scallion pancakes | green onion pancake

scallion pancakes are a popular street food from china served as breakfast or snack. these have a crispy, flaky texture and taste too good. this scallion pancakes recipe is shared with step by step pics.

when you have scallion or spring onions left over after making a chinese dish, you can consider making these crispy tasty pancakes and i bet you won’t regret.

some years back, i came to know about the existence of these super tasty pancakes from the mainland china cookbook. from there on i started making these pancakes adapting with the ingredients available locally. this recipe makes up for 8 scallion pancakes.

what are scallion pancakes

scallion pancakes are an unleavened flatbread stuffed with scallions or green onions or spring onions. hence these pancakes are also called as green onion pancakes or spring onion pancakes. scallion pancakes are a popular street food in china and are known as cong you bing in chinese.

these chinese pancakes have a flaky, crispy outer layer with a softness inside the layers. these are truly addictive and make up for a great snack or breakfast. although these are flatbreads and similar to an indian paratha, yet they are called as pancakes.

this scallion pancake is slightly different from the chinese version as

✓ made with whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour
✓ is vegan
✓ an adaptable and forgiving recipe
✓ easy to make
✓ stuffed & rolled pancakes can be frozen. (thaw before frying)
✓ the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

tips on ingredients

1. whole wheat flour – since whole wheat flour is used in the recipe, the amount of water will depend on the quality of flour. so add water in parts while kneading. you should get a soft dough much like a chapati or paratha or naan dough. instead of whole wheat flour, you can even use all purpose flour.

2. water – in the recipe hot water is added when mixing and kneading the dough. as a result, the pancakes have a soft texture from inside and the heaviness or denseness of whole wheat flour is not felt in the layers.

3. roasted sesame oil – adding roasted sesame oil gives a strong smoky aroma in the pancakes. now if you do not get roasted sesame oil, there is no need to panic. a sunflower oil or peanut oil works well but the smoky flavor won’t be there. even butter or ghee or any neutral flavored oil can be added.

4. scallions or green onions or spring onions – traditionally the white part of the onions is skipped. i prefer adding them along with the greens. if using then onion whites then chop them very finely or else the pancakes will break while rolling. also to remember is that if you are using the scallion whites, then use the greens more than the whites.

5. spices – some green chillies can be added for a bit of heat and spice. you can even add sichuan pepper powder or chinese 5 spice powder or crushed black pepper. for that matter, even our own indian garam masala can be added to get a fusion recipe.

tips on frying

1. frying pan – it is best to use a cast iron pan or a thick bottomed pan for frying as this gives a crisp crust in the pancakes. using a small shallow frying pan helps in giving crisp edges and a crisp crust in the pancake as the oil does not spread out over a large surface area.

2. frying oil – while sesame oil is used in the stuffing, vegetable oil or a neutral tasting oil is used for frying. i have here used sunflower oil for frying. you can even use peanut oil, butter or ghee for frying.

3. oil quantity – 1 tablespoon oil is used for frying each pancake. 1 tablespoon oil (approx 15 ml) looks like a lot of oil but makes the pancakes crispy. you can use less oil if you prefer. if you feel the oil is more in the pancakes, then reduce it to ½ tablespoon or even less per pancake.

serving suggestion for scallion pancakes

  1. spicy dipping sauce – scallion pancakes can be served with any spicy dipping sauce. we like it with sriracha sauce and schezwan sauce. in fact you can even use red chilli garlic sauce, green chilli sauce or even tomato ketchup.
  2. vegetarian stir fry or sauce based chinese recipe – you can also have green onion pancakes as a side with any of the chinese recipes like veg manchurian gravy, paneer manchurian etc.
  3. indian flavors – for indian taste buds, mango pickle or lemon pickle or green chilli pickle make a good accompaniment for spring onion pancakes.

Prep Time:10 mins

Cook Time:20 mins

Total Time:30 mins

scallion pancakes is a chinese street food and breakfast snack of flatbread stuffed with scallions or green onions or spring onions. these pancakes are crispy & flaky from outside and soft from inside – made with whole wheat flour and vegan. scallion pancakes make for a filling breakfast or brunch.

scallion pancakes

Course:Breakfast,snacks

Cuisine:chinese,world

Servings:8 pancakes

Calories:186kcal

INGREDIENTS FOR scallion pancakes

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

for dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (heaped) – 250 grams
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil – peanut oil or melted butter or any neutral flavored oil can be used instead
  • 1 cup water – boiling hot or add water as required

for filling

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or peanut oil or sunflower oil or butter or ghee (clarified butter) – add as required
  • ⅔ to ¾ cup finely chopped scallions or green onions or spring onions – greens more than whites or just the greens
  • salt as required

for frying

  • ½ cup sunflower oil peanut oil or any neutral flavored oil or butter or ghee (clarified butter)

HOW TO MAKE scallion pancakes

making dough and preparation for scallion pancakes

  • in a mixing bowl take 2 heaped cups whole wheat flour (250 grams) and ½ teaspoon salt.

  • mix the salt with the flour.

