APPETIZERS/ SIDES

Easy Scallion Pancakes (congyoubing)

Hello and welcome to Djalali Cooks! I am really excited about today’s recipe. Going out for dim sum is one of my favorite things, yet here in Athens, I haven’t found a good spot for it. Taking matters into my own hands, I decided to try one of my favorite dim sum dishes, Scallion Pancakes. I have been wanting to try this recipe for awhile and I guess I just felt like it was going to be a lot of work. Well, I am happy to report that it’s not! Shall we get right to it? Here we go – Easy Scallion Pancakes, or congyoubing.

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This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. I have to say that given my so-so success rate of achieving flaky biscuits, I was worried about attempting this. Scallion Pancakes should be crunchy on the outside, flaky and chewy and on the inside. Not floppy and drenched in oil. ATK, has provided an excellent strategy for achieving what a Scallion Pancake should be.

The Dough

We will start with the dough, since it needs to rest for 30 minutes before we make the pancakes. In a medium bowl, combine 1.5 cups of all purpose flour and 3/4 cup boiling water. Bring it together with a silicone spatula, then get your hands in there to mix and form a dough.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it together to form an elastic dough, about 4 minutes of kneading. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, let’s make the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

In a large measuring cup, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, water, red pepper flakes, toasted sesame oil and one thinly sliced scallion.

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Set the dipping sauce aside and let’s move on to the oil/flour mixture that will coat the inside layer of the Scallion Pancakes.

Scallion Pancakes

Much like puff pastry, Scallion Pancakes get their flakiness by layering a fat in between layers of dough. The steam created gives lift between layers, making flakiness. Rather than brushing plain oil on the dough once it’s rolled out, ATK came up with a way to keep the oil from just soaking into the dough. And that is to combine the oil with flour, to make a loose paste. The oil combines with the flour its mixed with, therefore it sits as a layer on top of the dough.

Whisk together one tablespoon each grapeseed oil, toasted sesame oil and all purpose flour. Once smooth, set aside until we are ready to brush it on the rolled-out dough. Then, thinly slice 4-5 scallions.

Form the Scallion Pancakes

Before we form the pancakes, place a dry 10-inch cast iron skillet over low heat to preheat. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use a heavy bottom skillet. A cast iron skillet is best for this as it holds and radiates heat better than stainless steel. If you’re using stainless steel, you may need to increase the heat slightly during cooking.

After its 30 minute rest, use a pastry scraper to cut the dough in half. Place one half back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface roll the other half of the dough out to a 12-inch round.

The use a tablespoon of the oil/flour mixture and brush it evenly over the dough surface.

Sprinkle the surface with a pinch of kosher salt, then scatter the scallion slices evenly over the surface.

Now We Roll…

Working from the side closest to you, roll the dough up, like a cigar.

Now, coil the roll, tucking the end under the coil.

Slightly flatten the coil with your hand and cover the coil with plastic wrap. Repeat the whole rolling, filling, cigar-rolling and coiling process with the second half of dough and cover it with plastic wrap.

Take the first coil and roll it out to a 9-inch round. It’s ok if some of the scallions poke out.

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Cover the pancake with plastic wrap. Do the same for the second half of dough and cover it with plastic.

Frying the Scallion Pancakes

Turn the heat up to medium-low under your skillet and add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, uncover the first pancake and slice a 1-inch slit in the center of the pancake. Carefully lift the pancake and lay it in the skillet – be sure to lay it in away from you so hot oil will not splatter on you. You should hear sizzling. If you don’t, slightly increase the heat.

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 1 minute. After 1 minute covered, check the underside of the pancake. If it’s golden brown, flip it over and cover again for another minute.

After one minute on the other side, remove the cover and drizzle a little grapeseed oil over the top and flip the pancake again. The covered cook was to ensure the inside gets fully cooked and now we are crisping up the outsides a little more.

After one more minute uncovered, drizzle a little more oil on the top and flip again. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep it sizzling but not burning. We are looking for deep, even brown spotting. Transfer the pancake to a wire rack set in a sheet tray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat the process with the second pancake – don’t forget to cut the 1-inch slit in the center before frying.

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Slice the pancakes into wedges and arrange on a plate with the dipping sauce.

Scallion Pancakes

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Crispy, browned exterior? Check. Not too oily, not at all floppy? Check. Beautiful layers? Check.

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These Scallion Pancakes are everything I hoped they’d be and everything they should be: crispy, crunchy exteriors with chewy interiors. Even after they sat out and got cold, they were still crispy and chewy. You might think we used so much oil, they have to be greasy, but they’re not. They’re absolutely perfect!

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Thank you so much for joining me today for these Easy Scallion Pancakes. I hope you give this recipe a try, and if you’re looking for another Easy Chinese-inspired recipe, try Sheet Pan Sesame Glazed Meatballs. If you want a little bit more of an adventure with huge Chinese takeout payoff, try this simple recipe for Orange Chicken. Take care and be well, xo Kelly

Kitchen Equipment Used in This Recipe

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Easy Scallion Pancakes

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Side Dish, Appetizer Chinese
By America's Test Kitchen Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Plus 30 Minute Dough Rest Cooking Time: 10 Minutes Total Time: ~1 Hour

Crispy, chewy and full of scallion flavor, these Easy Scallion Pancakes are a dim sum dream come true – from the comfort of your own kitchen!

