Scallion pancakes 葱油饼

14 Dec

A lot of experiments arise from my cravings.  It probably isn’t that I can’t find these foods in Melbourne but the hunt for it seems quite daunting without a car and eating out here at anywhere good is just pricey.  I was craving 葱油饼 that day.  Scallion pancakes.  I’m not even sure why I craved them.  I hardly ate them at all in Singapore.

I’ve made them 3x so far.  Each time trying out a slightly different recipe and tweaking the way I made it to make life a little easier.  The first recipe I tried was from Appetite for China.  I ended up with very tasty bun-like pancakes.  The bub LOVED it.  But it wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  Then I realised that I had probably been too stingy with the oil.  And there were too many steps and ingredients to make it a recipe that I’d dig out time and again.  So I went on another search.  Food Network was the other place that most people seemed to get their recipe from.  So I tried that one out.

With both recipes, I had a terribly sticky dough despite adding and adding more flour.  So I went hunting again and struck gold with Black Girl Chef’s Whites.  Perfect!  The dough was initially dry but with continual kneading, a dough that actually came together smoothly results.  To save washing I also hand mixed everything.  I loved that the layers actually came out beautifully!

This time, I was really generous with the oil.  A teaspoon per pancake when I made it.  But it turned out perfect and exactly what I had in mind!  Incidentally, I just realised that the principle behind it is similar to roti prata from Singapore and croissant from France.  We had the pancakes for breakfast and I made a ginger-soya dip for it.

Scallion Pancakes 葱油饼

Adapted from Black Girl Chef’s Whites

Makes 8 pancakes

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup very hot water

2 TB vegetable oil + more for frying

1 tsp sesame oil

kosher salt

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and hot water and mix with a spatula until it comes together as a ball.
  2. Let the dough cool down until you can handle it with your hands.
  3. Dust the tabletop with flour and knead dough until it is soft and pliable.
  4. Let the dough rest for at least 0.5 hours in a bowl with a wet towel over.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces.
  6. Take 1 piece of dough and roll it out flat on the tabletop dusted with flour.
  7. Mix canola oil with sesame oil.
  8. Brush 1 tsp of oil on the top of the rolled out dough.
  9. Sprinkle some of the spring onions on the dough, followed by salt to taste.
  10. Roll the dough into a cigar.
  11. Roll the cigar into the shape of a snail’s shell.
  12. Flatten the snail’s shell by rolling it flat.
  13. Fry pancake on a non stick pan until crisp.

Tips

  1. For even better flavor, you can use lard instead.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you that it isn’t good for your health!
  2. If you want to leave the dough to stand for longer than 0.5h, do pop it into the fridge.
  3. I find that by placing the spring onions in a straight line, right through the middle of the rolled out dough makes it easier to roll up and the final spread of the spring onions is more even.
  4. You can prevent the pancakes from sticking by gently brushing a thin layer of oil over the pancake.
  5. The pancakes freeze well too.  Just take them out to defrost and then fry!  It would be best to use freezer film to separate the pancakes for easy removal.
  6. Fry the pancakes on a non stick pan and you can omit the oil.
  7. To make it easier for cleaning up the oil you used, pour the left over flour into the bowl with oil and see the flour soak up the oil slick!  Then throw into the dustbin!
  8. If fried with oil, the pancake turns out slightly flakier but I’m opting for healthier so I omitted the oil.
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