Intro: Scallion Pancakes
The ingredient list is short. The prep is a bit involved. But the end result is totally worth it! These scallion pancakes can come out with the same taste and texture as those you get at Brezshnev's .
If you can find a copy of the out-of-print Chinese Menu Cookbook , by Joanne Hush and Peter Wong, do so! That is where I got this recipe, and it is the source of many of my favorite dishes.
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Cup boiling water
1/4 Cup chopped scallions (4-7 scallions, depending on their size)
peanut or canola oil for brushing and cooking
Sharp knife for chopping
Heavy pan for frying
Bread Machine (optional, but handy)
Step 1: Make the Dough
Combine salt and flour. If using a bread machine, add boiling water and start on shortest dough cycle.
Otherwise, add water to the salt & flour and stir well with a wooden spoon. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, knead for 5-10 minutes. Set aside to rest for 22 minutes.
Step 2: Form a Log
When the dough is done, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out into a 10"x15" rectangle, about a 1/4" thick.
Brush the surface with peanut oil, then spread the chopped scallions evenly over it.
Roll the dough "cinnamon roll style" into a log; you can roll it either way, but I usually roll down the long edge so I have a 10" log.
Step 3: Form the Pancakes
Cut the log into equal pieces. You can make six small pancakes, or four large ones, or five medium ones. I usually make four or five. Put them to one side, out of the way of your rolling surface.
Take a piece, flip it 90° so that it looks like an un-cooked cinnamon roll. Press it down a little into a disk with your hands, and then roll it out into a pancake. The pancake should be about 1/4" thick, no thinner. Some people like them thicker. Set the finished pancake to one side, on either a floured plate or on waxed paper. Repeat with the rest of the pieces.
At this point you can freeze or refridgerate the pancakges. If it's warm out, chilling them makes them easier to handle.
Step 4: Cook the Pancakes
When you are ready to cook, fill the pan with about 1/4" of oil. Peanut oil is best, but canola oil is usually cheaper and works OK. Bring it to a medium-high heat; the oil should not smoke. Gently place a pancake into the oil - don't splash the hot oil onto yourself. After a minute or two, carefully flip the pancake, and cook the second side until a golden brown.
Drain and set aside on paper towels. Repeat for the rest of the pancakes.
Step 5: Cut, Serve, and Eat!
Cut the pancakes in to four or six wedges. Serve hot, with soy sauce, rice vinegar, rooster sauce, or make a dipping sauce of equal parts soy and rice vinegar mixed with some shredded ginger, chopped scallions, and sesame or hot oil to taste.
The night I made these I also made eggrolls and a brother-in-law brought over some lamb stew and bread. Eclectic, perhaps, but tasty.