Scallion pancakes or Cōng yóu bǐng (葱油饼) are the quintessential Chinese snack. When we were younger, my sister and I used to come home from school and take a scallion pancake out of the freezer to relieve those after-school hunger pangs. You can find them in restaurants, the frozen foods section of the Chinese grocery store, or street cart vendors.
All of those places are pretty good, but why not make them at home? It’s so easy. The cong you bing dough is literally just flour and water , add scallions, salt, some elbow grease, a hot pan and Scallion pancakes are served!
There’s really no excuse, people…let’s be real here.
You can serve these Chinese pancakes with whatever dipping sauce you like, but I really like this combination of garlic, soy sauce, and a touch of vinegar.
My dad has since posted a 9 layer scallion pancake which is similar but with a more fancy name and prep method and of course, my mom has published a traditional Shou Zhua Bing Chinese pancake which has a crazy-good flaky texture so be sure to check them both out but try my recipe first!
Okay. Prepare yourselves. Here we go:
For the pancakes:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup hot water
- 1-2 scallions, chopped
- Vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped scallion
Start by taking out a mixing bowl, and add the flour and hot water.
Stir with a floured hand until it forms a dough.
Now it’s time to knead! Drop your dough onto a floured surface (you can also do this right in the bowl, if you like).
Knead the dough for five minutes until smooth.
Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, you can chop up your scallions…
And assemble the dipping sauce (just put all the sauce ingredients into a little bowl and stir!).
After those thirty minutes are up, cut your dough into three equal pieces. Take a rolling pin and roll each piece into a seven-inch circle. Each time you roll, pick up the dough and turn it a quarter-turn to the left (Or to the right. Did I mention I’m left-handed?). This gives you a nice circle every time, and prevents the dough from sticking to the board. Brush each circle lightly with some oil.
Sprinkle with salt and scallions. Carefully roll the dough into a cigar shape.
Then coil that around itself into a spiral shape.
Then roll that out into a pancake about six inches in diameter (you don’t want it to be too thin), and sprinkle with sesame seeds, pressing them lightly into the dough. Repeat this process with the other two pieces of dough.
Heat a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet with about a tablespoon of oil. Fry each pancake, about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Cut into wedges and serve with your dipping sauce!