My parents don’t like to use a lot of oil, spices, soy sauce in their meals except that they love mildly salty broth. They believe that they would eat healthy free of additives, sodium and unnecessary spices. They both follow a strict low sodium and cholesterol diet occasionally. When it comes to good Taiwanese home-cooked meals, my mother would still make tasty, lighter scallion (or green onion) pancakes without the use of too much oil. Generally scallion pancakes are pretty greasy. I like both light and heavy scallion pancakes, in any shapes. I personally like less greasier scallion pancakes (or Low-Fat Taiwanese Scallion Pancakes) and still make wonderful, tasty sauces to go with them.
The Taiwanese scallion pancakes are served with Curried Lentil, Squash & Potato Stew and Sweet Earth Natural Foods curry recipe seitan.
Please note, the recipe is adapted from my mother with a bit of vegan modifications. You can make the pancake thicker or bigger if you like depending on your frying pan size. You can use vegetable or sunflower oil for frying them. You will need ground white pepper for the recipe, which can be found at any Asian markets (just ask the staff, they will take you there), it is far different than the ground black pepper.
- In a small prep bowl, mix white pepper and toasted sesame oil together. This will be used on the pancake. Make sure you have shortening, crushed sea salt and chopped green onions available in separate prep bowls. Set all of them aside.
- In a large bowl, add flour and salt and mix in, slowly pour hot water while stirring. It will look like a bread dough.
- Let dough rest for 30 minutes, covered with towel. Add the green onions to the dough.
- Dust surface with flour, roll the dough like a long snake, cut into sections (4-inch).
- Start with one section, create a ball shape and roll & flatten as thin as possible.
- Apply a thin layer of shortening and pinch of white pepper + sesame oil all over. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon chopped green onions all over, try not to overcrowd them.
- From one edge, roll dough like a tube, wrap tightly. Then wrap it into a cinnamon bun shape.
- Sprinkle flour. Press it flat with your hands, roll flat and thin.
- At medium heat, make sure it is hot and ready. Add 1-2 teaspoons oil, spread it all over (lightly with a paper towel if needed), you can also use an oil spray if needed. Transfer the complete pancake onto the pan, fry both sides until slight browning and crispy.
- After frying, let the pancake sit and cool on the rack. Slice them into pizza slices if needed.
- Repeat the steps again starting at Step 5. I usually do all sections at once and then fry, but you have to make sure these are placed on flour, to avoid sticking.
I also make a lovely sauce (see left, red saucer bowl) that goes pretty well with the lightly fried Taiwanese scallion pancakes, and the secret ingredient is sambal oelek (see right, pink saucer bowl). Make sure you make these and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour prior serving. You can also snack on these pancakes with sambal oelek alone.
For the sambal oelek red pepper paste, you can get it at Asian markets or in the Asian section at your local groceries, i.e., Safeway, Fred Meyer. See at the end of the post for Amazon.com links.
Be warned, this is my first time to photograph the steps to make scallion pancakes. When it comes to baking or dealing with dough, the kitchen is always a terrible mess. All respective photos are taken by Doni. If you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to contact me anytime.
the basic steps
Left: After you let the dough rest for 30 minutes, dust surface with flour, roll the dough like a long snake and cut into sections (4″). Right: Start with one section, create a ball shape.
Left: Roll & flatten as thin as possible. Right: Apply a thin layer of shortening, pinch of white pepper + sesame oil, and pinch of salt all over.
Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon chopped green onions all over, try not to overcrowd them.
From one edge, roll dough like a tube, wrap tightly.
Then wrap it into a cinnamon bun shape.
Sprinkle flour. Press it flat with your hands, roll flat and thin.
This is your scallion pancake. You can make it any size or thickness you prefer, depending on the size of your frying pan. I make mine at least 6″ diameter to fit in the pan.