I adore these Scallion Pancakes often served as an appetizer in Shanghainese restaurants, but I never thought I could actually make them myself. Until now! This recipe for “Mandarin Scallion Pancakes” from Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking is wonderful. I grew up watching Yan Can Cook with my mom, with all those fancy knife skills and silly chicken dances.
Turns out the great Martin Yan was right all along. “If Yan can cook….so can YOUUUU!”
What I love about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of fussy ingredients. The dough is just flour and water, and the rest of the ingredients I usually have on hand in some shape or form. It’s an incredibly flexible recipe. And deeelicious! I’ll be serving these up for Chinese New Year dinner for sure.
Recipe adapted from Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking
Be creative with your flavorings. If you don’t have green onions or cilantro on hand, parsley or chives will work fine. If you don’t have shallots, try yellow or red onion. A little garlic never hurt anyone either.
½ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading the dough
3 teaspoons cold water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
3-4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 green onions trimmed, and sliced thinly on the bias
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
Cornstarch for dusting
4 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon spice vinegar
1 tablespoon ginger, julienned
Pour the boiling water over the flour in a medium bowl and mix as best as you can. Add the cold water and stir until the dough is evenly moistened. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Re-flour the surface and your hands as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Return the dough to a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Stir the sesame oil and vegetable oil together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Sautee the shallots with a little oil in a pan until they are soft and lightly caramelized. Mix together in a small bowl with the green onions, cilantro, and salt.
Cut the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll one portion of the dough into a circle 5 to 6 inches in diameter and about 1/8-inch thick. Brush the dough circle with a thin film of the reserved oil.
Sprinkle about one quarter of the shallots and herb mixture over the dough.
Roll the dough into a cylinder (like a jellyroll).
Coil the dough cylinder into a round patty and tuck end of dough cylinder under the patty.
Lightly dust your work surface with cornstarch. Roll the patty out to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, dusting with more cornstarch as necessary to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Heat a skillet wide enough to fit a cake comfortably over medium heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Slip a cake into the skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining cakes, adding more oil as needed. Slice each pancake into 6 wedges and serve hot.
(Makes 4 cakes)