I made these scallion pancakes back in August.
I got lazy. I had to pack for China. I disappeared from my blog. And now I have pictures and notes waiting to be published on this blog. While I also have a pile of Chinese vocabulary to memorize. And my time is dwindling in China, and soon I will be back on a
very uncomfortable plane heading back to America. So might as well blog when it’s about 1 AM here. Especially after I took a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day.
I still remember that woman asking if I had eaten scallions as she gestured her chopsticks toward the raw scallion stalks. I nodded but felt a pang of hurt. Did she really think I was that un-Chinese? I wonder what her mental image of America is. McDonald’s galore? Hamburgers at every meal? Chicken nuggets? No. I hope foreigners realize America is much more versatile than what we export to other countries. We are not a nation of fast food. We are a nation of immigrants with many cuisines.
After she asked, I scrambled to find the scallion pancake pictures to show her that I indeed know what scallions are. I actually love them!
I whipped up these scallion pancakes when I felt like I wanted to try something Chinese. I love scallion pancakes, but my mom usually buys the frozen ones from the Chinese supermarkets and pan fries them when needed. No way will I do that. I’m going to make them by hand!
- Scallions (As much as you want. I used about 6 stalks because I really like the flavor. I’d probably add more next time.)
- Pinch of salt
- Flour (3 of whatever vessel you are using)
- Hot Water (1 of whatever vessel)
- Cool Water (1/2 of whatever vessel)
- Pour in the flour into a large bowl.
- Add the hot water. When adding water, add it in proportion to the flour. I used a cup that I had at home to measure. I used the same cup for the flour and water so that they were in proportion to each other.
- Mix. Do NOT use your hands. This is very hot water. You should see some pieces of flour cooking due to the temperature of the water. Keep mixing until the water is completely absorbed.
- Add the cool water. Save a bit in case you need to add more to incorporate the loose dry flour. During this step, I kept adding extra water and extra flour to get to the desired consistency of dough. Keep testing it.
- Flour your surface. Use a rolling pin to make the clump of dough flat. You want it not too thin and not too thick. Watch the video recipe part 2 to see them demonstrating how to roll out the flour. It was really useful to me because I didn’t know how to! It shows you how to distribute the dough by rolling.
- Chop the scallions. Stir in salt.
- Spread oil over the dough.
- Sprinkle the scallions evenly. You don’t want to have scallions at the edge or else it will be hard to seal it when rolling it.
- Roll the flat piece of dough so that it is a cylinder, with the outside as just dough and the inside with the scallions.
- Seal the ends.
- Break small pieces from the dough, almost the length of your fist. Twist to break off.
- Seal the ends of the broken off piece. Flatten it into a circle with your palm.
- Pan fry until golden brown. Flip to cook both sides.
I ate the scallion pancake as a sandwich. This cooking method makes rather small ones. I saved the roll in the fridge by wrapping it in plastic wrap. Each morning, I would break off 2 pieces to cook and make another sandwich for breakfast. Chinese breakfast sandwich? Don’t need that McDonald McMuffin.
If you’re making it for just yourself, this will sustain your for a couple of days. You only need to put in the effort when initially making it. Afterwards, you just have to break a piece, flatten it, and fry it. Making the dough is the hard part.
Although making the dough was difficult, I thought it was fun to work it with my hand. It was almost like being a child and playing with play-do. Hopefully I can make this again on campus. It’s a rather simple recipe and doesn’t require many ingredients. However, I’ll need to make sure I have a clean surface to roll out the dough. Communal dorm kitchens are not the cleanest places…
It is in Mandarin. But with the above recipe, the video will better explain the steps, such as rolling out the dough.