Crispy Scallion Pancakes

Scallion pancakes are always one of my favorite things to order at Chinese restaurants, but while some are really wonderful, others can be greasy and heavy.  It seemed like a good idea to learn to make them myself so there would be reasonable quality control.  After testing several recipes, this one is a hybrid of several (especially the blogs seriouseats and the kitchn) with technique from Cook’s Illustrated thrown in.

This recipe will make four pancakes,  if that is more than you want, see the note in teh recipe about refrigerating half the dough for later use.

Photo:  courtesy of Sarah


  • 1 bunch of scallions (mainly green part sliced thinly across)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (with extra for rolling)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2-3 t Sesame oil
  • 2-3 T oil for frying – I recommend canola or peanut oil
  • salt


  • In a bowl, mix the flour and boiling hot water until it forms  a smooth dough (stir with wooden spoon, this will take a little while and it is key that the water be really hot)
  • Remove the dough from bowl, on a lightly floured board or counter fold it over on self a few times to get it really smooth
  • Put the dough back in the bowl (as long as it is relatively clean), cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rest for at least 30 minutes
  • After the dough has rested, divide it into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball (NOTE:  or divide in half and put half in the fridge wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 5 days)
  • For each ball, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a circle that measures 8 inches across (use a ruler), and paint a very, very thin layer of sesame oil on top of the circle
  • Roll the dough up like you are making a jelly roll (thinner at the ends), then twist the roll into a spiral
  • Smack the spiral with your hand to flatten it a little
  • Roll the dough out to 8 inches a second time
  • Paint again with sesame oil
  • Sprinkle with scallions (1/3-1/2 cup of scallions per pancake)
  • Roll and twist the dough into a spiral again, and again lightly smack it
  • Roll it out one final time into a 7 inch round disc.  This is the final.
  • Heat the canola or peanut oil in a nonstick pan (cast iron is best but not necessary) until it is shimmering
  • Carefully slip the pancake into the pan
  • Gently shake the pan to avoid sticking and so the pancake browns evenly
  • After 2-3 minutes – if its really brown and crusty- flip it over
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Remove the pancake from the pan and drain on paper towels.  While pancakes are hot, sprinkle with salt.

NOTE:  The white part of the scallions can be chopped and combined with soy sauce and mirin for a simple dipping sauce.


This recipe is one of the easiest to make, is almost infinitely adaptable, and is just as good for dinner as it is for breakfast or brunch. You can even treat it like a pizza and put one set of fillings on one half and a different on the other.  It is best made in a cast iron pan but, if you don’t have a very well seasoned one, any pan that go in the oven as well as on top of the stove will do.

Serves 4 (you can cut it in half, but the leftovers are good for several days so why not amke the whole thing).


8 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

2 T. olive oil

2-3 T. grated parmigian cheese

Fillings of your choice, they should equal about 2 cups and should be precooked.  Some good combinations are:

  • sautéed onions, mushrooms, and asparagus
  • sautéed onions and garlic, chopped roasted red peppers, shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • smoked salmon finely chopped, sautéed onions and creme fraiche
  • cooked (and drained) spinach and prosciutto


  1.  Cook all the fillings that are raw in advance of making the frittata and, if they are wet (like spinach or mu=shrooms) drain them well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Beat the eggs,.milk, salt and pepper together in a bowl
  4. Heat a fry pan that can go in the oven over medium heat and then add the olive oil (you will need it all to keep the frittata from sticking).
  5. Pour the eggs into the pan and allow to cook for just a minute or so to set the bottom
  6. Add the fillings and gently press into the frittata.
  7. Cook until the edges are just set and starting to change color (4 to 5 minutes – see picture above)
  8. Sprinkle the grated parmigian over the top of the frittata and place on a middle or upper shelf in the oven.
  9. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the frittata is fully set.
  10. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or more before slicing and serving.