My favourite Chinese restaurant treat made at home – with step by step photos! Wonderfully crisp on the outside, chewy, flaky and salty on the inside. Authentic and easy! I love scallion pancakes so much I used to stockpile frozen ones from the Asian grocery store, then cook them up at home. I swear they are the best midnight snack after a few too many vinos – and they take minutes to cook straight from the freezer. I was inspired to try to make them myself because I bought a whole bunch of shallots just so I could use one piece for a recipe and I had to find a recipe that used a lot of shallots!
YES this is easy! Of course it is easy – every recipe on my blog is easy. I promise you this is worth trying. The smell when the pancake hits the pan, the shallots sizzling…..I’m lost for words to describe how good it is. It is a great make ahead dish – you can keep the ready-to-cook pancakes in the fridge or the freezer – and you can cook them in their frozen state, it just takes a 3 minutes instead of 2 minutes on the stove.
The recipe is really easy (full recipe provided below). All you do is combine flour, salt and water to make a dough, set it aside for 10 minutes, divide into two, then roll each ball out thinly into about 1.5ft/50cm x 8″/20cm. Then spray lightly with oil, then roll it up starting from the wide end. Then coil it into a snail shape, push down with your hand and roll out again into the same shape. Repeat with the other ball.
Roll them out again. This time after you spray it with oil, scatter over the chopped scallions and a pinch of salt. Then roll it up again, starting from the wide end. After rolling it up, cut the dough in half, then coil again. You will end up with 4 coils. Push down with your hand and roll out into a round pancake about 1/3 ” / 0.5 cm thick. Then you simply pan fry.
The spraying of oil, coiling them re-rolling is what creates the flaky layers which you can see in this photo.
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chopped shallots (half a large bunch)
- Oil spray (any is fine, except olive oil)
- 4 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Soy sauce
- Black vinegar (or substitute with white vinegar)
- Chilli paste (optional)
Combine flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl, add water in 3 batches, mixing in between with a spoon (see notes for tips on getting the dough right).
Knead for a minute, either in the bowl or on a flour dusted surface, then cover with cling wrap and rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 2 pieces.
Roll out dough thinly into a rectangle should about 1.5ft/50cm x 8"/20cm.
Spray lightly with oil (any oil is fine - except perhaps olive oil), then roll it up starting from the wide end so you have a long roll.
Coil it into a snail shape, push down with your hand and roll out again into the same shape.
Spray again with oil, scatter over the chopped scallions and a pinch of salt. Then roll it up again, starting from the wide end.
Cut the roll in half, and coil each roll.
Repeat with the other ball of dough. You will end up with 4 coils.
Flatten each coil, then roll out into round shapes about 1/3 " / 0.5 cm thick.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan, pan fry for 1 1/2 minutes on the first side, then 1 minute on the other side, pushing down with a spatula if necessary to get it to cook the surface evenly. It should be a dark golden brown colour.
Combine equal parts of soy sauce and black vinegar into a small sauce dish, and add a dollop of Asian chilli paste.
1. You might need to adjust the amount of water slightly - you want a dough that is quite sticky but so that it comes away from the edge of the bowl (as opposed to leaving a lot of dough on the bowl).
2. You can refrigerate or freeze the rolled out ready-to-cook pancakes. You do not even need to defrost them to cook them, just pop them straight into the pan, though it will take a minute or so longer to cook.