Chinese Scallion Pancake




Chinese Scallion Pancake

Chewy, flaky, and savory scallion pancakes are one of my very favorite Chinese treats. This pan-fried bread has a lot in common with Indian parathas and other simple flatbreads, and if you follow a few simple steps, they are easy to make at home. Here are instructions on how to make addictively delicious Chinese scallion pancakes in your home kitchen!



2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup warm water
Oil for the pancakes, such as vegetable, sesame, or shortening
Coarse kosher salt
1 bunch scallions, 4 tablespoons oil, 4 tablespoons flour
High smoke point oil for the pan, such as vegetable, canola, or peanut oil



Step 1: Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1/4  cup hot water. Mix it well.  (This is the secret to make the pancake super soft).  Add 3/4 cup cold water.  Knead until it forms a smooth dough. Knead by doubling the dough over and pressing it down repeatedly, until the dough is even more smooth and very elastic. Coat this ball of dough lightly in oil and put it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.




Step 2: Finely chop the bunch of scallions. (I usually use the green tops and just the very top of the white parts.) Put them in a small bowl with salt, 4 tablespoons oil, and 4 tablespoons flour.  Mix well.



Step 3: Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Lightly oil a smooth stone countertop or pastry board. Roll out one part of the dough. Roll until it is a thin rectangle at least 12 x 9 inches.  Lightly brush the top of the dough with oil and scallion mixture.



Step 4: Starting from the long end, roll the dough up tightly, creating one long snake of rolled-up dough.



Step 5: Cut the dough snake in two equal parts. Take one of these halves and coil into a round dough bundle. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes and ideally longer, while you repeat this process with the rest of the dough.




Step 6: Pat a coiled dough bundle into a flat, smooth, round pancake. You can do this with a rolling pin or with your hands. Heat a 10-inch heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, and oil it with a drizzle of canola, vegetable, or peanut oil. When the oil shimmers, pick up the pancake dough and lay it gently in the pan. It should sizzle, but not burn. Cook for 2 minutes on one side.  Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown. Repeat steps 9-11 with the rest of the pancake dough coils.



Cut the pancake into wedges with a pair of kitchen scissors, and serve immediately with soy sauce or another dipping sauce.