I used to make these for my son as a special treat or as a side dish when I made Peking Duck at home. There are no good Chinese restaurants here on the Cape and I was craving scallion pancakes this morning, but substituted Japanese nira (garlic chives) from the garden for the classic scallions, which I didn't have on hand.
This recipe is truly easy and the end result delightfully crispy; not the usual little deep fried grease sponges that one typically orders from the nearest Chinese restaurant, delicious though those are.
Makes 2 8" pancakes
1 cup flour + more for kneading and surface flouring
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped scallions or nira
1-2 tsps sesame oil
2 tsps vegetable oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp black vinegar (or rice wine vinegar if needs must)
Mix the flour, hot water and a bit of salt together with a fork until they form a ball of dough. Put the ball of dough on a floured surface and knead a few times to make sure that the dough is smooth and not too sticky. Put back in the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, mix the soy sauce and vinegar together to use as a dipping sauce. Put the sesame oil in a separate small dish.
When the dough has rested, flour your board or counter again and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll or press the piece out into as thin a rectangle as you can without breaking the dough.
Once you have accomplished that, dip a pastry brush in the sesame oil and brush the surface of the pancake lightly with it. Sprinkle the chopped scallions and a bit of salt over the surface.
Roll the rectangle up tightly like a jelly roll, from the longest side, then twist the roll into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Once you've done that, flatten the dough with your hand or a rolling pin into an eight inch pancake. Repeat the whole step to make another pancake.
Heat half of the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add one of your pancakes to the pan and cook for two minutes, undisturbed, on each side. Resist the urge to blast the heat higher as the pancake will not cook through if you do. You may need a minute or two more per side depending on how high your heat is; you want the pancakes to be speckled with brown as illustrated above. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat the process with your second pancake.
Cut into wedges and dig in, dipping in the soy-vinegar sauce. One pancake should do it so feel free to freeze half of the dough, or the other pancake in its uncooked flat spiral stage, for next time.
Original recipe, here.