Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scallion Pancakes

Scalling pancakes

This is the first recipe in Sugar and Soy Sauce, and because it's not my mom's, I'm not forbidden to share it. =) Karen Kirkup taught me the recipe, which she learned while working at Icarus. I've tried making scallion pancakes from scratch before but could never get them quite as light and flakey as I like; they were always just a little too chewy. You don't get that problem with this recipe because the secret is in letting the dough rest so that the gluten relaxes enough to allow you to stretch the dough out really, really thin. The recipe is super simple, but just make sure you give yourself sufficient time; the results are worth it.

Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
makes 6 pancakes

1 lb. all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water

Chopped scallions
Vegetable oil

Mix the flour and water together and knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Knead for another 5 minutes and let rest for another 30 minutes at room temperature. Knead one more time for 5 minutes.

Divide into 6 (4 oz.) portions. Roll into balls and cover liberally with oil. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Rolled out dough

Let the dough come back to room temperature. On an oiled stainless steel surface (I used my non-stick baking tray), roll out one ball of dough and stretch out as thin as possible into a rectangle, being careful not to make any holes in the dough. You should be able to cover almost the entire surface of the baking tray, if you're using one.

Brush the top with oil and sprinkle with salt and scallions.

Starting at one long end, start "flipping" inches of the dough towards the other long end so that you are kind of rolling it up into a long snake. Once it is all folded up, twist the dough like a rope and then coil it up into a spiral. Flatten the spiral with your hands to form pancake discs. Repeat with the other balls of dough.

Shaped dough

Heat a liberal amount of oil in a frying pan. When it is hot (but not smoking), add one pancake. After a few minutes, flip once it is golden brown on the bottom. Wait another few minutes until the second side is golden brown as well. Repeat with the other pancakes.

Frying second side

Slice the pankcake into wedges and serve hot with a dipping sauce of soy sauce mixed with vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.

To store the pancakes, freeze them in a freezer bag and re-heat on the pan with additional oil. You can also try toasting them in the oven, but it will get dry.



  1. Those look really good - thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thank you for sharing, those are delicious!

  3. I always have such a hard time getting them really flaky, so I can't wait to try your technique!

  4. You genius you! Gorgeous pictures... I will be making these ASAP!

  5. Those scallion pancakes look good!

  6. cant wait to try this.
    One question how large is your baking tray?
    thanks in advance.

  7. Um, it's a typical jelly roll pan size? It doesn't really matter how large the tray is, the point is to make the dough as thin as possible, so use the largest surface area you have.

  8. thank you =)
    just made them and they turned out great!

  9. Do u mix by hand or is stand mixer ok? I am finding the dough to be a tad dry. Is that ok?

    1. Using a stand mixer is totally fine! The dough may be a little dry in the beginning but after resting it should not feel dry at all.