Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)

Scallion pancakes are as widely popular in China as muffins are in America. The basic recipe for a simple scallion pancake—served with soy milk or rice porridge for breakfast—is just a guide. Some like it firmer, some fluffier. I add chile flakes for color, crunch, and a kick. What's a classic, after all? The pancake is a canvas; add anything you like. —Martin Yan, executive chef-owner of San Francisco's M.Y. China restaurant

What You Will Need

Cong You Bing (Scallion Pancakes)
Scallion pancakes are as widely popular in China as muffins are in America. The basic recipe is just a guide.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour, plus more
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 13 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 12 cups thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 12 tsp. ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. Process 2 cups flour and baking powder in a food processor. With motor running, add 23 cup cold water; process until dough forms, about 40 seconds. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add remaining flour and salt to food processor, and with motor running, add 23 cup boiling water; process until dough forms, about 30 seconds. Return reserved dough to food processor; pulse until both doughs come together, about 35 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface; knead until smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover; let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  2. Halve dough; using a rolling pin, roll 1 dough half into a 10" x 20" rectangle. Brush with 1 tbsp. canola oil and half the sesame oil. Sprinkle with half the scallions, half the chile flakes, and half the white pepper. Beginning with one long side, tightly roll dough like a jelly roll. Cut roll crosswise into 3 pieces, slightly stretch each piece, and starting from one edge, coil piece horizontally, tucking the end underneath. Using your hand, gently flatten coil into a disk; using a rolling pin, flatten into a 5" circle. Repeat with remaining pieces and second dough half, 1 tbsp. canola oil, remaining sesame oil, scallions, chile flakes, and white pepper. Let pancakes sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 200°. Heat 2 tsp. canola oil in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pancake to skillet; cook, swirling skillet and turning once, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and pancakes; cut into wedges to serve.
Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
Scallion Pancakes (Cong You Bing)
Scallion pancakes are as widely popular in China as muffins are in America. The basic recipe for a simple scallion pancake—served with soy milk or rice porridge for breakfast—is just a guide. Some like it firmer, some fluffier.Todd Coleman