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Chinese spring onion pancakes recipe

Chinese spring onion pancakes recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Pancakes
  • Savoury pancakes

A traditional Chinese savoury pancake, which is frequently found in Chinese breakfast shops or on dim sum menus. Serve on their own or with a dipping sauce.

133 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 175ml warm water
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil or as needed
  • 50g finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or as needed

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr10min

  1. Dissolve salt in warm water and mix in 125g flour to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead until slightly springy, about 5 minutes. If the dough is sticky, knead in 1/4 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Divide the dough into 8 equal-size pieces and keep the pieces covered with a cloth.
  2. In a bowl, mix 4 tablespoons flour with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to make a mixture like fine crumbs.
  3. On a floured work surface, roll a piece of dough out into a thin square about 13x18cm in size, brush the dough with toasted sesame oil and sprinkle lightly with about 1 1/2 teaspoon of the flour-oil mixture. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of chopped spring onions onto the dough and spread the onion out evenly. Starting with a long end, roll the dough up into a rope shape and pinch the seam and the ends closed. Roll the rope shape into a flat spiral and press lightly with your hands to compact the spiral and keep it from unrolling.
  4. Place the spiral down onto the floured work surface and gently roll it out into a pancake with the onions folded inside, turning the pancake over often as you roll it out. Roll gently and turn often to avoid making holes in the pancakes. Finished pancakes should be about 13cm in diameter. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces, making 8 spring onion pancakes.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and brush with vegetable oil. Pan-fry each pancake in the hot frying pan until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(27)

Reviews in English (14)

I wanted to try these pancakes after having them at a dim sum restaurant in chinatown. A bit fiddly (compared to regular pancakes at least) but well worth it! delish! the sesame oil is essential to get that authentic flavour. We served with a dipping sauce made of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. mmm!-01 Feb 2013

by moaa

4-28-11: I love scallion pancakes! I would've lowered the ratings if I made it as is. Just by looking, I know and agree with the flour/water being way off. Start with 1/4 cup water (if using the 1 cup flour;8 smaller pancakes or 4 reg sizes) and add more by a teaspoon at a time if needed. I also skipped the flour/veg oil crumb mixture; to me, it was unnecessary. 12-16-12: I didn't feel like kneading with my hand today, spin used the bread machine instead but used the whole amount of 3/4 water and added at least 3/4-1 cup flour.-11 Apr 2011

by mochiche

Yummy! Mine came out crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, and had a great taste. I did add about 3/4 c extra flour, and also doubled the salt.-25 May 2010


Slices of spring onion flatbread.

This delicious spring onion flatbread is sold all over China. Make it at home with these easy-to-follow instructions. Eat as a snack or as part of a meal. Also known as scallion pancake.

Serves 6 as snack or as part of a meal.

2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup warm water
Vegetable oil
1 cup spring onions
White pepper

  1. Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Add water gradually and mix until blended together.
  2. On a floured surface, knead into a smooth, elastic dough.
  3. Roll into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Separate dough into 2 pieces. Roll into balls.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out dough thinly (2 mm).
  6. Daub some oil over surface of each piece of rolled dough.
  7. Spread spring onions evenly over dough.
  8. Sprinkle salt, and add a pinch of pepper.
  9. Roll dough tightly like a burrito.
  10. From end to end, roll each loop into a spiral like a snail shell. Tuck tail end on top of spiral.
  11. Roll into a disc about the size of a dinner plate.
  12. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to a flat-bottomed frypan, bring to a medium heat, and fry on both sides until golden brown.
  13. Slice like a pizza and serve immediately with or without a dipping sauce, or with other Chinese dishes, in place of rice or noodles.

This dish is often mistakenly called a pancake but is actually unleavened bread–pancakes are made from batter.

If it’s not salty enough, add some more after cooking. Oily food like this does not keep well so try to eat in one sitting, if not, best method of reheating is toasting.

cōng yóubǐng


Soy Dipping Sauce
A classic Chinese soy dipping sauce you can serve with dumplings, fried and steamed bread, or use it in cooking. It is easy to make following this recipe.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cold water, or as needed
  • vegetable oil, or as needed, divided
  • 1 bunch green onions (scallions), minced

Mix flour and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl pour in boiling water and quickly mix together until water is absorbed. Work cold water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, into flour mixture just until dough forms. Knead dough for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let dough rest for 40 minutes.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface divide into 4 equal pieces.

