, sprinkle with another 2 tablespoons of scallions and roll up like a jelly roll again. If the dough becomes too wet, sprinkle with additional flour.
  • Again, twist into a spiral then flatten gently and re-roll into an 8-inch disk. Repeat with the remaining pancakes.
  • In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and heat through. Working one at a time fry the pancake until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Add another 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and repeat with the remaining pancakes, adding additional oil.
  • Cut each pancake into 6 pieces and serve warm.

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  1. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while now and finally got my act together to buy scallions.
    So delish. Next time I need to cut my scallions thinner because they sometimes poked through and broke my dough. Freezing half of my batch for later!

  2. Absolute 10/10! The recipe is easy to follow and I love having pictures to keep me on task. It is amazing how many times you fold the dough how flaky the pancakes become. We will definitely be making these again soon!