Friday, January 8, 2016

How to make Chinese scallion pancakes

My sister and I grew up on these scallion pancakes - dense enough to carry us through those hungry hours between after school and dinnertime, yet intricate enough to be devoured crisp outer portion first with the tender and chewy layers slowly savored.

The key to making these pancakes is not the recipe, but the method used for rolling them out. Search the web for a standard dough recipe (keep in mind this is not the Korean pajeon, which often contains different and more fillings and is not made with this type of dough). My father's savory scallion filling includes: chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, sesame oil, and vegetable oil. Keep the salt handy and don't be afraid to be generous with it. The photos below show how my father rolls these delicious pancakes. Follow these instructions to make Chinese scallion pancakes how they are traditionally done - with thin layer upon thin layer of dough and the flavorful oniony mixture throughout.

Roll out a softball-sized hunk of dough.

This fragrant mixture contains: scallions, cilantro, sesame oil and vegetable oil.

Sprinkle the pancake with salt and cover it with a small amount of filling. Roll it up.

Break into four pieces.

Flatten each piece.

Roll out one of the small balls of dough into a round pancake.

Sprinkle pancake with a generous amount of salt. Add a portion of the scallion mixture.

Roll it up.

Begin to make a coil.

Coil the pancake onto itself. It will look a bit like soft serve ice cream.

Flatten this coiled ball into a round pancake, pressing with your hand and rolling it out with a rolling pin as needed.

Roll the other three the same way.

The first four pancakes are done! Now the next hunk of dough can be made into the next four pancakes.

To cook these pancakes, add a tablespoon of oil to a pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add a pancake and fry on both sides until golden. Enjoy!

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