Spring Onion (Scallion) Pancakes

Scallion Panckes (Photo by littlekim/flickr)

These are crisp and brown on the outside, flavored with salt and spring onions. Serve as a savory hors d'oeuvre, or to accompany rice porridge. Traditionally they might be made with melted lard, but you may prefer to use a light vegetable oil mixed with oriental sesame oil with its wonderful toasted sesame flavor.


250 g/8 oz/2 cups all-purpose flour
190 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup boiling water,
plus 1 tablespoon extra
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
salt to taste
4 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
oil for shallow frying


Place flour in a bowl. Measure the boiling water and pour over flour, stir with a spoon to moisten all the flour and, as soon as cool enough to handle, knead hard for 10 minutes until smooth. Form a ball, wrap in plastic and let dough rest for at least 30 minutes.

Form dough into a roll and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion on a lightly floured surface into thin pancakes about 25 cm (10 in) in diameter. Combine both kinds of oil, and brush some on top of pancake. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons chopped spring onions. Roll pancake like a Swiss roll, press ends to seal and coil up the roll like a snail. Tuck the end into the middle. Flatten with the hand, then roll once again on a lightly floured surface to a smaller pancake than the first, about 12 cm (5 in) in diameter and 6 mm (1/4 in) thick. Repeat until all the pancakes are rolled.

Heat a heavy frying pan and add a tablespoon of oil. When hot add 1 pancake, turn heat low and cover pan with lid. Cook for 2 minutes, then turn pancake over and cover for a further 2 minutes or until pancake is golden brown on both sides. Do not have heat too high or the pancakes will brown before the centre is cooked. Pressing centre of pancake with a frying spatula helps it to brown evenly. Cut pancakes into 6 triangular pieces. Serve warm.

Makes 6 round pancakes which cut into 36 serving pieces.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)