Chinese Scallion Pancakes – Food Wishes

December 2, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer

hello this is chef john from food wishes
comm with chinese scallion pancakes that’s right I have to admit I was
pretty confused the first time I had this since it was nothing like any
pancake I’d ever had before the outside was kind of crispy and
crusty and while layered the inside was kind of dense and a little bit oily and
I wasn’t exactly sure if I liked it or not but I also can’t stop eating it
but anyway over the years I came to appreciate this for what it is a very
interesting very enjoyable and extremely fun to make flatbread so with that let’s
go ahead get started with our extremely simple dough which is going to start
with some bread flour to which we’re gonna add some salts and then what we’re
gonna do is make a well in the middle and we’ll go ahead and pour in some very
hot but not quite boiling water and we’ll use our wooden spoon to mix this
together until it forms a shaggy dough and as you’ll notice we had way more
water than would fit in that depression we made so I guess what I’m trying to
say is we made that well for nothing but anyway like I said we’ll give that a mix
with our wooden spoon until everything comes together and sort of looks like
this and forms what I’ve already referred to as a shaggy dough and once
it reaches that point as usual what we’ll do is transfer this onto our work
surface which as you can see has been lightly dusted with the flour and we’ll
give it a quick but important kneading until we formed a very sticky but
relatively smooth and elastic ball of dough and of course if you need to
sprinkle a little bit of flour onto your fingers or some more onto the surface go
ahead but try to be careful not to add too much all right I know sticky dough’s
are annoying to work with but if you add too much flour to make it easier you’re
not gonna get as good of a texture later so we’re just gonna use the bare minimum
and after a couple of minutes are working that over you should end up with
something looks like this and then what we’ll do is wrap this up and ideally
leave it overnight in the fridge before we use it although I’m not going to do
that I’m gonna use the shortcut method I’ve just leave it on the counter for a
couple hours and we’ll talk about this on the blog but both systems will work
so we’ll go ahead and wrap that in plastic and let that dough rest and
while it does we’ll head to the stove to make one more key element and that’s
going to be an oil flour mixture we used to paint the dough before we roll it up
so into this pan we’re going to add some vegetable oil as well as some sesame oil
and then just a little bit flower and what we’ll do is mix that
together over medium heat and we’ll wait for that stuff to start bubbling and if
you’re thinking to yourself isn’t this sort of a roux and what is the Chinese
word for Roux well I guess this sort is even though we’re not gonna use this to
thicken a sauce and I do not know the Chinese word for Roux although thanks to
the Simpsons I do know they have the same word for crisis as opportunity
which of course is Christ’s a tuna T but anyway I’ve killed enough time and this
is all stirred together and then all we’re gonna do is let this cook on
medium until it starts to bubble which one we’re gonna cook her for exactly one
minute more and that’s it we’ll simply turn off the heat and let that cool down
to room temp and once it is cool what we’ll do is grab a brush and we use that
to brush it onto our dough once rolled and then besides the dough in this oil
mixture the only other major component is of course the scallions Orser more
commonly referred to in these parts green onions and I tend to use mostly
the green parts but if you want use the lighter parts as well and then once we
have everything prepped assuming our dough is rested long enough we’ll go
ahead and unwrap it and I’m gonna go ahead and cut mine in half because this
recipe makes two pancakes and what we’ll do is take that half and go ahead and
roll it out as shown and just sort of a tube shaped like this and again just
like when we made the dough we want to use the minimum amount of flour then
what we’ll do once had tubes food form just kind of press it down with our
fingers before switching over to the rolling pin and then what we’re gonna
attempt to do is roll this out to about an eighth of an inch thick well at the
same time achieving some sort of rectangular shape or maybe one of those
oval rectangles that we like to call a rect oval and about halfway through I
like to flip that over and apply a little more flour and then we will
complete the rolling process and I probably err on the side of going to
thin verses too thick since the thinner we roll this at this point the more
layers are finished pancakes gonna have so keep that in mind since this is
ultimately going to be up to you I mean you are after all the Jeremy Lin of how
thin but as I said I like to chew for about an eighth of an inch or less which
is what I believe I have right about here all right so that’s looking good
and once that stuff’s been accomplished what we’ll do is take our oil flour
mixture and paint the entire surface except I
like to leave about an inch unalloyed all the way around the outside around
the outside around the outside and by the way we just want to brush on enough
to cover all right we don’t want puddles of oil on this so be thorough but not
