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Scallion Sesame Pancakes

by , featured in Onions Etcetera
Published by Burgess Lea Press
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Crisp, chewy, deliciously greasy — scallion pancakes are fun to eat, but they’re good fun to make as well. The technique of brushing the dough with sesame oil then rolling it into a spiral and rolling it flat again is a form of lamination — similar to what happens when you add sheets of butter to dough when making croissants, with the effect of creating flaky layers. Making scallion pancakes sounds more complicated than it actually is, but after making one or two, you’ll feel like a pro.

For photo guidance on rolling the pancakes, please click here.

Image of Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino's Scallion Sesame Pancakes
Photo by Guy Ambrosino


Makes: 6 pancakes

For the pancakes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • kosher salt
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 4 bunches scallions
  • 3 tablespoons toasted Asian sesame oil (or as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • peanut oil or vegetable oil (for frying)

For the dipping sauce

  • 2 tablespoons chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 plump clove garlic (finely chopped)


Scallion Sesame Pancakes is a guest recipe by Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. To make the pancakes, place the flour and ½ teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to combine. With the processor running, drizzle in about 1¼ cups of the boiling water, then continue to process for about 10 seconds more. if the dough has not come together, drizzle in more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it does. transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to form a smooth ball. transfer to a bowl, cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or while you prepare the remaining ingredients. the dough may be refrigerated overnight.
  2. Trim off the white part of each scallion and reserve for another use. Slice the scallion greens very thinly. Measure out 1 tablespoon of the scallion greens to use in the dipping sauce and set the remainder aside. You should have about 2 cups.
  3. To make the dipping sauce, combine the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the pickled garlic. Sprinkle the scallion greens over the sauce and set aside.
  4. To shape the pancakes, divide the dough into 6 even pieces and roll each between the palms of your hands into a smooth ball. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time (loosely cover the remaining dough with the damp towel), roll it out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface into an 8-inch disc. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of sesame oil over the top of the dough. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, then tightly roll it again like a snail’s shell, tucking the end underneath. Set the roll down on the work surface, spiral side up, and flatten gently with your hand. Re-roll the dough into an 8-inch disc.
  5. Brush the top of the dough with another thin layer of sesame oil. Sprinkle about ⅓ cup scallions and ½ teaspoon sesame seeds evenly over the dough. Roll up again like a jelly roll and twist again into a tight spiral, tucking the end underneath. Flatten the spiral gently and roll into a 7-inch disc.
  6. Repeat these steps with the remaining balls of dough, sesame oil, scallions and sesame seeds. (Once you get good at shaping the pancakes, you might find it easier and faster to start cooking 1 pancake while shaping the next, so it is ready to slide into the oil as the first comes out.)
  7. Line a large plate with newspaper or clean paper bags. Heat about ¼ inch oil in a medium cast-iron or nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. When the oil shimmers, carefully slip 1 pancake into it. cook, shaking the pan gently from time to time, until the underside is golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes. using tongs, carefully flip the pancake and continue to cook, again shaking the pan gently as needed, until the second side is golden brown, 1½ to 2 minutes more. transfer to the lined plate to drain. Sprinkle the pancake with a pinch of salt and cut into 6 wedges. Serve immediately with the sauce for dipping, while you cook the remaining pancakes in the same manner, adding a little more oil to the skillet as needed.

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