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Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)

A great scallion pancake is crunchy on the outside and tender and a bit chewy on the inside. Loaded with scallions and redolent of toasted sesame oil, it makes for a great appetizer, snack, or meal on the go.
Course Appetizer, Bread
Cuisine Chinese
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Flour
Diet Dairy-Free, Low Sugar
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 254 grams all-purpose flour (~2 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 85 grams scallions (5 scallions, finely chopped)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, salt and boiling water to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a beater attachment. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Switch attachments to the dough hook and knead at medium low speed until the dough is smooth and not super sticky.
  2. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes
  3. On a well floured surface, cut the dough into 4 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a round puck.
  4. Using plenty of flour to keep the dough from sticking, roll one of the pucks out into an 11-inch (28 cm) disk.
  5. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sesame oil onto the dough and use a pastry brush to spread it around evenl
  6. Evenly distribute 1/4 of the chopped scallions on top of the dough and then sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.
  7. Roll the dough as if you're making cinnamon rolls
  8. Wrap the rolled dough around itself so it looks like a snail shell, pinching the end to get it to stick.
  9. Flatten out the puck of dough with your hand and roll out to a 6-inch (15 cm) disk. If you want your pancake to have more crunchy surface area you can roll it out thinner, but the problem is that the layers in the dough you just created will fuse together. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  10. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add a pancake and fry until browned on one side (5-6 minutes), and then flip and fry the other side (another 4-5 minutes). Be careful not to have the heat too high, otherwise the scallion pancake will burn before it cooks through. Fry the rest of the pancakes, adding another tablespoon of oil to the pan before adding each pancake.
  11. As the scallion pancakes are cooked, transfer them to a paper towel lined wire rack to drain. Serve hot. If you have leftovers, these can be frozen and reheated in a toaster oven.