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Scallion Pancakes: Shanghai Street Food
A Favorite Food from My Childhood
Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite crispy snacks, scallion pancakes. They’re easy to make. Really. And you can shape them ahead and fry them up when the noshing gene nudges you.
You start off making a hot water dough by mixing flour and very hot tap water until they gather into a mass. After kneading briefly by hand to form a smooth ball, let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes, and it’s ready to roll out.
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You’ll find the dough is super easy to handle. It will not turn stubborn on you and resist stretching because the hot water inhibits gluten’s desire to do so.
Once you’ve got a thin, rectangular sheet of dough, about 16 inches long and 10 inches wide, you spread it with a thin layer of coconut oil and scatter finely sliced scallions all over it. The coconut oil helps to stick the scallions to the dough.
Roll the scallioned dough into a tight roll, pinch the edge to seal, and slice the roll into portions. How many portions? For a pancake that you can cook in a 10-inch skillet, cut 2-inch segments.
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To shape a pancake, lightly coat both ends of a section with flour and stand it with a cut end facing up. Press down with a rolling pin to flatten slightly and roll the circle out, flipping it over and dusting lightly with flour as necessary, to make a thin pancake—about 1/8-inch-thick and 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
And that’s it! Tear a sheet of parchment to line a large baking sheet or cookie sheet and set the pancake on it. Cover with cooking parchment and continue rolling out and covering the remaining pancakes.
At this point you can refrigerate the pancakes for a few hours and fry them as needed.
To cook the pancakes film a heavy 10- or 12-inch skillet with coconut, peanut, or avocado oil, and set the pan over medium- to medium-high heat. When hot, add a pancake, and cook until browned and crisp on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes total.
Cut into wedges and serve with the dipping sauce. See the first picture in the story.
And now, here’s the recipe.