Easy Chinese Scallion Pancakes (Congyoubing)




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These easy Chinese scallion pancakes, or congyoubing, are flaky, chewy, and make a fabulous appetizer or light meal. Don’t forget the perfect 4-ingredient dipping sauce!

Traditional scallion pancakes are a staple street-food snack in China

And they’re a popular restaurant item here in the States, too. Like all great street food, scallion pancakes are super delicious, easy to eat by hand, and satisfying. The dough is a very simple flour-and-water kind of situation, with no yeast required. While scallion pancakes are often served as an appetizer, I love them as a light meal on their own.

With an amazing dipping sauce, of course.

Scallions (aka green onions, or spring onions) don’t often get to be the star of the dish.

And it’s a shame, because they are a delicious member of the allium family. You could experiment with using chives, or even wild leeks if you have access to them in the springtime, in this recipe too.

Use both the white and green parts of the scallion: the white part is stronger and sharper, the green part is mellow.

How to form scallion pancakes

The only potentially tricky part to this super-simple recipe is rolling and forming your pancakes for that flakey texture and nice round shape. Here’s the step by step: 

  • First, divide your dough into 4 equal portions.
  • Take one piece of dough, roll it into a ball (it doesn’t have to be perfect,) and roll that ball into a flat disk, about 8 inches wide.
  • Brush one side of the circle with a thin layer of oil (I used sesame oil, but you can use just about any vegetable oil.) This part is crucial for the flakey texture.
  • Generously sprinkle the chopped spring onions all over the dough.
  • Next, roll up the circle from one edge into a tube.
  • Curl that tube into a spiral, like the one shown above, and press the end into the circle so that it doesn’t come undone.
  • Roll the coiled dough out again into an 8 inch circle.
  • That’s it! Just gently fry them to perfection and you’re done.

I whipped up a simple sweet-and-spicy dipping sauce

There are a lot of ways you could mix it up using what you have in the pantry or the fridge.  I like to start with some soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, and add a little sugar and red pepper flakes or a chili sauce like Sriracha until I’m happy with the taste. You could also throw in some more thinly chopped scallions.

More deliciously easy and unexpected appetizers ~

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5 from 5 votes

Scallion Pancakes

These easy Chinese scallion pancakes are flaky, chewy, and make a fabulous appetizer or light meal. Don't forget the perfect dipping sauce!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Dough Resting Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green onion
  • 3-4 Tbsp sesame oil (or vegetable oil)

For the dipping sauce

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chile garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar

Instructions

  • Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl, and drizzle in the boiling water, while mixing together with a fork until a moisty, shaggy dough forms.
  • Gently remove the dough to a very lightly oiled bowl, and let it rest, covered, for about 30 minutes. This allows the flour to hydrate, or soak up the water, so that the dough is less sticky and more elastic, making it easier to work with.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, and roll them into balls.
  • 1 piece at a time, roll one of the balls of dough on a lightly floured surface until it's about 8 inches in diameter. No need to make a perfect circle here.
  • Brush the disc lightly with sesame oil, and sprinkle generously with the sliced scallions.
  • Roll the circle of dough into a tube, and then coil it into a small circle, pinching the end into the coil so that it doesn't come undone.
  • Press the coil flat, and roll it out into an 8 inch circle again. Repeat for the 3 other pieces of dough.
  • Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a nonstick or a cast iron skillet allow it to heat up.
  • Gently place one of the pancakes onto the hot pan, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. It should puff up a little bit and turn a light golden brown. Repeat for all four of the pancakes.
  • Whisk all of the dipping sauce ingredients together, and serve alongside the scallion pancakes.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.

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7 Comments

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  • Reply
    KGL Staff
    September 24, 2020 at 12:27 am

    5 stars
    I love this recipe, it’s fast and easy and tastes so good!! I had it yesterday and I’m having it today because it’s so good!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 24, 2020 at 6:03 am

      Thanks so much for the speedy feedback KGL and happy you loved them 🙂

  • Reply
    Karil
    September 23, 2020 at 8:52 am

    5 stars
    How I love your recipes! Also, as a vegetarian (and occasional pescatarian), I find many suitable recipes among your recipes.

    I have been living in Europe for over 50 years and am accustomed to using a gram scale for cooking and especially for baking. Might it be possible to also include gram/ml measures in your recipes?

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 23, 2020 at 9:34 am

      Hi Karil, we’ve been trying to do more of that, and I’ve been concentrating on baking recipes, but eventually we’ll get to all the recipes, I think it’s a great idea, thanks!

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    September 23, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I love these things! And they’re so easy to make. Haven’t had these for several years and didn’t know how much I missed them until I read your post. 🙂 Really nice — thanks.

  • Reply
    Patti
    September 23, 2020 at 6:06 am

    Hi! Love your recipes! Could almond flour be used in place on white flour? Thx!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 23, 2020 at 6:18 am

      Hi Patti ~ you can make these gluten free, but almond flour won’t provide enough structure, or the ‘chewy’ texture you want. I’d look up a specific gluten free recipe if I were you, or try a good gf flour alternative. I’ve seen these made with cassava flour + arrowroot, or a mixture of chickpea + rice flours. Food 52 uses rice + tapioca starch. You’ll probably have to do a little experimenting to come up with the formula you like.