Learn how to make easy flaky Chinese scallion pancakes or green onion pancakes without much fuss. This recipe gives you an ultra-flaky and crispy result that you will find irresistible.
I was in the process of clearing out the fridge and I saw that I still have quite a bit of scallion in the fridge. I made Chinese scallion pancakes few years ago and been making it since then. Few weeks ago, we went to a Chinese restaurant and I decided to order their scallion pancakes. They were delicious, but they weren’t as flaky as I wished they would be. This street-style Chinese scallion pancakes (cong you bing) will definitely change your life forever! They are ultra flaky, crispy and oh my gosh! SOOO GOOD!
WHAT MAKES GOOD STREET-STYLE CONG YOU BING?
When you tear the pancakes, you can literally see the flaky layers
They are thin and crispy
3. ENOUGH SCALLION
That’s why it’s called scallion (cong) pancakes. You don’t want to pack too many that you have difficulty wrapping and shaping the pancakes, but you don’t want to be skimpy on it either
HOW TO MAKES ULTRA FLAKY CONG YOU BING?
1. Let the dough relax
It is important to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before shaping them. This step is to ensure the gluten is relaxed because we don’t want a tough pancake. You will have much success rolling it into thin pancake too
2. Chop the scallion finely
Use the green parts of the scallion. The white part is too tough and will poke through the pancakes.
3. Roll it thin
Yes, roll it thin will help to make your pancake crispy and able to develop that flaky layers
4. Use lard if you can
I use pork lard that I made by rendering out the fat. You can use shortening, chicken fat, or coconut oil too. I swear by the lard 🙂
HOW TO MAKE STREET-STYLE CHINESE SCALLION PANCAKES (CONG YOU BING) IN A NUTSHELL
1. MAKE THE DOUGH
Mix flour and salt with hot water to form a dough ball. It won’t be a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Make an oil-flour paste and dipping sauce while waiting
2. ROLL THE DOUGH INTO PINWHEELS
Use a silicone pastry mat if you have one to roll the dough out. You can also put a bit of oil on your working surface to avoid sticking. Separate the dough into 8 and work with one at a time while covering the rest. Flatten into a very thin layer and brush with oil-flour paste, sprinkle with onion
Roll into long jelly roll and roll into a pinwheel
Repeat with the rest of the dough and keep the pinwheels covered with a plastic wrap. They also have a chance to “rest” when you work on the others, this helps to roll them thin later.
3. FLATTEN INTO PANCAKES
Take the first pinwheels you shaped earlier. Flatten with your palm and then use a rolling pin to gently roll it into 6-inch circle and about 1/8″ thick
4. COOK THE PANCAKES
Preheat a non-stick skillet on high heat. Add about 1 tsp oil and then lower the heat to medium. Place the pancake on the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes each side. The pancakes should have golden brown color. Do not overcook the pancakes.
5. “FLUFF” THE PANCAKES
Remove to a cutting board and use your two clean hands to “fluff” the pancakes on the edge several times, like you are clapping on the pancakes.
OR you can gently “Scrunch” the pancakes with your clean hands
This action will help to “separate” the flaky layers, making it, even more, flakier and tearable. Continue to cook the rest of the pancakes.
HOW TO STORE CONG YOU BING?
1. Uncooked pancakes
Stack Tthe uncooked pancakes in between a sheet of parchment paper and then stored in an air-tight bag and freeze for one month. When ready to cook, they go from the freezer to the pan (do not thaw). Cook on medium heat to make sure you don’t burn the pancake but it’s still not cooked through inside, about 3-5 minutes or until they are cooked through and have nice golden brown
2. Leftover pancakes
Leftover pancakes can be refrigerated or freeze. They can be reheated in an air fryer, toaster oven, and oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes
For baking/ kueh making: I highly encourage to weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.GRAMS TO CUPS CONVERSION (UNSIFTED)
Oil flour paste:
- 2 Tbsp bacon fat/chicken fat - melted (or use coconut oil or butter)
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour - 16 grams
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preparing the dipping sauce:
- Place all the ingredients for dipping sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil and let the sugar melt. Set aside
Making the dough:
- Mix the oil-flour paste ingredients together and set aside
- Sift the all-purpose flour. Add salt. In a large mixing bowl, add hot water, start with 1/3 cups and continue to gradually add and stir until a dough ball comes together. Add a bit more water, teaspoon by teaspoon if it's too dry. Continue until the dough ball comes together and no longer sticky. Cover and let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours if you have the time
Each dough is rolled into pinwheels:
- Divide the big dough into 8 equal pieces. Use a silicone pastry mat if you have one to roll the dough out or you can always smeal a bit of oil on your working surface to prevent sticking. I highly recommend it as you don't have to dust with more flour (which makes the pancakes tough). Working with one dough at a time and keep the rest cover so they won't dry out. Flatten each dough with a roller to form a circle or oval as thin as you can. If at any time you feel that the dough is not easy to roll out, rest it for 10-15 minutes and the gluten will relax and you can roll it out again
- Brush the surface with a thin layer of the oil flour paste. Sprinkle about 1/8 of chopped scallion leaving about 1/2 inch off the edge
- Roll the dough starting from the side near you to the other side and you end up with a log. Roll it again from the side so it forms a pinwheel. Roll the dough up starting from the side near you to the other side and you have a long log now
- Roll it again from the side. Now you have a pinwheel. Repeat with the rest of the dough and keep the pinwheels covered with a plastic wrap. They also have a chance to "rest" when you work on the others, this helps to roll them thin later
Flatten the dough into pancakes:
- Take the first pinwheels you shaped earlier. Flatten with your palm and then use a rolling pin to gently roll it into 6-inch circle and about 1/8" thick
- Then place each pancake in between parchment paper to prevent sticking while working to flatten the rest. Repeat with the rest of the pinwheels
- Preheat a non-stick skillet on high heat. Add about 2 Tbsp oil and then lower the heat to medium. Place the pancake on the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes each side. The pancakes should have golden brown color. Do not overcook the pancake
- Remove to a cutting board and use your two clean hands to "fluff" the pancakes on the edge several times, like you are clapping on the pancakes. You can also "scrunch" the pancakes with your clean hands. This action will help to "separate" the flaky layers, making it, even more, flakier and tearable. Continue to cook the rest of the pancakes and add oil as needed. Without a bit of oil, the pancakes will have dark spots like when you cook a piece of naan bread, and we don't want that with this type of pancakes
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side. They tend to soften and won't taste as good once they cooled down. You can reheat as instructed below
- I usually use an air fryer at 350 F to reheat the crisp up the pancake again for about 5 minutes. You can put them in a toaster oven or regular oven to crisp them up too before serving