Have you ever felt stalked by a recipe? Ok, if that sounds exaggerated or too harsh, have you ever felt that a certain recipe out of the blue enters your life and then keeps showing up all over the place, while browsing food blogs, reading cookbooks, at restaurants?
That’s what green onion or scallion pancakes did to me, they were haunting me over the last months. I had bookmarked my fair share of posts from fellow food bloggers and just when I was about to forget these delicious looking fried temptations, somebody else was raving about them. They looked too time-consuming and frying is – by far – not my preferred kitchen action during summer.
I had successfully blocked them from my mind, until a review copy of Bee’s new cookbook Easy Chinese recipes landed on my doorstep (if you don’t yet read her blog Rasa Malaysia you should change that immediately). Within minutes her book was plastered with sticky notes, especially the appetizer, dim sum and dumplings section with detailed how-to instructions will give you nothing to wish for. Added a sticky note here, another one there, and turned the page 45 to find … GREEN ONION PANCAKES.
Bee’s recipe looked like a manageable effort, each step well illustrated and I even had green onions in my fridge! I couldn’t back out again and I am so glad I didn’t! These pancakes are just incredibly good – make them now, you won’t regret it. If this recipe is any indication about the quality of her recipes, my kitchen will experience some fab Chinese food over the upcoming months.
The steps and ingredients are taken from Bee’s book, you can find the small changes I made at the end of the recipe and in the ingredients list.
Sift the all-purpose flour into a big bowl and then add the salt into the flour. Combine well and set aside.
Bring the water to a boil. Slowly add the water to the flour and knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky and the surface becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. If the dough is to dry, add 1 tablespoon of water to the dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Add the green onion into the dough.
How to make the green onion pancakes: On a flat and floured surface divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball using your palm. Working with one dough ball at a time, roll the dough to a thin disc using a rolling pin. Dust the rolling pin with some all-purpose flour as you go. Brush the surface of the disc with the oil. Roll the dough into a cylinder.
Coil it up like a snail. Dust the rolling pin with the flour and roll the dough until flat, measuring about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Set the dough aside on a baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
Add about 1/4 inch (6 mm) of oil into a stir-fry pan or skillet over moderately high heat. Transfer a piece of pancake into the pan or skillet. Shallow fry each side of the pancake to a light golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip the pancake over and shallow fry the other side. Add more oil, repeat the same for the remaining pancakes and serve immediately.
Changes I made to Bee’s recipe: The recipe worked like a charm, I kneaded no longer than 5 minutes and added the green onions later in the process (after brushing the dough discs with oil). Besides I will reduce the amount of salt added to the dough next time, the pancakes were a tad on the salty side – but maybe that is just me ;)
Green Onion Pancakes
Recipe source: Easy Chinese Recipes, Bee Yinn Low, p. 46
Prep time: ~1 hour
Ingredients (makes 8 pieces or serves 4 as an appetizer):
1 1/2 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt (I recommend a little less)
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
3 green onions (scallions, green parts only, trimmed and cut into small rounds, to yield about 1/3 cup
2 tbsp oil (I used sesame oil)
some additional all-purpose flour, for dusting and rolling
oil, for frying