excessive and then once that said we will proceed to scatter our scallions
being fairly generous and know I did measure how much I put down sorry that
amount in the ingredients will be listed as needed oh and I should mention if you
were gonna sneak in something like red pepper flakes or other embellishment
this is when you want to sprinkle that over and then what we’ll do once our
dough’s been green onions start rolling up this dough as shown and we want to do
this pretty tightly so we don’t get a lot of big air bubbles and having said
that we are going to end up with hundreds of little bubbles which are
fine we just don’t want to intentionally trap large bubbles of air while we do
this rolling step and thanks to this rolling along with our oil of flour
mixture this is what’s gonna create all those layers you’re gonna see in the
final pancake and I’m not sure how well you can see it but as we roll this
closer to the opposite edge what I like to do is start pulling the dough just a
hair sort of tuck it back a little bit as I roll to keep everything nice and
tight and our dough thin and then what we’ll do once we’ve rolled to this point
is stop and take the excess dough and sort of stretch it over the top and of
course if any of those green onions try to escape
you just stick them right back in and then once we’ve gone along the length
making sure that seal did not sticking to the table what we need to do is coil
this up all right so just start at one end and sort of wind it up towards the
middle and normally what I’ll do is roll it about halfway up and then go ahead
and grab the remainder of the dough and finish that coil by wrapping it around
like this and then yes we are gonna talk any excess underneath
all right you saw that coming and once that coils been formed we are almost
done all we have left to do is dust this with flour and then attempt to roll it
out into about a quarter inch thickness and if all the various things i’ve
rolled in my life and i should specify in regards to dough this is probably the
most fun thing to roll out because of all those trapped air bubbles in there I
can’t explain it you’re just gonna have to experience it but there’s just
something about rolling this dough out that’s strangely satisfying I guess a
good analogy would be popping bubble wrap which
reminds me as you roll this yes you are gonna press out a lot of that air but
that’s fine thanks to us applying that oil flour
mixture before we rolled it all those layers have already been formed but
anyway like I said we’ll go ahead and roll that out to about a quarter-inch
thick and if a couple of those scallions happen to break through the surface no
big deal you could just pick them off or leave them there really doesn’t matter
and then once our pancake has been successfully rolled out we are ready to
head over to the stove to cook this which I’m gonna do in a nice hot
cast-iron pan into which I drizzled a couple tablespoons of oil and what I
generally like to do here is start on high heat to get the pan hot and then
once we carefully place in our pancake I’ll back the heat down to medium and
cook this for about four minutes per side which is why you have to monitor
your heat all right we don’t want the outside turning black before the inside
cooks through so if you have to adjust your heat a little bit feel free that is
just you cooking so anyway I gave my first side about four minutes and
flipped it over and then gave the other side about the same and what’s kind of
interesting here is one side generally will have sort of a uniform browning but
then the other side will have a lot more contrast and you’ll actually be able to
see those coils and I’m never sure which side looks better for presentation but
anyway that’s it after about four minutes per side we’ll
go ahead and remove that to our cutting board and before I grab a cleaver and
chop this up let me go ahead and grab a fork and make sure this sounds okay oh yeah that sounds just about perfect so
let me go ahead and cut this up and we’ll take a look inside to see what’s
going on and as you can hopefully see thanks to the oil and all that rolling
we’ve created all this beautiful layering and it’s the contrast between
that moist layered oniony Center and that crispy crusty outside which really
is the magic behind the Chinese scallion pancake and while this is tasty enough
to eat as is I’m going to go ahead and serve up a few slices next to a dipping
sauce and by the way since I showed the one side when we cut it let me go ahead
and feature the other side in this plated presentation and I’ll proceed to
enjoy a few more slices with this dipping sauce which is pretty much just
rice vinegar in soy sauce and a few other things but I’ll give you that
recipe on the blog post so don’t worry and not surprisingly since we’re talking
about a fried dough but that little bit of acidity and salt really does amplify
all the flavors but anyway that’s it my take on Chinese scallion pancakes which
we’ve done to honor Chinese New Year which if you’re watching in real time is
tonight and I believe if I’m not mistaken it’s the year of the manatee or
is it the year of the squirrel I forget but regardless of what year it is I
really do hope you give this fabulous and very fun to make flatbread a try
soon so head over to food wishes comm for all the ingredient amounts of more
info as usual and as always enjoy you