Scallion pancakes are so loved that they have made it from the streets of China to restaurants all over the world. Chinese historians still debate on the exact origin of these pancakes, however the most widely accepted belief is that it originated in Shanghai, a city with a large foreign population of Indians. The support for this theory comes from the fact that the technique behind making scallion pancakes closely resembles that of making paratha, an Indian flatbread.
Cong You Bing: Scallion Pancakes [China]
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 6 g kosher salt
- 200 g water boiling
- 2 c scallion greens chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Make the dough. Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, mix together the flour and salt. Gradually pour the boiling water into the flour while stirring with a rubber spatula. Once all the water is incorporated, knead the dough with your hands until the dough is supple and smooth.
- Rest dough. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Shape pancakes. Divide the dough into 4 balls. Take one of the balls, leaving the rest covered with a damp towel, and roll it flat into a large circle on a lightly floured surface- the thinner the better. Brush the top side with sesame oil and sprinkle on a layer of scallions. Roll the circle into a cigar (scallions on the inside), then into a jelly roll. Transfer the jelly roll under the damp towel to rest while you repeat the steps with the 3 remaining dough balls. Once all the jelly rolls are shaped, take the first one and roll out flat into a pancake on a lightly floured surface.
- Pan-fry. In a skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat, pan-fry the scallion pancakes one at a time, cooking each side for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.