Roll 1 piece of dough into a large thin round brush the top with vegetable oil and sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 the green onions. Pick up 1 end of the round and roll dough around green onions into a long scroll-shape. Take 1 scroll end and roll dough into a disk. Repeat with remaining dough, letting each disk rest for 10 minutes.

Heat about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Place 1 disk on a floured surface and roll into a 1/2-inch thick round cook in the hot oil until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining disks.

Chinese Scallion Pancakes (Shallot Pancakes)

My favourite Chinese restaurant treat made at home – with step by step photos! Wonderfully crisp on the outside, chewy, flaky and salty on the inside. Authentic and easy! I love scallion pancakes so much I used to stockpile frozen ones from the Asian grocery store, then cook them up at home. I swear they are the best midnight snack after a few too many vinos – and they take minutes to cook straight from the freezer. I was inspired to try to make them myself because I bought a whole bunch of shallots just so I could use one piece for a recipe and I had to find a recipe that used a lot of shallots!

YES this is easy! Of course it is easy – every recipe on my blog is easy. I promise you this is worth trying. The smell when the pancake hits the pan, the shallots sizzling…..I’m lost for words to describe how good it is. It is a great make ahead dish – you can keep the ready-to-cook pancakes in the fridge or the freezer – and you can cook them in their frozen state, it just takes a 3 minutes instead of 2 minutes on the stove.

The recipe is really easy (full recipe provided below). All you do is combine flour, salt and water to make a dough, set it aside for 10 minutes, divide into two, then roll each ball out thinly into about 1.5ft/50cm x 8″/20cm. Then spray lightly with oil, then roll it up starting from the wide end. Then coil it into a snail shape, push down with your hand and roll out again into the same shape. Repeat with the other ball.

Roll them out again. This time after you spray it with oil, scatter over the chopped scallions and a pinch of salt. Then roll it up again, starting from the wide end. After rolling it up, cut the dough in half, then coil again. You will end up with 4 coils. Push down with your hand and roll out into a round pancake about 1/3 ” / 0.5 cm thick. Then you simply pan fry.

The spraying of oil, coiling them re-rolling is what creates the flaky layers which you can see in this photo.

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Cooking process

Cooking scallion pancakes might look daunting at a glance. My detailed step-by-step photos will help walk you through how to prepare the dough and shape the pancakes like a pro.

Part 1 – Prepare the dough

If you’re making a big batch of scallion pancakes, you can use a stand mixer to make the dough. But I found it easy enough to knead the dough by hand.

  1. Slowly add the hot water to the flour and mix it at the same time.
  2. Mix until the hot water is fully absorbed
  3. Slowly add the cold water and continue mixing
  4. Dough flakes should form once all the water is added
  5. Start to press everything together with your hand
  6. You can add a bit more water if there’s too much dry flour left. Or you can slightly add a bit more flour if the dough is very sticky. Once you’ve pressed all the dough flakes together, you should have little or no dry flour left.
  7. Knead about 5 mins until a tough dough is formed.
  8. Let rest for 20 mins, then knead for 1 minute to form a smooth dough.

The best way to make the scallion pancake filling is to make an oil flour paste (not simply brushing oil onto the dough). This way you can work in layers easily without pressing out the oil as you roll out the pancakes.

To make the filling, simply mix the dry ingredients with the oil until it forms a smooth paste.

Part 3 – Forming the scallion pancakes

  1. Cut the dough into 6 pieces and work on the pieces one at a time. Use your hands to shape the dough into a rectangular shape.
  2. Roll the dough
  3. The dough should form a very thin rectangle.
  4. Add the flour oil paste
  5. Spread out the paste, leaving about 1” (2.5 cm) on both a long and a short end without the filling (your top and left)
  6. Add the green onion, concentrating most of it towards a long and short end with the filling
  7. Gently roll up the dough, as tightly as possible
  8. Press the air bubbles out of the dough strip
  9. Further roll up the long dough strip
  10. Tuck the end on the bottom
  11. Gently press the tall pancake
  12. Let it rest while you work on the rest of the pancakes
  1. Roll out the pancakes when you’re ready to cook
  2. Heat up a pan with a layer of oil on the bottom, add the pancake, and wiggle the pancake a few times so it won’t stick
  3. Let the pancake cook covered first
  4. Flip the pancake and cook covered again
  5. Then cook uncovered, until both sides of the pancake are browned
  6. You can use a spatula to press the pancake, to help with even browning

The best thing about these pancakes is that they can be stored raw or cooked.