  • in a saucepan take 1.25 cups water and keep it on a medium to medium-high flame for the water to boil.

  • let the water come to a boil.

  • add the boiling hot water in the flour in parts. first add ½ cup of water and mix with a spoon. if required then add more hot water till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the bowl and comes together. i added 1 cup water to get a soft smooth dough. so go easy while adding water as the water absorption will depend on quality and texture of flour. if using only all-purpose flour, then you may just need to add ⅓ to ½ cup boiling hot water.

  • let the heat from the mixture become easier to handle and then begin to knead the dough.

  • knead to soft dough and keep aside. if the dough is sticky then add more flour. if the dough is dry then add more water. mix and knead till all the water is absorbed and dough becomes soft. cover and keep aside.

  • rinse the scallion or spring onion stalks in water first. then finely chop the spring onion greens. you can add a bit of whites too, but finely chop them or else they pop out from the the dough while rolling. add more greens and less of the whites. you will need ⅔ to ¾ cup finely chopped scallions.

making the stuffed dough rolls for green onion pancake

  • take the dough and roll it into a log shape of 10 to 11 inches.

  • slice the log in 7 to 8 equal parts. keep the sliced dough circles covered in the same bowl in which the dough was kneaded.

  • take each part and roll it to a round shape first. place it on a rolling board and flatten slightly with your palm fingers. sprinkle some flour on the board as well as on the flattened dough.

  • roll to a large 8 by 10 inches rectangle. do not roll the dough too thin.

  • spread or brush toasted sesame oil all over the dough.

  • sprinkle the finely chopped spring onion. also prinkle a light pinch of salt all over the scallions. adding salt can be skipped. at this step you can also add black pepper, green chillies for some spicy taste if you prefer. a pinch of sichuan pepper powder or chinese 5 spice powder can also be sprinkled. for a indian flavor, you can add a pinch of garam masala.

  • from any side of the rectangle, gently roll the stuffed dough. while rolling, tighten and then roll. do not keep the roll loose. it should be a tight roll.

  • pinch and close the edges.

  • now hold one of the edges and begin to roll the dough around it in the shape of a spiral. press and seal the last edge at the sides or beneath the spiral roll. this way make all spiral rolls and keep them covered.

  • sprinkle some flour on the roll as well as on the board.

  • roll to a slightly thick bread having a 5 to 6 inches diameter.

frying scallion pancakes

  • heat a skillet or pan – preferable a cast iron skillet or pan. add 1 tablespoon oil and let it become hot. when the oil becomes hot, gently place the pancake in the oil.

  • when one side is cooked and golden, flip over. cook the second side.

  • when the second side is fried and you see the crispy, crusty golden spots, flip over.

  • fry both sides till golden. you can fry a couple a times if the pancakes look undercooked. fry on medium flame. you can fry for some more time to get a more crispy and crusty layer.

  • place the fried scallion pancakes on kitchen paper towels. fry all the pancakes this way. for frying the next pancake, add ½ to 1 tablespoon oil in the pan.

  • then serve scallion pancakes hot with your favorite dipping sauce.

  • depending on the quality of whole wheat flour less or more water can be added. thus add water in parts while mixing. knead to a soft dough.
  • if using all purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour then you may need to add less water – about ⅓ to ½ cup boiling hot  water. 
  •  roasted sesame oil lends a smoky aroma in the pancakes. if you do not like this smoky aroma, you can use sunflower oil or peanut oil or butter or ghee or any neutral flavored oil.
  • usually, the white part of the green onions is not added. i prefer adding them along with the greens. if using then onion whites then chop them very finely or else the pancakes will break while rolling. note that if you are using the scallion whites, then use the greens more than the whites.
  • for a bit of heat and spice, 1 to 2 finely chopped green chillies can be mixed with the scallions. you can even add sichuan pepper powder or chinese 5 spice powder or crushed black pepper. a pinch of garam masala can be also be sprinkled on each pancake.
  • it is best to use a cast iron pan or a thick bottomed pan for frying as this gives a crisp crust in the pancakes. using a small shallow frying pan helps in giving crisp edges and crisp crust as the oil does not spread out over a large surface area.
  • toasted sesame oil can be skipped and any neutral flavored oil or butter or ghee can be used.
  • for frying scallion pancakes, any neutral tasting oil can be used. you can even use butter or ghee for frying.
  • 1 tablespoon oil is used for frying each pancake. 1 tablespoon of oil makes the pancakes crispy. you can use less oil if you prefer. if you feel the oil is more in the pancakes, then reduce it to ½ tablespoon or even less per pancake.
all our content & photos are copyright protected. as a blogger, if you you want to use this recipe or make a youtube video, then please write the recipe in your own words and give a clickable link back to the recipe on this url.
i would love to hear from you. if you have made this recipe then rate the recipe or leave a comment below. if you like this recipe then do share the recipe link on facebook, twitter & pinterest. for instagram mention @vegrecipesofindia or tag #vegrecipesofindia

making dough and preparation for scallion pancakes

1. in a mixing bowl take 2 heaped cups whole wheat flour (250 grams) and ½ teaspoon salt.

