Experience the beauty of Chinese street food and Dim Sum with this scallion pancakes recipe! Unlike other types of pancakes, these are made out of dough instead of batter. They are easy to make, and you probably have all of the pantry ingredients at home!
If you’ve visited the blog before (welcome back!) you know how much I love street food from around the world. Whenever I travel, I always take to the streets to see how the locals actually eat. This attitude has led me to discover snacks like Turkish street food called gozleme, Greek chicken souvlaki, and Chinese grilled lamb skewers called yang rou chuan. Today I want to introduce another type of street food out of China: scallion pancakes.
This pancake recipe is different than traditional pancakes or crêpes. Much like bread, you’ll create a dough to fry up into pancake form instead of a batter. In my version, I use bacon fat for added flavor in lieu of the traditional flour and oil paste that gets layered with thinly sliced scallions and rolled into these "pancakes". This assists in making these extra flaky and crispy on the outside!
The texture is reminiscent of a flatbread and can be enjoyed as such! Dip your spring onion pancakes in Chinese chili oil and soy sauce, and you’ve got yourself the perfect snack.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- All-Purpose Flour - You can use your preferred brand. Remember: Always weigh your flour, especially with baking as weight, not volume, is important. You need flour for the pancake dough and filling.
- Salt - All good dough recipes call for a bit of salt. It helps bring out the natural flavors in the flour! You also need to use it in the filling of your green onion pancakes.
- Water - You’ll need both cold and boiling water to make the dough.
- Scallions - You will, of course, need some scallions for these spring onion pancakes! The flavor is a bit lighter and fresher than typical onions.
- Bacon Fat - My special secret ingredient. Use it in the pancake filling for added flavor! If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can also use peanut oil, coconut oil, or melted butter. Traditional Chinese scallion pancake recipes usually use chicken fat.
- Chinese 5 Spice Mix - You can find this spice blend in the international section of many supermarkets. Or, you can make my homemade version!
- Chinese Chili Oil - For serving. Again, you can find it at your grocery store, or you can make it yourself using my recipe.
- Soy Sauce - Also for serving!
HOW TO MAKE CHINESE SCALLION PANCAKES
1. Make The Dough. Add the flour and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Make a well in the center, then pour in the boiling water. Use chopsticks or a fork to mix and form a shaggy dough. Drizzle the dough with cold water and continue to mix to form a dough ball. Knead for 3-5 minutes, then press and form it into a smooth ball. Cover your dough and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
2. Create The Filling. Melt the bacon fat in your microwave in a small bowl. Whisk together with the flour, salt, and Chinese 5 spice mix. You should end up with a smooth paste.
3. Assemble The Pancakes. Place your dough on a clean, flat surface and knead it for 1 minute. Put a bit of peanut oil on your hands and gently rub the dough to coat it. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin so that you end up with a thin 14x18-inch rectangle. Spread the filling mixture onto the dough, then sprinkle the scallions on top. Fold the shorter side of the dough over and seal the end, making sure not to seal it too tightly. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Turn so cut side is up and press down and flatten each piece of dough into pancake form with your rolling pin. They should be about 6-inches wide each.
4. Fry Your Scallion Pancakes. Preheat your oven to 200°F. Place a wire rack on a baking tray and set it aside. Place a skillet over medium heat and add a bit of oil. Once the oil is hot, add a pancake and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until the pancake turns golden brown. You can place the pancakes on the baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm as you finish making them all.
5. Finish Frying & Serve. Finish frying the rest of your green onion pancakes. You can either cut them and place them on a serving plate, or you can serve them whole. Enjoy warm with soy sauce and chili oil for dipping!
What Are Chinese Scallion Pancakes Called?
Chinese scallion pancakes are called “cong you bing” in Mandarin. They are often seen as street food and are enjoyed as a snack or as breakfast!
Are Scallion Pancakes The Same As Chinese Pizza?
This dish goes by so many different names: scallion pancakes, green onion pancakes, spring onion pancakes…and yes, Chinese pizza!
Are Scallions And Green Onions The Same?
The reason why this snack is also called green onion pancakes is that green onions and scallions are the exact same thing. And, what about spring onions? Yup, it’s the same thing as well, which is why you’ll sometimes see this dish referred to as spring onion pancakes too!
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
- 300 g all-purpose flour See Note 1
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup cold water
- ¼ cup bacon fat melted (See Note 2)
- 50 g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
- 10-12 scallions green onions (See Note 3)
- Chinese Chili Oil
- Soy Sauce
- In a bowl add the flour and salt and make a well in the center. pour in the boiling water and with chopsticks or a fork mix together to form a shaggy dough, scraping sides and bottom. Drizzle in the cold water, mixing until dough ball starts to form. Knead for 3-5 minutes in bowl using your hand. Press and form into a smooth ball. Cover and let rest 20 minutes.
- In a 4-cup measuring bowl melt the bacon fat in microwave and whisk together with remaining Filling ingredients to form a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Place the dough on a clean surface and knead for a minute. Add a little peanut oil to your hands and gently rub the dough ball surface to coat.
- Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a thin, 14x18" rectangle.
- Brush the filling mixture over the dough, then sprinkle the scallions on top.
- Starting at the shorter side of the dough, roll up and seal end (don’t make it too tight).
- Cut dough into 6 equal pieces. Stand each piece on a cut end. Using the palm of your hand, press down and flatten. Next use rolling pin to roll into a 6-inch pancake.
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Place a wire rack in a baking tray and set aside.
- In a skillet over medium heat add a little bit of oil. When hot, add a pancake and cover with lid. Cook 1-2 minutes until bottom is browned. Flip pancake over and cover again, cooking for 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove from skillet, place on wire rack lined tray and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
- Either cut each pancake into quarters and place on serving tray, or serve whole and tear apart. Serve warm with soy sauce and or Chili Oil to dip or drizzle over.
- Always weight your flour, especially with baking as weight not volume is a factor. For the Dough it comes to about 2 cups total and for the Filling its about ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons.
- I use bacon fat for flavor, but you could use peanut or coconut oil for a vegan version or melted butter or chicken fat (traditional way).
- You will need a good 1 cup. Trim and discard root end. Cut white part from green and slice each onion lengthwise, then chop fine. Mince the green tops.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.