If you’d like to get the best fresh result, freeze the scallion pancakes raw after you roll them out. Carefully stack them with a piece of parchment paper in between, then transfer everything to a large ziplock bag. Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Freeze the pancakes for up to 3 months.

To cook the frozen pancakes, simply let them thaw at room temperature for 8 minutes and cook them using the same method.

If you cook all the pancakes and have leftovers (very unlikely!!), you can put them in a bag and store them in the fridge for a few days. You can either reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop. Note, if you reheat a cooked pancake, it will still be quite crispy but the texture will turn a bit chewier.

  • For the Pancakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Up to 1/4 cup toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced scallion greens
  • For the Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinkiang or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced scallion greens
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • To Cook:
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt

Place flour in bowl of food processor (see note). With processor running, slowly drizzle in about 3/4 of boiling water. Process for 15 seconds. If dough does not come together and ride around the blade, drizzle in more water a tablespoon at a time until it just comes together. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to overnight in the fridge.

Divide dough into four even pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Working one ball at a time, roll out into a disk roughly 8-inches in diameter on a lightly floured surface. Using a pastry brush, paint a very thin layer of sesame oil over the top of the disk. Roll disk up like a jelly roll, then twist roll into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten gently with your hand, then re-roll into an 8-inch disk.

Paint with another layer of sesame oil, sprinkle with 1/2 cup scallions, and roll up like a jelly roll again. Twist into a spiral, flatten gently, and re-roll into a 7-inch disk. Repeat steps two and three with remaining pancakes.

Combine all the sauce ingredients and set aside at room temperature.

Heat oil in an 8-inch nonstick or cast-iron over medium-high heat until shimmering and carefully slip pancake into the hot oil. Cook, shaking the pan gently until first side is an even golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula or tongs (be careful not to splash the oil), and continue to cook, shaking pan gently, until second side is even golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt, cut into 6 wedges. Serve immediately with sauce for dipping. Repeat with remaining 3 pancakes.

Green Onion Pancakes, Scallion Pancakes

The one dish I always look forward to in Hong Kong restaurants is “cong you bing” – the super savoury green onion pancakes.

“cōng yóu bǐng” – Green Onion Pancakes

Every bite of the green onion pancake is so crispy and it almost always comes with a dipping sauce thats hot and tangy. I started making it at home for our weekend evening snack. One can never get tired of it. Its so easy to make. Do try at home and I am sure that you will be hooked just like me.

Making the dough
Bring a kettle of water to a rolling boil. Measure the flour and set aside. Add in the salt and add in the boiling water. For every cup of flour used, add half a cup of boiling water. Making dough with hot water restricts the gluten development, so its easier to roll.

The dough mixture will be very hot. Mix with a chopstick or using a back of a spoon. Once you are able to handle the heat, start kneading the dough for a minute. Once the mixture forms a cohesive dough, set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

First Roll
Make golf ball size dough balls out of the big dough. Dust the dough ball in flour, flatten and roll the dough into a three inch circle.

Brush it with a thin layer of oil. Traditionally toasted sesame oil is used. I have used peanut oil as toasted sesame oil has a very strong flavour that not everyone at my home appreciate. Roll the dough into a log. Roll the log again to form a spiral. Repeat with the remaining dough balls. Let the spiraled dough rest during the mean time (atleast 5 minutes).

Chop the green onions (spring onions / scallions) finely. Set aside.

Second Roll – Stuffing
Dust the rested and spiraled dough in flour and flatten and roll into a 3 to 3.5 inch circle. Brush it with a thin layer of oil. Sprinkle the green onions on the rolled dough. About 2 tablespoon of chopped green onion for every pancake.

Note: If you want a spicy pancake, sprinkle finely chopped green chillies or red chilli flakes along with the green onions.

Gently, roll the dough into a log. Roll the log again to form a spiral. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Note: After making the spiral, the dough can be refrigerated in an air tight box for upto a day. I have found that the texture improves greatly even if rested for an hour in the refrigerator. It crisps up better.

Third and Final Roll
Flatten the dough again, dust with flour and roll it into a thin disk. About 2.5 to 3 inches. Roll gently and avoid putting pressure. A little stuffing may pop out and thats fine. Roll as gently as possible to minimise the stuffing from coming out.

