Scallion pancakes (蔥油餅) is one of the most popular street snacks in East Asia. They’re crispy pan-fried pancakes made from plain unleavened dough rolled together with fresh scallions and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Serve them with a warm glass of soy milk for a simple, handy, and delicious breakfast. They are also great to serve with saucy dishes such as mapo tofu, stewed spicy eggplant, or dipped in Guilin chili sauce and black vinegar as a snack.
Traditionally, they’re made with lard, which really brings out the flavour of the pancake, but in my recipe, I used unsalted butter. It’s likely less fragrant, but I cannot find lard here, and I think they taste great. It’s just easier to get butter than lard, anyway.
Makes 5 (10 cm) pancakes
For the dough:
600 g all-purpose flour
350 ml warm water (at 65 C)
1 tsp fine sea salt
For the pancakes:
80 g lard or unsalted butter
2 tsp fine sea salt
200 g fresh scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
Vegetable oil for frying
For the dough
Mix together flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and add warm water. Use a wooden spatula to mix until a rough dough is formed. Remove dough from bowl and use your hands to knead it for about 3-5 minutes until soft and elastic. Use a clean, damp cloth or cling wrap to cover dough and let rest for 30 minutes.
For the pancakes
Remove cling wrap/cloth and knead dough lightly until smooth. Divide dough into 5 even portions and, using a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a round shape, about ¼ cm thick. Smear a thin layer of lard/butter all over and sprinkle salt and chopped scallions evenly onto the pancakes.
Gently roll the pancake into a sausage shape. Slightly fold the two ends of the sausage and coil it into a spiral (picture a top view of a cinnamon bun). The ends should be sticky enough to hold the cake in a round shape. Let rest for 10 minutes more.
After 10 minutes of resting, use a rolling pin and start flattening spirals into thin pancakes.
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Pan-fry pancakes one at a time, about 2 minutes per side or until crispy and golden brown. Then flip to the other side and fry for another 2 minutes. Repeat for remaining pancakes. Serve warm.