Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce

Recipe by Susan Reid

Scallion or green onion pancakes are ubiquitous Chinese street food, often eaten for breakfast. Every region of China has its own special style of scallion pancakes; our version offers pancakes with a crispy outer surface and chewy, soft interior. They're a hands-on, somewhat messy thing to make, but totally irresistible to eat.  

30 mins
1 hr 6 mins
6 pancakes, 12 servings
Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce


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  1. To make the dipping sauce: Combine all of the ingredients except for the sesame seeds; chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

  2. To make the pancakes: Combine the scallions, 1/2 cup peanut oil, and kosher salt in a bowl; set aside.

  3. Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Turn the mixer on low speed, and as it's running add 1 1/2 cups water in a steady stream. Mix until the flour is evenly moistened; it will likely look like oatmeal at first.

  4. Keep mixing for another minute; stop the mixer and touch the dough. It shouldn't be so wet that it coats your finger. Instead, you should be able to pinch a bit of it and pull it: it will be very stretchy. Add more water if the dough seems tight. Mix the dough at low speed for another 5 minutes.

  5. When the dough is smooth and very stretchy, flatten it in the bowl and pour enough peanut oil over the top to completely cover it.

  6. To shape the pancakes: Have some fold-over plastic sandwich bags (or your favorite reusable bags) on hand. Pour an 8" puddle of peanut oil into a baking sheet with a rim.

  7. Scoop up a handful of dough (about 140g to 155g, depending on how much water you've added). Place the dough in the puddle of oil. Grease your fingers and spread it out in all directions until you can almost see through it; you should have a circle about 10" in diameter and 1/4" thick.

  8. Scoop up 2 tablespoons of the filling mixture and spread it evenly over the dough. Working from the top, roll the dough into a log. Hang on to one end and coil the log into a spiral, pinching the ends together. Place the pancake in the waiting bag. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing each of the pancakes in a separate bag; you should be able to shape six pancakes.

  9. To cook the pancakes: In a large, heavy frying pan set over medium heat, pour in enough peanut oil to coat the bottom of the pan 1/4" deep. Heat the oil until you see ripples across its surface.

  10. On a greased plate, spread out the pancake until it's 3/8" thick and about 6" in diameter. Now the tricky part: Pick up the pancake with two hands and carefully place it into the oil. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the first side is golden brown. Using tongs, turn the pancake and cook for another 3 minutes, until golden brown on both sides.

  11. Remove the pancake from the pan and place it on a cutting board lined with absorbent paper; turn it over to drain the second side. Repeat with the remaining pancakes. 

  12. When ready to serve, cut each pancake into eight wedges and accompany with dipping sauce. Garnish each pancake with a teaspoon of sesame seeds.

  13. Store any leftover pancakes, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • The all-purpose dipping sauce for these pancakes is simple to put together, lasts indefinitely in the refrigerator, and has an incredible number of uses. It's an excellent marinade for chicken wings or skewers and, with the addition of some hoisin sauce, becomes a wonderful barbecue sauce. Brush it on grilled fish, or use it to complete your tempura vegetables or shrimp.