How to make: Green onion (scallion) pancakes

How to make: Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Say bread and most Filipinos conjure an image of something soft, fluffy and mildly sweet. We like our pan se sal that way and, until recently, we associated not-too-white loaf bread with inferior quality. We like our bread perfectly shaped too and with a soft and light-colored exterior. In short, we’ve come to associate good bread with commercial factory-produced standards.

But there is a world of unleavened breads out there — flat and often made without sugar — and they are delicious. The Mexican tortillas, Indian chapatis, rotis and naan, and Middle Eastern pita are only some of them. While most require traditional ovens and equipment to make, there are simple but equally delicious unleavened breads that you can make at home. One of them is the Chinese onion or scallion pancake.

Despite the name, the Chinese onion pancake is really a bread cooked in a frying pan as it starts with a dough that is kneaded and allowed to rest like most breads (In contrast, the Korean green onion pancake called P’ajon, prepared as a batter and poured into an frying pan, is closer to our Westernized idea of what a pancake is). The ingredients are few and simple — flour, salt, sesame seed oil and scallions — but the Chinese onion pancake is tasty, rich in texture, aromatic and filling.

Ingredients:

2 c. of bread flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted), plus more for dusting
1 tsp. of salt
2 tsps. of sesame seed oil
¾ c. of finely sliced scallions (onion leaves)
vegetable cooking oil for frying

Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Stir the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the sesame seed oil and a cup of warm water (you can use boiling water to make the pancakes more chewy than bread-like). Mix until everything comes together to form a ball.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead by hand for about five minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Let the dough rest for half an hour.

Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Roll out the dough into a log and cut into eight to ten equal pieces. Take one piece and, with a rolling pin, form into a flat thin circle about seven inches in diameter.

Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Place a tablespoonful of onion leaves on the flattened dough.

Starting at the edge nearest you, roll the dough outward to form a “cigar”? pressing lightly to make the dough longer and thinner.

Lift one end of the rolled dough and swirl to form a coil.

Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Flatten with a rolling pin. Repeat until all the dough pieces have been filled, rolled, coiled and flattened.

Heat enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the frying pan.

Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Over medium heat, fry the pancakes, two or three at a time, until golden brown in places.

Flip halfway through the cooking to brown the other side as well.

Green onion (scallion) pancakes

Drain on paper towels.

Cut the onion pancakes into wedges and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Suggested dipping sauces:

  • hoisin sauce mixed with a little sesame seed oil
  • a mixture of light soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic, crushed chili peppers and sesame seed oil
  • traditional basil pesto
  • sun-dried tomato pesto
  • http://none Crisma

    Aha! Something to rival and even surpass the little bread thingies they serve you in Italianni’s na meron ring dipping sauce or is that just olive oil?

    Interesting, and definitely something that I’d be doing for my family…parang masarap yung 2nd dipping sauce na sina-ggest mo, Connie. Thanks again!

    • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

      Olive oil and balsamic vinegar?

      • http://none Crisma

        Ah, yes that’s right.
        Please check your email, Connie… I have a surprise for you there! Hope you’ll like it.

        • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

          Got it. Thank you so very, very much!

          • Diobs

            Hi Connie, can this be baked too? Para hindi oily sana..

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            I don’t know. I really think this dough is made for frying. You can always use a non-stick pan and minimal oil.

          • claudine charie

            wow! looks yummy hubby loves onions so much i will try this once were done moving to our new house. and i have a huge backyard and i’m planning to have fruits trees and herb just like yours:))

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            Congratulations! Oh, you will love planting herbs. And the mere motion of going to the garden to pick them before cooking? Ah, priceless. :)

          • http://none Crisma

            You’re welcome, Connie…

          • Anna

            Hi Ms. Connie! My hubby will surely like this recipe… but my eldest daughter surely won’t… she hates onions. Can I make this bread using cheese or tuna or ham instead of onions? please advise me… thanks

          • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

            Cheese will make it sticky and the cheese will melt during frying so I don’t think so. Ham or tuna might work. :)

  • Joe Cross

    Wow! That looks doable and tasty. Gotta try it. Might even work with leeks. Thanks!

    • Sandra

      Connie, Thank you so much for the illustrated pictures! I have read recipes that explained this technique, but seeing it makes it more doable! I will try these as soon as I can get some fresh green onions. Thank you again!

      • http://gene-experiments.blogspot.com Gene

        This reminds me of Chinese pancakes we ate in Binondo. I live in Marikina now so the idea of making my own excites me. Thank you for sharing this.

        Just want to clarify though, because this confuses me to no end. Is green onion different from chives (the store in Binondo says kuchay?) If so, which one is sibuyas na mura? It looks the same to me so I don’t know which is which.

        • http://www.homecookingrocks.com Connie

          Yes, their different. Sibuyas na mura is green onions. Chinese chives or kutchay (the tips often have buds, they are more firm and they stay form longer) are more fibrous and require a longer cooking time.

          • http://gene-experiments.blogspot.com Gene

            Thank you Miss Connie!

          • Maria

            I love this stuff. I have enjoyed this scallion pancakes as an accompaniment to peking duck and it had some sauce (I think plum sauce) to complete the meal.

            The Koreans too have a version of this but as I recall these were imbeded with some seafood like shrimp and scallions. Can’t be too sure though. The Japanese too have their version of it but using shredded cabbage and scallions.

  • http://none aida

    thanks for sharing.my family loves it..
    they want it again this coming weekend..

    muchos graciasssss

    • joy

      I tried this, and it was perfect! I added some black vinegar into the 2nd dip suggestion and it was good too.

  • charu

    Hey Connie,yours is a great blog.
    These are similar to Indian stuff paratha’s so those who don’t want to fry it can roast it on the hot pan like parathas.
    Heat a nonstick frying pan and place the bread on it.After a minute flip over the bread to roast the other side.Roast it for a minute .Aply little oil on the first side (1/2Teaspoon to 1 Teaspoon or even less)and flip it over to roast further(keep presssing all sides of the bread with a spatula so the bread gets heat evenly).Now just lift the bread little bit with the spatula and see whether brown spots have started appearing on the surface .Now apply little oil on the other side and flip over to roast,keep on pressing with spatula.The bread is done when you see little brown spots on the surface.
    The trick is to roast on medium heat so that the bread gets cooked inside out.If heat is too high only the surface will burn and bread will be uncooked inside.If heat is too low then bread will get hard.

    • http://thecookscollection.blogspot.com Ramya Kiran

      That looks delicious! I wish i was not dieting :(

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  • http://none Crisma

    Happy to say that I did this last Friday! And I never thought it could be so easy to make… and yes, the results were very good… UBOS!!! :)

  • michelle

    Hi Miss. SASSY,

    Can i make a big batch and store them in the frezzer? how long kaya will it last? Thank you so much for your mouth watering recipes!

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