Time Required: 2 hours

Scallion Pancakes

Flaky, salty, onion-y bread... what more could you want?

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Notes:

This recipe is based on Inga Lam's fantastic scallion pancake recipe, with a couple of small tweaks.

These pancakes go great with tons of different foods, but I particularly recommend pairing them with some scrambled eggs (ideally with scallion oil and cheese in them) or with pretty much any curry.

Scallion Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 380g (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus an additional 38g (¼ cup)
  • 15g (1 tbsp) sugar
  • 4g (1 tsp) kosher salt, plus additional to sprinkle on at the end
  • 115g (½ cup) hot water
  • 60-115g (¼ - ½ cup) room temperature water
  • 1 large bunch (~7) scallions
  • ¼ cup oil of your choice (I use a 50/50 blend of canola and olive oil), plus additional for frying

Steps

  1. Combine the 380g (2 ½ cups) flour, the sugar, and the salt in a large bowl using chopsticks.
  2. While continuing to stir with the chopsticks, slowly add the hot water to the flour mixture, then add ¼ cup of the room temperature water.
  3. Remove the chopsticks and begin gently kneading the dough in the bowl with your hands. Continue kneading until the dough just holds together as one solid ball without crumbling. If the dough feels too dry as you knead, add some of the remaining room temperature water 1tbsp at a time until the dough feels less crumbly. You want to add as little additional water as possible, so knead for a bit after each 1tbsp you add to see if that was enough water.
  4. Once the dough forms a nice ball, place the ball onto a flat surface and knead there for about 10 minutes (continuing to add water if necessary) until the dough feels tighter and softer, has a smoother surface with no cracks, and bounces back when poked gently.
  5. Place the dough back into the large bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Let it rest for 30-60 minutes.
  6. While the dough rests, finely chop the scallions (greens and whites). Make sure to chop the scallion whites extra finely, since they're tougher than the greens and will break through the dough more easily. Place the chopped scallions in a small bowl and mix them up so the scallion whites are evenly dispersed throughout the scallion greens.
  7. Make a simple roux by combining the remaining 38g (¼ cup) flour with the ¼ cup of your preferred oil in a small nonstick saucepan. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and stir continuously until the mixture just starts to thicken slightly and the flour has dissolved (you're aiming for a thick but brushable consistency, like glue). Remove from the heat and set aside until you need it, stirring occasionally to prevent it from separating.
  8. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a smooth, flat surface. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and roll each piece into a taut ball, using your working surface to help seal the bottom of each ball. Place 4 of the balls back into the bowl and cover with a damp towel.
  9. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a rectangle as thin as you can.
  10. Brush a thin layer of the roux onto the dough, leaving a ~¼ inch border around the edge, then sprinkle ⅕ of your chopped scallions evenly over the brushed dough.
  11. Starting from a long edge of the dough, roll the dough onto itself tightly to form a long, thin log of rolled dough. Pinch the ends of the log together, then roll the log into a swirl along your working surface, keeping the seam that runs the length of the log on the inside of the swirl. Tuck the free end of the dough underneath the swirl you just created so it doesn't unravel (the finished product here should be the same shape as a cinnamon roll). Gently press the swirl down to flatten it slightly, then use your hand to rub a thin layer of oil onto the dough.
  12. Place the shaped swirl off to the side and cover it with a damp towel. Repeat the dough rolling, filling, and shaping process with the remaining 4 dough balls. As you go, keep both the unshaped balls and the shaped swirls under damp towels to prevent them from drying out while you work. Keep track of the order in which you shaped the swirls, since each one should rest at least 20 minutes before the next step, so by the time you finish shaping all 5 balls into swirls the first swirl should be ready to work with.
  13. Once you've shaped all the dough into 5 swirls, decide how many pancakes you want to make now vs. how many you want to freeze to eat at another time. For the pancakes you want to freeze: roll each one out into a flattened swirl about ¼" thick and place it on a sheet of parchment paper. Stack all the rolled out pancakes on top of each other (separated by the parchment paper), place one more sheet of parchment paper on top of the stack, and place the stack into a freezer-safe bag or container. Place these pancakes into the freezer, for up to 3 months.
  14. For the pancakes you want to make now: roll each one out into a flattened swirl as thin as you can without tearing up the swirl (roughly ⅛" thick).
  15. Add a layer of your preferred oil (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) to a large skillet or frying pan and place the pan over medium-high heat. Add a rolled-out pancake to the pan before the oil is fully heated (it should not sizzle right when you put it in) and pan fry until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the pancake over and fry the other side until it is also golden brown, optionally fluffing the edges with chopsticks towards the end of the frying process to break up some of the flakes in the dough.
  16. Once both sides are golden brown and crispy, transfer the pancake to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil and immediately sprinkle the pancake with kosher salt.
  17. Repeat the cooking process with your remaining pancakes, then tear into them and enjoy!
  18. To cook a frozen pancake later, remove one pancake from the freezer bag/container with its sheet of parchment paper and place the pancake on its parchment paper in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds (until just softened enough to work with). Transfer the dough to a flat working surface dusted with a bit of flour and roll the dough out as thin as you can, then follow the same pan-frying process as for the non-frozen pancakes above.
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