Scallion Pancakes: If Yan Can Cook…So Can YOUUU!

Thursday, January 15, 2009
Scallion Pancakes

Scallion Pancakes

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.

Check it out…the man Debones a Chicken in 18 Seconds Flat! Ahhh-MAZ-ing :)

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.

Scallion Pancakes
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

Dipping Sauce:
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.

scallion-pancakes-recipe-Martin Yan

Scallion Pancakes, 1

Sprinkle about one quarter of the shallots and herb mixture over the dough.

scallion-pancakes-recipe-Martin Yan

Scallion Pancakes, 2

Roll the dough into a cylinder (like a jellyroll).

scallion-pancakes-recipe-Martin Yan

Scallion Pancakes, 3

Coil the dough cylinder into a round patty and tuck end of dough cylinder under the patty.

scallion-pancakes-recipe-Martin Yan

Scallion Pancakes, 4

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)

Print Recipe

22 Responses to “Scallion Pancakes: If Yan Can Cook…So Can YOUUU!”

  1. Daily Spud says:

    Yum – they sound just fab (and simple to boot!). Even though I’ve had dinner, I’m getting a savoury craving all over again just reading this :)

  2. I love these pancakes – they look so so good!

  3. Amelia says:

    I love scallion pancakes! Yan is so funny…I used to watch his cooking show when I was a kid. He was on everyday in Hong Kong. He used to do this garlic crushing thing that we used to laugh at.

  4. Keep writing.
    I had New Years Dinner with Martin Yan last year at Koi Palace.

    Great guy.
    He just opened a new culinary school in China!

  5. Kitchen M says:

    I love scallion pancakes! I never had them until very recently and I was surprisingly impressed. I could never guess that they roll the dough like that. How interesting!

  6. @ Rayfil – Koi Palace with Martin Yan on New Years – so cool! (p.s. Koi is my favorite place for shanghai dumplings!)

    Thanks for the pictures – I don’t think I would have gotten the roll thing with them. Definitely moving this recipe to the top of the list.

  7. Anna B says:

    Wow! I could probably remove all of my fingers in 18 seconds but that is about it.

  8. Maggie says:

    My dad and I would always watch Yan Can Cook and the Justin Wilson cajun cooking show back to back.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Daily Spud: haha, thanks! i don’t know…scallion pancakes sounds like a great late night snack ;)

    Natasha: thanks, 5 Star Foodie! yah, i’ve always had a weak spot for these.

    Amelia: YES! i love that garlic crushing bit! he just smashes it into a paste in one fell swoop. BANG! garlic minced.

    Rayfil: new year’s dinner with yan can cook! how fun :) where in china is his new school?

    Kitchen M: Me neither! it’s a great little trick for getting the filling incorporated inside the dough. from what i understand that is also the technique used for making stuffed Indian parathas/naan.

    gastroanthropologist: oooh, i’ll have to check out koi palace for dumplings! love shanghai dumplings :) and you’re very welcome on the pics! i had hoped they would help since i found it a little tricky myself trying to visualize the steps with just the written directions.

    sgfoodlover: thanky!

    Anna B: hahahha, yeah…for serious.

    Maggie: i know :) brings back memories huh?

  10. Daily Spud says:

    Well I made some of these babies this evening and (even though my filling insisted on trying to escape from the confines of the dough!) I’ll vouch for the fact that they are indeed a tasty little number. Not only that, but I got me some leftovers, so plenty there for a late night snack if I feel the need:)

  11. I’ve always wanted to try making my own, but feared how much work they could entail. Sometimes the ones in the restaurants are just too darn greasy. Nice to know that it’s not too difficult to make at all.

  12. Stephanie says:

    Daily Spud: haha yay! i’m glad you tried them! success :)

    Carolyn Jung: agreed! these are, dare i say, better than some i’ve had in restaurants. it takes a little effort, but definitely not as fussy as i had expected. give it a try :) i’m excited to start experimenting with different fillings…

  13. [...] quadrupled my normal recipe to make a dozen large pancakes. Crispy, flaky, and full of flavor, these made the perfect hors [...]

  14. Kevin says:

    Those scallion pancakes look good. They have been on my to try list for a while now.

  15. zerrin says:

    These are incredibly delicious. Here, in Turkey, we also add finely chopped spinach and little white cheese to the mixture. Then nobody can refuse it.

  16. [...] Tuesday:  Vietnamese crab and tofu soup with a Vietnamese cabbage salad and maybe attempting scallion pancakes. [...]

  17. These look SOOOOOOOOOO yummy!!!! I cannot wait to make them! I love these so much, so excited!
    Thanks for the sharing!

    That’s So Yummy :-)

  18. Amy says:

    I [semi] followed this recipe & they turned out great! Linked this post in my blog, hope that’s okay. Gave full credit! :)

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