Ingredients

  • Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 Scallion, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. Water
  • 2 tsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • 1 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • Scallion Pancakes
  • 1.5 cups, plus 1 separate tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Boiling Water
  • 7 tbsp. Grapeseed or Vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 4-5 Medium Scallions, sliced thin

Instructions

Scallion Pancake Dough

1

In a medium bowl, combine 1.5 cups of all purpose flour and 3/4 cup boiling water. Bring it together with a silicone spatula, then get your hands in there to mix and form a dough.

2

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it together to form an elastic dough, about 4 minutes of kneading. (The dough won't be super smooth) Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Dipping Sauce

3

In a large measuring cup, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, water, red pepper flakes, toasted sesame oil and one thinly sliced scallion. Set the dipping sauce aside and let's move on to the oil/flour mixture that will coat the inside layer of the Scallion Pancakes.

Scallion Pancakes

4

Whisk together one tablespoon each grapeseed oil, toasted sesame oil and all purpose flour. Once smooth, set aside.

5

Before we form the pancakes, place a dry 10-inch cast iron skillet over low heat to preheat.

6

After its 30 minute rest, use a pastry scraper to cut the dough in half. Place one half back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface roll the other half of the dough out to a 12-inch round.

7

The use a tablespoon of the oil/flour mixture and brush it evenly over the dough surface.

8

Sprinkle the surface with a pinch of kosher salt, then scatter the scallion slices evenly over the surface.

9

Working from the side closest to you, roll the dough up, like a cigar.

10

Now, coil the roll, tucking the end under the coil.

11

Slightly flatten the coil with your hand and cover the coil with plastic wrap. Repeat the whole rolling, filling, cigar-rolling and coiling process with the second half of dough and cover it with plastic wrap.

12

Take the first coil and roll it out to a 9-inch round. It's ok if some of the scallions poke out.

13

Cover the pancake with plastic wrap. Do the same for the second coil of dough and cover it with plastic.

14

Turn the heat up to medium-low under your skillet and add 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, uncover the first pancake and slice a 1-inch slit in the center of the pancake. Carefully lift the pancake and lay it in the skillet – be sure to lay it in away from you so hot oil will not splatter on you. You should hear sizzling. If you don't, slightly increase the heat.

15

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 1 minute. After 1 minute covered, check the underside of the pancake. If it's golden brown, flip it over and cover again for another minute.

16

After one minute on the other side, remove the cover and drizzle a little grapeseed oil over the top and flip the pancake again. The covered cook was to ensure the inside gets fully cooked and now we are crisping up the outsides a little more.

17

After one more minute uncovered, drizzle a little more oil on the top and flip again. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep it sizzling but not burning. We are looking for deep, even brown spotting. Transfer the pancake to a wire rack set in a sheet tray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat the process with the second pancake – don't forget to cut the 1-inch slit in the center before frying.

18

Slice the pancakes into wedges and arrange on a plate, serve with the dipping sauce.

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  • Mari
    April 13, 2022 at 8:48 am

    Would you believe I’ve never had these? We never went out to eat while the kidlets were young, and when we did go out when they were older, we only drove to Burger King so they could get their fix! These look really good and not at all intimidating. I do enjoy the sciencey geekiness at ATK. I live how they figure out what makes things work, and why. I do have several of their cookbooks, which are almost like a scientific Joy Of Cooking. When I was first married, that was the gold standard. Now it’s ATK.. It’s also nice to know they’ve done the hard work to make our lives easier, and now there is you. You’ve really made it fun to cook again, and when we run out of ideas, there you are! I think this would be fun to make on a movie night when someone wants to watch Big Trouble In Little China. My three still like to watch that one, and to be honest I like it too. If it’s action/adventure I’m there, and if there will be scallion pancakes, you don’t need to call me twice. They just sound amazing. Happy sunny Wednesday to my Djalalis, Terry, Dante and the ladies. ???

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 13, 2022 at 9:09 am

      Hi Mari! I remember loving that movie when I was young. ATK is such a great resource! I get a lot of recipes from them and I really enjoy their TV shows. Definitely give these a go, I am sure you will enjoy them! Have a beautiful day! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    April 13, 2022 at 10:21 am

    I too have never had these they look really good I will give them a shot.. Mari I remember watching that movie many time with my kids as well.. I will keep you posted kelly have a great Wednesday ?❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 13, 2022 at 11:52 am

      Hi Mom, You have to give these scallion pancakes a try! I am sure you will enjoy them. xo Kelly

  • Elisa
    April 13, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks Kelly. Another great recipe, and these happen to be a favorite of mine. My husband has celiac and a dim sum outing is not possible for us—Chinese restaurants are not GF-safe for someone who needs a strict GF diet. I can’t wait to make these for myself at home!

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 14, 2022 at 7:58 am

      Hello Elisa, Give them a try, I think you will be thoroughly happy with the ease and the end of result of this recipe! I am curious how they would go with a GF flour…if you try them that way for your husband let me know how it goes and I can make a note in the recipe regarding GF flour substitutions. Thanks so much, xo Kelly