Chef John's Chinese Scallion Pancakes
These fun-to-make flatbreads are a common fixture on menus in China, and while they all feature the same few ingredients, they come in a variety of thicknesses. The thinner you make these, the crispier they'll be, but you won't get that nice, layered, oniony inside. On the other hand, if you make them too thick, they can be a little doughy inside, so I try to shoot for something in between.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 2cups bread flour
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾cup very hot water
- 3tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2teaspoons sesame oil
- 1tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1bunch green onions, mostly green parts, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil, or as needed
Step 1Combine bread flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in hot water. Mix together with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough.
Step 2Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until sticky but relatively smooth and elastic, dusting with a minimal amount of flour if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and let dough rest for 2 hours.
Step 3Mix vegetable oil, sesame oil, and flour together in a skillet over medium heat until starting to bubble, about 3 minutes. Cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Step 4Unwrap dough and cut in half. Roll out into a tube and press down with your fingers. Use a rolling pin to flatten dough into a rectangular shape about 1/8-inch thick, flipping over and dusting lightly with flour halfway through.
Step 5Paint surface of the dough with the oil mixture until just covered, leaving 1 inch of space on the edges. Sprinkle scallions on top. Roll dough up tightly to seal in the scallions, starting with the long side. Pull the opposite edge over the top once you have reached it.
Step 6Coil 1 end of the dough inward toward the middle; wrap the opposite end around the coil to finish, tucking the tip under the bottom. Dust the coil with flour and roll dough out into a pancake about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with remaining dough, oil, and green onions to make the second pancake.
Step 7Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 pancake; lower heat to medium. Cook until crispy and browned, about 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the other pancake. Cut into wedges.