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.

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I am an enthusiastic home cook. I started a blog when my older daughter lived in Paris and had a tiny kitchen, few utensils and a stove with no temperature markings. The purpose was to help her (and eventually her sister) make many of the dishes they love and to learn how to make some new ones. They are now both terrific cooks, but all of us can use a new (or even an old beloved) recipe once in a while.

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