This delicious, easy-to-make thin flatbread is sold on street corners all over China
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoon sesame oil , (for brushing inside the pancake)
2 cups scallion greens, chopped
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
Step 1: Prepare the dough
Mix flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Dig a small hole in center of the flour, and add the boiling water. Wait for 10 minutes and stir in the cold water and vegetable oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough into a shaggy mass. Cover with a clean, damp towel and allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.
Transfer rested dough onto the counter, sprinkle with flour, and knead until very smooth (around 3-5 minutes ). If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in extra flour until you have a dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. You’ll know the dough is ready when it is well mixed and quite soft. Cover, and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 2: Add 6 tablespoons flour and Chinese five spices to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 tablespoon regular oil to a small pot. Heat oil up to almost smoking point. Pour oil into the small bowl with flour and mix well. Set aside.
Step 3: Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Roll the first piece into a large disk (about 8 inches in diameter). Brush some oil flour mixture onto the disk and cover with half a cup of scallions, leaving about half and inch uncovered around the edges.
Step 3: Start at one edge and roll the pancake up like a jelly roll, or fold it like a fan. Now spiral the length of dough together like a snail’s shell, starting tight from the middle and working outward. Gently smush the spiraled dough flat with the palm of your hand, sprinkle liberally with flour on both sides, and roll the scallion pancake out again to an 8-inch diameter. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the remaining dough before moving onto the cooking part. Use parchment paper to separate the uncooked pancakes, or sprinkle each liberally with flour so they don’t stick to anything before you start cooking.
Step 4: Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Spread about a teaspoon of cooking oil (or more) onto the pan and add the first scallion pancake. Cook about 2-3 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Flip it, add extra oil, and cook the second side. If it looks like it is cooking unevenly, use a spatula to press the pancake down.
Slide your perfectly cooked pancakes onto a cutting board and cut into wedges.