Cong you bing is the Chinese name for scallion pancakes. But don’t let the name “pancake” fool you; this recipe is anything but sweet.
A popular street food and restaurant staple, these scallion pancakes can be found on almost every Chinese restaurant’s menu. Closely resembling other Asian breads, legend has it that scallion pancakes served as the starting ground/inspiration for modern day pizza!
The pancake is made up of several layers of flaky dough, which helps give it a uniquely savory and chewy texture. Filled with scallions, these pancakes are typically served with a ponzu or soy sauce for added flavor.
After years of obsessively ordering scallion pancakes while out to eat, we decided it was finally time to try our hand at cooking our own, and we are very happy that we did.
However, we made sure to prepare well in advance, and even took extensive notes on the process to share along the way.
Given the rich tradition of the dish, we wanted to make sure that we took a thorough approach to the cooking process. We did our research to not only find out how to make the pancake from scratch, but also to learn how to nail down the signature flaky texture.
Luckily the recipe and technique we found looked pretty simple so we got started right away.
After a quick mix of just water and flour our dough started to come together. We were surprised at how easy it was, mixing until combined but with no kneading required.
One of the reasons we love this dish is because we love scallions. It may seem like a simple ingredient, but scallions are obviously the most crucial part of what makes this pancake so unique. So definitely feel free to be generous with adding scallions!
After a spread of olive oil on the dough, and our heavy sprinkle of scallions (plus a few other seasonings; like salt and sesame) it was time to roll.
We gently grabbed the edge of the dough and began to roll it up, being extra careful not to wrap the middle too tight. The next part can be pretty tricky, so try it carefully.
After you finish the initial roll, you’ll want to now roll up your entire scallion pancake into a pinwheel of sorts. This gives the final product a texture that allows you to pull it apart as you eat, and is definitely worth the added effort.
After rolled we set it into a pan with a bit of oil to crisp it up. A key part of this recipe for the perfect scallion pancakes is to ensure that the outside is crispy while the inside stays soft.
A quick flip and you can see just how deliciously crispy that crust looks with scallions bursting out from the seems.
We served ours with a bit of soy sauce but feel free to add chili oil or anything you like.
Flaky Scallion Pancakes
- 2 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 3/4 cup Water
- 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Scallions
- 1 tbsp Salt & Pepper
- Mix flour and water until combined
- Kneed for about 5 minutes and then let the dough rest under a wet kitchen towel for 30 min
- Roll out on a floured surface into a square thin shape
- Cover with olive oil, scallions, chives, salt, and pepper to taste
- Roll it into crescent moon then twist the edges into a circle and flatten
- Heat oil in pan over medium heat and place pancake inside. Flip a few times and press into pan to get browning and cook through.
- Pull from pan, cut, and serve with soy sauce
- Don’t be shy pressing the pancake into the pan to get extra crispy
- You can freeze your dough for up to a few months just let it thaw in the fridge one night before
- Feel free to top with anything else you like and enjoy
There really is no going wrong with this recipe and it’s a quick addition to your meal that makes you feel proud of making something authentic in the kitchen.
If you happen to make your own let us know @kitchenseason for a chance to be featured!