My first experience with Green Onion Pancakes was when I visited Shanghai for the first time. One morning, I was feeling jet-lagged so I headed down to the hotel’s lobby for an early morning breakfast. The breakfast set menu was traditional Chinese fare: freshly made soy bean milk, you tiao (fried cruller), tea leaf egg, and Green Onion Pancake.
As soon as my order arrived, I got a whiff of the green onions. The Green Onion Pancakes were crispy yet doughy in the middle, each bite was mildly salty and then the onion fragrance surfaced. I enjoyed the pancakes thoroughly, especially with a glass of warm soybean milk, on that sleep-deprived morning.
The best Green Onion Pancakes are made with lard, so feel free to use lard (instead of oil) if you like.
Makes 8 pieces or serves 4 as an appetizer
- 11/2 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour
- 11/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 3 green onions (scallions), green parts only, trimmed and cut into small rounds, to yield about 1/3 cup
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Some additional all-purpose flour, for dusting and rolling
- Oil, for frying
- Sift the all-purpose flour into a big bowl and then add the salt into the flour. Combine well and set aside.
- Bring the water to a boil. Slowly add the water to the flour and knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky and the surface becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water to the dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Add the green onion into the dough and combine well.
- Make the Green Onion Pancake by following the instructional picture guide on page 47.
- Add about 1/4 inch (6 mm) of oil into a stir-fry pan or skillet over moderately high heat. Transfer a piece of the pancake into the pan or skillet. Shallow fry each side of the pancake to a light golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip the pancake over and shallow fry the other side. Add more oil, repeat the same for the remaining pancakes and serve immediately.
HOW TO MAKE THE GREEN ONION PANCAKES
- On a flat and floured surface, divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball using your palm.
- Working with one dough ball at a time, roll the dough to a thin disc using a rolling pin. Dust the rolling pin with some all-purpose flour as you go.
- Brush the surface of the disc with the oil.
- Roll the dough into a cylinder.
- Coil it up like a snail.
- Dust the rolling pin with the flour and roll the dough until flat, measuring about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. Set the dough aside on a baking sheet. Repeat Step 2–6 for the rest of the dough.
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