Making Pancakes
Heat a skillet and add in half a teaspoon of oil. Place the green onion rolled dough on the skillet and add half a teaspoon of oil on top. If you want extra crispy pancakes, add little more oil. Cook for 2 minutes on each side on a medium flame till the pancakes are brown and crispy. Do not rush the cooking. It tastes great when the pancakes are evenly cooked and uniformly brown all over. So take your time to cook these pancakes. The crispy texture of the pancakes are to die for. So leave it for a little extra time to achieve that texture.

Dipping Sauce
Take a cup and add in all the dipping sauce ingredients and mix well. The dipping sauce is ready. My son prefers to have it with the all time universal favourite – “ketchuppppp”.

Easy Chinese Recipes

One book I’ve had in my kitchen for many months now, is my friend, BeeYinn Low’s cookbook, Easy Chinese Recipes. I’m sure many of you know Bee from her very popular Asian food site, Rasa Malaysia. Bee, as many of you know, knows what good food is, and I’m so glad to say that I know such an inspiring and hard-working author as Bee!

In her first book, Easy Chinese Recipes, you’ll find authentic, simple, and mouthwatering Chinese recipes. Not only is the book filled with great go-to recipes, it is filled with beautiful photographs and step-by-step photographs of dishes that require a bit of a visual explanation. One recipe, in particular, that I’ve been making (at my family’s request) almost twice a week for the past couple months has been her Scallion Pancakes recipe.

Crispy Spring Onion Pancakes

Combine the flour, a pinch of salt and hot water (the water must be boiling!) with a wooden spoon. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead for 10 minutes. It will be sticky at first but don’t add any more flour, it will form a really soft dough.

Step 2 .

Wrap in cling film, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Step 3 .

Mix the sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of flour, and a pinch of salt to form a paste.

Step 4 .

Grind up the Sichuan peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Then finely chop up the spring onions.

Step 5 .

Portion the dough into 4 pieces, cover remaining in cling film.

Step 6 .

One piece at a time, roll the dough into a large circle. It should be the thickness of a pound coin (which is 2.80mm).

Step 7 .

Spread about 1 teaspoon of sesame oil paste onto the dough before sprinkling on a pinch of Sichuan peppercorns and a handful of spring onions.

Step 8 .

Tightly roll the pancake to form a log. Roll the log, tucking one end in a spiral to form a snail shape.

Step 9 .

Gently press, and roll on it with a rolling pin gently to form a thick pancake. Keep each pancake separate, in between sheets of baking paper, until you are ready to fry.

Step 10 .

Fry on both sides for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Serve hot with the spicy dipping sauce.

Step 11 .

For the sauce, grate the garlic and ginger in a bowl. Pour in soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, a tablespoon of water, chilli oil and a pinch of sugar, then mix to combine.


Using hot water is important so the flour can absorb more liquid, making the dough softer and pancakes crispier!

Spring onion pancakes (cong you bing)

There are several types of cong you bing (spring onion cakes, also spelled chong you bing).

Some shops make delicate, flaky cakes, almost like puff pastry, while the other extreme is hearty, heavy and oily.

The ones I like best are somewhere in between – slightly crisp on the outside, flaky and tender within, and sturdy but pliable enough to use as a wrap.

The most delicious spring onion cakes I’ve ever had were at Tianjin Cong Zhua Bing, on Yong Kang Street, Taipei, Taiwan. The cooks at the roadside stall used an interesting technique to make them flakier: when the cakes were ready on the griddle, they scrunched each one up using a metal spatula and tongs.

In addition to the trick used by the cooks at Tianjin Cong Zhua Bing, the secret to flaky cong you bing is to initially roll the dough so thin that it’s almost translucent. The sheet of dough should then be loosely rolled around the spring onions, trapping air between the layers.

Use a lightly oiled work surface and rolling pin the oil prevents the layers from sticking together. Do not use flour on the work surface or your hands.

Many recipes will have you mix the flour with hot and cool water without specifying the temperature of the liquid. Instead, I use semi-hot water at 65°C.

I often make a double batch of cong you bing and freeze them, without the sauce or egg (if using). All you need to do is thaw the cakes, then reheat them on a lightly oiled pan placed over a medium-high flame, before serving.

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