Earlier this month, my friend and neighbor from Westfield, Deborah Pan Dorner, posted a story about making Scallion Pancakes and I felt an immediate urge to reach through my screen and greedily snatch them out of her cute daughter’s hand! Technology not being what it should be (yet!), I composed myself and dm’ed her asking for the recipe. Deb very kindly sent me Elaine of China Sichuan Food's recipe. These pancakes having a MAKE IMMEDIATELY urgency, I faltered slightly at seeing that Chinese Five Spice is called for, which is not readily available in Germany. Thank goodness I had everything in my spice cupboard to make my own, see the recipe below. A short time later, the hubs and I were devouring a lot more of these than we probably should have. Delicious! The next day I filled the sole leftover pancake with our amazing g&b Colorful Coleslaw like a kind of Chinese burrito. Boy, do I wish I had thought of that earlier because I would definitely have reserved a few more of the pancakes for that sole purpose. But second chances are abound, as these will definitely been on regular rotation from now on!
Makes 4 large pancakes
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour plus extra for rolling out the dough
3/4 cup water, divided into 1/2 cup boiling hot water and 1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp neutral cooking oil, like rapeseed or avocado oil
2 cups chopped scallions, green parts only
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
1 tbsp cooking oil for frying
Mix the salt and flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a small well in the center of the flour and then slowly pour the hot water in. Wait for 10 minutes and then stir in the cold water and vegetable oil. If the dough seems very dry, add another teaspoon of cold water. Form a loose ball with your hands, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Knead until very smooth (around 3-5 minutes). The dough should be fairly soft. Cover and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
After resting, the dough should be quite easy to roll out. Divide the large dough ball into 4 equal pieces. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the piece into a large around circle. Brush a small amount of oil on with a basting brush, then sprinkle 1/2 tsp of a teaspoon of Chinese five spice and 1/2 cup chopped scallions, leaving a 1/4 inch (1 cm) empty space around the edge.
Roll up the circle into a tight cylinder. Then roll the cylinder tightly into the shape of a snail, tucking the end piece under. Cover with a wet cloth and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Continue preparing with the other pieces of dough.
When the dough has rested, flour your work surface again and again roll the dough out to a large around circle. Be gentle and use your hands as much as possible.
Brush some cooking oil in a large pan and warm on medium heat. Place the pancake into the pan. Fry until the surface becomes ist lightly browned, around 2-3 minutes. Then turn over to fry for another 1-2 minutes. Use a spatula to press the pancake down from time to time, especially the middle part, to ensure that the pancake is evenly fried.
Remove the pancake from the pan, cut into wedges and serve.
Scallion Pancake Dipping Sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp chopped scallions
Mix all ingredients together and serve.
Chinese Five Spice
10 star anise (or 2 tablespoons ground star anise)
2 1/2 tbsp whole fennel seeds (or 1 1/2 tbsp ground fennel seed)
2 tsp szechuan peppercorns (or 2 tsp ground szechuan peppercorn)
1 small stick cinnamon (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
6 whole cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
Toast the whole spices in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until very fragrant. Be careful not to scorch the spices or they will become bitter. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Grind the spices in a coffee/spice grinder, blender or with a mortar and pestle.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Original Chinese Scallion Pancake recipe by Elaine of China Sichuan Food https://www.chinasichuanfood.com/chinese-scallion-pancakes/