Scallion Pancakes and Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

Oh man, these were so good. I honestly didn’t even think I could attempt making scallion pancakes myself. But it wasn’t that difficult. Sure, there is some fussing with the dough. And the instructions given for rolling it out didn’t make any sense. But I got past that and made my own interpretation. And I wrote it out for you below so you don’t have to be as confused as I was. And I included pictures of every step so it actually made sense. Warning: there are a lot of steps but it’s pretty easy to follow along.  At least I hope it is.

These even tasted better than the scallion pancakes from my favorite Chinese take out place. I think it’s because I didn’t douse mine in oil and MSG. And the dipping sauce is SO GOOD and makes the perfect complement. Light, flaky dough with a salty sauce that has a bit of a zip. Next time I make them (and there will be a next time) I’ll try to roll them out extra thin. They seemed a little doughy.  But I’m not complaining; they were gone within minutes of coming off the pan. Oh, that’s another thing I love about these pancakes — they are pan fried. No need to turn on the oven. Read on for my crazy explanation of how to make these pancakes.

You can find the recipe at the bottom of the post.

The first step is easy. Combine flour and water and mix just until you form a ball. Let it hang out for awhile.

While that’s sitting, chop your scallions and mix canola and sesame oil.

Flour that work surface and make sure you have lots of room!

Now use a rolling pin or a wine bottle to roll the dough out into a rough rectangle shape. Brush with the oil and sprinkle salt and green onions over the dough.

Roll it up! Pinch the seam shut so it doesn’t separate during the next step.

Cut your log into quarters. I halved the recipe so I only have two pieces. If you’re making the full recipe, cut it into quarters.

Now grab one of those pieces and use your rolling pin or wine bottle to roll it into a rectangle — or a blob. Close enough. What you are doing here is creating layers of dough & oil that will translate into a yummy and flaky pancake. (Please don’t make fun of my blob!)

You want to roll this piece up into a log as well. Roll it up the long way so you are left with a long log. Pinch the seam shut again.

Roll it up again! This time, use your palms to roll that log long and thin, like a rope. Try to make yours an even rope, not like mine which is all fat on one end and skinny/separating on the other.

Starting at one end, coil your rope tightly around itself like a cinnamon bun. I suggest tucking the end underneath the bun. I didn’t tuck it and I regret that because of what happened during the next step…

More rolling! Use your rolling pin to flatten the cinnamon bun into a pancake. Best method: roll two or three times and then turn the dough a quarter turn. Roll two or three more times and turn a quarter turn again. Keep rolling and turning and you will maintain the nice round shape. And if you don’t tuck the end of the rope underneath in the previous step, it will keep separating and ruining your pretty round pancake. You can see my attempted repair job at the bottom of the photo there.

Make sure your pan is nice and hot and throw your thin pancake in there. Don’t use too much oil or it will become greasy. Flip once when it’s browned and remove from the pan when the other side is browned. Don’t let it burn!

Then cut your pancakes into sixths and serve with the gingery dipping sauce! It will make your tongue dance.

adapted from Ming Tsai

Scallion Pancakes with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

makes 24 wedges

For the pancakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil + more for pan frying
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger (I just use my Microplane)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and water with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Cover with a damp towel and let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix ingredients together for dipping sauce until sugar is dissolved. Let chill in the refrigerator.
  3. Mix together 1 tablespoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon canola oil and set aside.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and with a rolling pin, roll dough out into a rectangular shape. Brush it with the oil mix and then evenly sprinkle it with salt and green onions. Roll up into a log and pinch the seam shut.
  5. Cut the log into 4 even pieces and set 3 aside.
  6. Roll out remaining piece into rectangular shape and again roll that piece into a log, longways. Pinch the seam shut. Using your palms, roll the log into a long, thin rope.
  7. Coil the rope up into a cinnamon bun shape and tuck the end underneath.  Using the rolling pin, roll the bun into a flat, round pancake.
  8. Heat about a teaspoon of canola oil in a large pan over high heat until it ripples. Cook pancake until browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Cut pancake into sixths while it’s still warm.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 for 3 remaining pieces of dough. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

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