Recipe adapted from Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking
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)