Authentic Chinese Scallion Pancakes (葱油饼)
Learn how to cook the real-deal scallion pancakes that are light and crispy. Video and step-by-step pictures included.
Prep Time1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 6 pancakes
- 2 and 1/2 cups (342 grams) Chinese all-purpose flour (*footnote 1), plus more to dust working surface
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup cold water (or as needed)
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
Paste and seasonings
- 1/2 cup (68 grams) Chinese all-purpose flour (*footnote 1)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorns (Optional)
- 1/4 cup chicken fat (or melt lard, or white shortening)
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 4 green onion , trimmed and very finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
- Peanut oil (or vegetable oil for frying)
To make the dough, place the flour in a medium work bowl. Slowly pour in boiling water while stirring clockwise with a pair of chopsticks until large flakes have formed. Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, keep stirring until there is little or no dry flour on the bottom of the bowl. Dust both hands with a thin layer of flour. Press and work the dough flakes together by hand to form a dough ball. The dough should slightly stick to the bowl when you lift it.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead it gently, adding a little extra flour as needed, until the dough is as soft as an earlobe.
Add a teaspoon of oil to a clean bowl and wipe with paper towel to coat the bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make a thin paste by mixing together in a small bowl the flour, salt, optional Sichuan peppercorns, chicken fat (lard or shortening), and oil. Set the green onions next to the paste.
Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll each portion into a smooth ball. Working on 1 piece at a time, keeping the other portions covered so that they do not dry out. Use a Chinese rolling pin to roll the ball out into a strip, as thin as you can without tearing the dough, about 45-cm (18-inch) long. Smear one-sixth of the paste on top of the strip and sprinkle one-sixth of the green onions all the way down the strip (footnote 2).
Roll up the strip from one of the long sides to form a rope, and then pull this rope gently to form a strand 60-cm (24-inch) long. Coil the strand until you have a flat circle, like a cinnamon roll. Repeat with the rest of the dough and paste until you have 6 circles.
Roll this circle out into a 20-cm (8-inch) disk. Repeat with the rest of the strands until you have 6 disks.
These pancakes freeze very well. To store, carefully seal uncooked pancakes with plastic wrap and transfer into a large ziplock bag. You can place several pancakes into one bag. Place the bag on a tray and transfer to freezer. Take out the tray once the pancakes are completely frozen. Store in the freezer up to 1 month.
Heat a flat frying pan over medium-high heat and then film the bottom with oil. As soon as the oil is hot, place a bread in the pan. Cook until the bottom is golden. Flip and cover, until the other side turns golden too. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and keep the bread warm in a 120 degrees C (250 F) oven for up to 20 minutes.
Cut each pancake into 6 or so wedges and serve warm.
To cook frozen pancakes, let pancakes thaw slowly in the fridge. When defrosted completely, unwrap and cook by the same way as fresh pancakes.
If you have leftover pancakes, heat them up with a bit oil in a skillet, covered, until warmed throughout. The pancakes will remain crispy.
- Chinese flour - In this recipe you will need 2 cups Chinese flour in total. To make the flour, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup pastry (cake) flour and mix well. Scoop out 1/2 cup mixed flour into another bowl for making pancake paste.
- You don’t need to portion out the paste. Place generous amount of paste onto the dough sheet and brush to form a thin even layer that won’t seep out when you roll up the dough. You will find the paste is just enough to make 6 pancakes.
Serving: 144g | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 16.2g | Saturated Fat: 3.8g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3.4mg