I’ve been looking forward to this post for a while now. Some fellow food bloggers OMG Yummy (@omgyummyblog), Chow and Chatter (@chowandchatter), Yumivore (@yumivore), and I were tweeting about our love for pancakes, when Rebecca from Chow and Chatter informed us that Pancake Day was just around the corner on March 8st. I took this with a grain of salt, assuming Pancake Day ranked along side the likes of Margarita Day and Chocolate Souffle Day. But this day does exist and has significance; it is also known as Shrove Tuesday in the UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia and Fat Tuesday in the US. Pancakes were traditionally consumed on this day as the last sweet and fatty meal before fasting for Lent.
We decided to celebrate the affair with a virtual pancake feast. Chow and Chatter is covering the British Pancake Day and OMG Yummy making pancake comfort food and Yumivore highlighting the occasion. And I’ve decided to do an unconventional pancake: scallion pancakes (cong you bing), one of my favorite Chinese snacks. And while they don’t contain eggs or sugar and aren’t made from a batter, I say they’re pancakes. I’d also classify these and these as pancakes too. Consider me a pancake liberal.
Cong you bing is a very popular Chinese unleavened flatbread that is rolled and cooked so that the crispy outside encloses layers of soft chewy dough studded with scallions. As a child I used to eat mounds of this savory bread by peeling back the entwined layers of dough, parts of which would be perfectly toasted brown. They’re delicious on their own or with eggs for breakfast, which is how I sometimes eat them.
Makes 6 scallion pancakes
– 2 cups of all purpose flour
– 1 cup of hot water
– 1 bundle of scallions, all parts thinly sliced
– kosher salt
– vegetable oil
Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and using a fork slowly pour in the hot water and mix with a fork until incorporated. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading the dough for a few minutes. It may be sticky at first but continue to lightly flour your surface and hands if necessary. Roll into a large ball and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll into a log. Cut in half then cut each piece into three even pieces. Roll one ball of dough into a rectangular shape about 1/8 inch thick (or as close as you can get to a rectangle– this is not paramount so don’t worry if it isn’t perfect). Brush the entire area with some oil and sprinkle a big pinch of salt all over. Spread some of your sliced scallions all over and then lightly dust the entire area with some more flour. This will help keep your layers separated.
Roll up your dough from one end to another somewhat tightly. You’ll have a log shape at this point, and roll one end of the log to another so it spirals around like a snail. Tuck the end underneath the spiral mound.
With a lightly floured rolling pin, press down and roll the disk out again about ¼ of an inch thick, this time in a circular shape. Be careful not to over roll because you want to preserve those layers. If you roll over and over again, you may smoosh the layers together and end up with one thick and tough layer. Not good.
Heat a pan with some oil over medium high heat and cook each side for a minute or two until toasty and crunchy. Enjoy with some eggs or on its own. Happy Pancaking!