The Chinese name for this dish is cong you bing which literally translates to onion oil pancake, and that's really all there is to it. Since the ingredient list is so short, it's perfect for this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge which is run by Sara of I Like to Cook: 5 ingredients or less!
I love green onion pancakes (aka scallion pancakes). You can eat it alone as a snack, dipping it in a simple sauce if you'd like. You can eat it as a side instead of rice. You can wrap meat and veggies in it with some hoisin sauce - yum! Fry it up with scrambled eggs for a great breakfast. The list goes on and on. Plus it freezes really well, so you can make a ton and freeze them for convenient future usage! I even had a green onion pancake-off with a friend once. We both made them and fed them to our friends for judging, and I'm proud to say that I won :)
Another thing I love about green onion pancakes are the layers. Look at those gorgeous layers! As a kid, I loved peeling off the layers and eating them one by one, and I'm not ashamed to say that I still play with my food to this day!
Anyway, enough babbling, here's the recipe!
- All purpose flour
- Hot, preferably boiling, water (approx 2:1 ratio of flour to water)
- Oil (I like to use a combo of vegetable and sesame and will elaborate below)
- Green onions (diced)
- In a stand mixer, or by hand, mix the flour and water together and knead until a nice dough is formed. The ratio should be about 2:1 and should be a non-sticky but relatively soft dough. It's pretty forgiving, so this doesn't have to be perfect. Hot water is important however because that will give you the texture you want (or so I was told when I first learned to make it).
- Take a small piece of dough (however big you want your pancake to be) and roll it out as thin as possible. The shape doesn't matter (as you can see below). And it's even okay if you rolled it so thin that there are holes in it.
- Drizzle some oil and rub it in with your hands so that the entire surface is lightly covered, but there are no pools of oil in any one spot. I like to use a combo of vegetable oil and sesame oil. I find that all sesame oil is a bit too strong for my taste, but vegetable oil alone is a bit boring, but really, use what you have and what you like. In fact, lard is probably the best option if you're brave enough to use it! (I'm not)
- Sprinkle on the green onions. Again, it's up to your personal preference how much you like.
- Roll the dough into a long rope. It's okay if oil and onions squish out the sides.
- Next, coil that rope into a circle.
- Using your hands and/or rolling pin to flatten out the pancake to your desired thickness. Some people like super thick pancakes, others like thin ones. Both are perfectly acceptable. You may need to let the dough rest a bit if it's being difficult to work with.
- In a pan, heat up a bit of oil over medium/low heat. Plop your pancake down and let it cook until golden brown, and then flip to crisp the other side. Thicker pancakes will obviously take longer (you might want to put the lid on and turn down the heat so that it doesn't burn before it's cooked through) and thin ones will take less time. Deep frying these is another delicious alternative!
- Cut them into wedges and serve them however you like. My favorite is with a dipping sauce of half black vinegar and half soy sauce, but experiment away to find what you like!