Green onion or scallion pancakes are an ancient Chinese dish that was actually one of Marco Polo’s favorite dishes. When he returned back to Italy from his far Eastern travels, he had a chef try to recreate these delicious pancakes for him. The result did not come out as remembered them in China, but instead was the beginnings of modern day pizza, although an older, different version of pizza was around long before the days of Marco Polo.
Green onion or scallion pancakes are known as cong you bing in Chinese. They are savory pancakes or Chinese flatbreads. You can find them as Chinese street foods or at restaurants, or you can make them at home like I did. They are very easy to make and only call for a handful of everyday, simple ingredients, and they go with just about anything. You don’t have to serve them with other Asian foods, but they certainly go very well with other Asian dishes.
Green Onion Pancakes
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup water
2-3 TBSP canola or peanut oil
4-5 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
Mix all the dry ingredients together, including the green onions and cilantro.
Mix the egg, egg white, sesame oil and water together, then add to the flour mixture.
Combine everything together, mixing well, then allow to set in the refrigerator for about an hour before cooking. Some people prefer to add the green onions and cilantro immediately after the batter is already in the hot skillet, but I found it works better to mix them into the batter. Play around with it, and do what works best for you.
Heat the oil to about 350-375* F and add 1/2 cup of the batter into the hot oil. Cook the pancake for about 2 minutes per side, or until it is golden brown on each side. Remove the pancake from the pan and repeat until the batter is all cooked.
Cut the pancakes into wedges and serve immediately. These are best when served hot.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.