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Unveiling the Secrets of Scallion Pancakes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making this Savory Delight

Explore the delicious world of scallion pancakes

When it comes to pancakes, most Americans are familiar with the fluffy breakfast variety served with butter and syrup. But there is a whole world of pancakes just waiting to be discovered. One such culinary delight is the savory scallion pancake, also known as cong you bing. These flat, fried pancakes are popular in China and enjoyed around the world.

The two kinds of scallion pancakes

According to China Sichuan Food, there are two main types of scallion pancakes. The first is a thinner and chewier version that is popular in northern China. The second type is thicker and crispier and is commonly found in southern Chinese cities such as Shanghai. Both variations offer unique textures and flavors that add to the culinary adventure of scallion pancakes.

The art of making spring onion pancakes

If you’re tired of ordering scallion pancakes from your local Chinese takeout, why not try making them at home? The satisfaction of making your own delicious pancakes is truly unmatched. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you master the art of making scallion pancakes:

The Dough: A Key Ingredient

The secret to perfect scallion pancakes is in the batter. Maggie Zhu of Omnivore’s Cookbook shares her expert tips. Start by gradually adding hot water to the salted flour, then add cool water and mix until you have a ball of dough. Let the dough rest, then knead and divide into six balls.

Making the scallion stuffing

To add flavor and texture to your scallion pancakes, you’ll need a scallion filling. Zhu recommends making a paste of flour, salt, and oil (or chicken fat for an indulgent twist) and spreading it on the rolled out dough balls. It’s best to use only the green parts of the scallion, as the tougher white part may not integrate well.

The rolling technique

Now comes the crucial step in achieving the characteristic layers of scallion pancakes. Roll the flattened dough balls into long, thin ropes. Then carefully curl the long pieces in a “jelly roll style” as described by J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats. Roll the curled dough into flat pancakes.

Frying to perfection

Once your scallion pancakes are rolled out, it’s time to cook them to perfection. Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the pancakes. Cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Serving suggestions

Scallion pancakes can be enjoyed on their own as a delicious snack, but they also make a fantastic accompaniment to other Chinese dishes. Maggie Zhu suggests serving them with dishes like sweet and sour pork for a complete and satisfying meal. And don’t forget the dipping sauce! Find your favorite sauce, whether it’s soy sauce-based or a tangy vinegar blend, to enhance the flavors of your scallion pancakes.

Bottom Line

Scallion Pancakes offer a delicious twist on the traditional pancake experience. With their savory flavor, flaky texture, and aromatic scallion filling, they are sure to impress your taste buds. By following the step-by-step instructions above, you can now embark on an exciting culinary journey and create your very own scallion pancakes from scratch. So roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy the delicious goodness of homemade scallion pancakes!


What are scallion pancakes?

Spring onion pancakes, also known as cong you bing, are flat, savory fried pancakes popular in China and enjoyed around the world. They are made with a dough filled with scallions and pan-fried to perfection.

What is the difference between northern and southern scallion pancakes?

The main difference is in texture and thickness. Northern scallion pancakes are thinner and chewier, while Southern scallion pancakes are thicker and crispier. Both varieties offer unique culinary experiences.

Are scallion pancakes hard to make?

While making scallion pancakes does take some practice, they are not overly difficult to make. With the right technique and following a step-by-step guide, you can successfully make delicious scallion pancakes in your own kitchen.

Can I make scallion pancakes ahead of time?

Yes, you can make scallion pancakes ahead of time. After cooking, allow them to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, simply reheat them in a skillet or oven until heated through.

What can I serve with spring onion pancakes?

Scallion pancakes are versatile and can be enjoyed on their own as a snack or appetizer. They are also a great accompaniment to a variety of Chinese dishes. Consider serving them with dishes like sweet and sour pork, stir-fried vegetables, or as part of a dim sum spread.

Can I freeze scallion pancakes?

Yes, you can freeze scallion pancakes. After cooking, allow them to cool completely, then place them in a freezer-safe container or bag, separating the pancakes with parchment paper. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then heat in a pan or oven.

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