Today is the day I teach you the ways of the scallion pancakes.
Or at least that’s what I told my boyfriend yesterday. He loved the scallion pancakes we had at Christmas so much, he wanted to learn to make them himself. So I thought it might be nice to take pictures so I could make a tutorial for the blog. The recipe comes from Ming Tsai, and they’re already vegan, so there was no substitutions necessary. As to dipping sauce, equal parts of soy sauce and rice vinegar, a little sweetener and a drop or two of sesame oil sprinkled with a bit of crushed red pepper works just fine, in case you don’t have the more exotic ingredients called for in the original recipe.
Scallion Pancake Tutorial
(recipe to follow)
First step is to make the dough. Here’s what you’ll need to start:
I like to use a whisk to sift flour and other dry ingredients. I saw it once on Martha Stewart. 🙂
Next you’ll be adding the boiling water, and mixing while you go. You could also do this in a food processor, but the clean-up with that seems excessive.
You may need to use your hands to get the dough to come together. It should form into a ball.
Cover the ball with a damp paper towel or cloth. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Now might also be a good time to put together your dipping sauce (not pictured).
Now is also a good time to cut up your scallions. In case you didn’t know, it’s white and light green parts that have most of the flavor, but don’t ignore the tops if they look good. They make a nice garnish.
Next measure out your half cup of canola oil:
And add to it 1 Tbs of toasted sesame oil and mix.
Put all that aside. Now it’s time to roll out your dough! Flour your counter space (you can be generous with the flour if your dough is tacky or wet), plunk down the dough, and have at it with your rolling pin.
You’ll want to roll it into a more or less rectangular shape. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Imperfection is the way of the scallion pancake. 🙂
Next, brush on your oil mixture. You won’t use it all. In fact, you could probably measure out half as much oil. Also, if you lack a pastry brush (or dedicated paint brush), a paper towel works for brushing, too.
Sprinkle on your scallions. You can also sprinkle on some salt now, too. You don’t really need it, though.
Now comes the fun part: rolling it up. Take the long edge and start rolling it over itself.
It will look something like this when you’re done. Hopefully yours will look neater. The dough here was a little too wet for this to go smoothly.
Cut it next. You’ll cut it in half, and then each half in half, more or less. If you’re visually-spatially inclined, you might also account for the difference in volume between the middle and the ends. Don’t worry if you’re not. It will still be fine. After all, such is the way of the scallion pancake.
Next is the even funner part: shaping the pancakes. Here you’ll take one of the four pieces. You’ll pick it up at either end, and twist it three times.
Next, you’ll take either end again, and squish the whole thing together. You’ll then return it to the floured counter, and lightly roll it with the rolling pin. Repeat the process with each of the other pieces.
Next up, heat some canola oil in a pan. You’ll just want to cover the bottom of the pan. The heat should be on medium, and you need to wait until the oil is nice and hot, or the pancakes will get greasy. An easy check is to (stand back), and flick a drop or two of water at the oil. When it sizzles, it’s ready. Definitely stand back when doing this!
When the edge is golden, flip it over. When the bottom is golden, drain/blot with a paper towel. You can put the oven on 200F and put the completed pancakes in on a cookie sheet to keep warm while you finish.
Serve it up sliced into wedges, with a sprinkling of the top part of the scallions and a bowl of the dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Original recipe found here.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt to taste
In a bowl, sift flour. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. With the same procedure, one can use a food processor with a metal blade. Let ball of dough relax for about 30 minutes and cover with damp cloth.
On a floured surface, roll out dough into a thin rectangle. Brush on oil mixture, cover with scallion and season with salt and pepper. Carefully roll dough like a sponge cake. Cut into 4 pieces. Take one piece and twist 3 times. Make a spiral out of this and flatten/roll again to achieve a 5 to 6 inch pancake. In a hot non-stick pan, coat with canola oil and pan sear both sides until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with dipping sauce.