taking wheat flour and salt in a mixing bowl

2. with a spoon mix the salt with the flour.

mixing salt with flour

3. in a saucepan take 1.25 cups water and keep the pan on a medium to medium-high flame for the water to boil.

taking water in a sauce pan

4. let the water come to a boil.

boiling water

5. now add the boiling hot water in the flour+salt mixture in parts. first, add ½ cup of water.

adding hot boiling water in parts to the flour

6. mix with a spoon. then if required add more hot water till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the bowl and comes together. i added 1 cup water to get a soft smooth dough. so go easy while adding water as the water absorption will depend on quality and texture of flour. if using only all-purpose flour, then you may just need to add ⅓ to ½ cup boiling hot water.

mixing water in the dough with the spoon

7. let the heat from the mixture become easier to handle and then begin to knead the dough.

kneading to a dough

8. knead to a soft dough and keep aside. if the dough is sticky then add more flour. if the dough is dry and hard, then add more of the hot water which would have become warm by the time you start to knead the dough. mix and knead till all the water is absorbed and dough becomes soft. cover and keep aside.

kneaded to a smooth dough

9. rinse the scallion or spring onion stalks in water first. then finely chop the spring onion greens. you can add a bit of the whites too, but finely chop them or else they break the dough while rolling. add more greens and less of the whites. you will need ⅔ to ¾ cup finely chopped scallions.

finely chopped scallions in a bowl

making the stuffed dough rolls for green onion pancake

10. take the entire dough and roll it into a log shape of 10 to 11 inches.

dough rolled in a log

11. slice the log in 7 to 8 equal parts. keep the sliced dough circles covered in the same bowl in which the dough was kneaded.

rolled dough log sliced in 7 parts equally

12. take each part and roll it to a round shape first between your palms. place it on a rolling board and flatten slightly. sprinkle some flour on the board as well as on the flattened dough.

each sliced dough part rolled into a ball and then slightly flattened on rolling board with flour sprinkled

13. roll to a large 8 by 10 inches rectangle. do not roll the dough too thin.

dough rolled to a large rectangle shape

14. spread or brush toasted sesame oil all over the dough.

brushed roasted sesame oil on the rolled dough

15. sprinkle the finely chopped spring onion all over except the edges. also sprinkle a light pinch of salt all over the scallions. adding salt can be skipped. at this step, you can also add black pepper, finely chopped green chillies for some spicy taste if you prefer. a pinch of sichuan pepper powder or chinese 5 spice powder can also be sprinkled. for a indian flavor, you can add a pinch of garam masala.

scallions sprinkled on the rolled dough

16. from any side of the rectangle, gently roll the stuffed dough. while rolling, tighten and then roll. do not keep the roll loose. it should be a tight roll.

dough with the stuffing rolled tightly

17. pinch and close the edges.

edges pinched and closed of the rolled dough

18. now hold one of the edges and begin to roll the stuffed dough around it to make a spiral roll. press and seal the last edge at the sides or beneath the roll. this way make all spiral rolls and keep them covered.

dough rolled tightly into a spiral

19. take one roll and sprinkle some flour on it as well as on the rolling board. press lightly with your fingers.

flour sprinkled on the rolled spiral stuffed dough

20. roll to a slightly thick bread having a 5 to 6 inches diameter.

rolled to a flatbread having 5 to 6 inches

frying scallion pancakes

21. heat a skillet or pan – preferable a cast iron skillet or pan. add 1 tablespoon oil and let it become hot. when the oil becomes hot, gently place the pancake in the oil. you can use peanut oil or sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil or butter or ghee (clarified butter) for frying. i have used sunflower oil.

flatbread placed in hot oil in a frying pan

22. when one side is cooked and golden, flip over. cook the second side. fry on medium flame.

flipped and second side being cooked

23. when the second side is fried and you see the crispy crusty golden spots then flip over again.

scallion pancake flipped again

24. fry both sides till you golden. you can fry a couple of times if the pancakes look undercooked. the cast iron pan that i have gets too hot, so i would increase the flame to medium initially and later while frying the pancakes, reduce the flame to medium-low. use a small shallow frying pan as the oil does not spread out over a large surface area and helps in giving crisp edges and a crisp crust in the pancake. you can fry for some more time to get a more crispy and crusty layer.

scallion pancake cooked flipped once or twice

25. place the fried green onion pancake on kitchen paper towels. fry all the scallion pancakes this way. for frying the next pancake, add ½ to 1 tablespoon oil in the pan.

placed green onion pancakes on kitchen paper towels

26. then serve scallion pancakes hot with your favorite dipping sauce. you can also stack them up in a casserole and serve once you are done frying all the pancakes. while serving you can squish the pancakes between your palms so that the layers are visible. take care of the heat while squishing them. you can even slice or cut them in wedges and serve.

green onion pancakes places on a black ceramic plate on a black board with sriracha sauce served in a small black bowl on left side and a stalk of spring onion placed on the right side of the plate.

Leave a Reply