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Pancakes: China Style

Flaky and crispy pancakes with savoury spring onions trapped in its multiple layers

Stack ’em up.

Drizzle ’em with maple syrup (and maybe top off with some cheeky bacon…)

Roll ’em up with Nutella, lemon juice and sugar, or ham and cheese.

Mate… you can even set ’em on fire a la crêpes suzette!

Who doesn’t love a good pancake!?

We all know of the fluffy American style pancakes, and many of us would have also tasted the delight of a thin French crêpe.

But did you know that the Chinese have a pancake too?

Okay, to be fair this one is more of a flatbread than a pancake, but someone started calling them ‘scallion pancakes’ some time ago and the name stuck.

Eh, we’re gonna claim it 😉

Choong yeo bang (literally, spring onion/scallion oil pancakes) are indulgent and there are a few good reasons why we reckon these little fellas deserve a spot in the pancake hall of fame.

First up, the spring onion finally gets to play a starring role! It is here that the bridesmaid finally becomes the bride, abandoning the role of garnish to assume the role of an important main ingredient. When fried up within the folds of a salty dough, the finely sliced spring onions provide a fragrant and super satisfying savoury flavour.

Secondly, these pancakes are deloicious whether they’re rolled out thinly (for a crispy delight) or rolled a bit thicker (for chewy layers). We make ’em crispier in our video, but check out the instructions below if you want to give the chewier type a go.

Finally, we love these pancakes because they are hugely versatile. Dipping, wrapping, dunking… the possibilities are endless (or at least many!)

In our opinion, choong yeo bang are at their peak tastiness when they’re fresh, so do try to eat these as soon as possible after they come out of the pan. Nom nom!

They’re wickedly good on their own, but here’s a few other serving suggestions if you feel like fancying it up a bit 😀

Wedges: Chop pancakes into wedges and serve with a variety of dipping sauces, e.g. hoisin, sweet chilli, and sriracha.

Wraps: Load these bad boys up with all sorts of tasty fillings for a satisfying meal. In our video, we went for juicy roast pork, fresh cucumber, and crispy carrot. You could also chuck in some boozy hoisin chicken and satay sauce 😉

Dunkers: You probably wouldn’t want to dunk American pancakes into soup, but one benefit of the choong yeo bang’s flatbread-like quality is that it makes for *excellent* dunking. For example, serving these up with our chicken and corn soup is superb comfort food. Mum also likes to make choong yeo bang alongside congee (rice porridge), making it the perfect marriage between simple/clean and devilishly indulgent.

 
Serves
Makes 14-16 pancakes
Ingredients

For the dough
455g plain flour
300ml warm water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

For the filling (per pancake)
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 generous pinches of salt
1 1/2 tsp finely sliced spring onions

For frying
Vegetable oil

Stack ’em up.

Drizzle ’em with maple syrup (and maybe top off with some cheeky bacon…)

Roll ’em up with Nutella, lemon juice and sugar, or ham and cheese.

Mate… you can even set ’em on fire a la crêpes suzette!

Who doesn’t love a good pancake!?

We all know of the fluffy American style pancakes, and many of us would have also tasted the delight of a thin French crêpe.

But did you know that the Chinese have a pancake too?

Okay, to be fair this one is more of a flatbread than a pancake, but someone started calling them ‘scallion pancakes’ some time ago and the name stuck.

Eh, we’re gonna claim it 😉

Choong yeo bang (literally, spring onion/scallion oil pancakes) are indulgent and there are a few good reasons why we reckon these little fellas deserve a spot in the pancake hall of fame.

First up, the spring onion finally gets to play a starring role! It is here that the bridesmaid finally becomes the bride, abandoning the role of garnish to assume the role of an important main ingredient. When fried up within the folds of a salty dough, the finely sliced spring onions provide a fragrant and super satisfying savoury flavour.

Secondly, these pancakes are deloicious whether they’re rolled out thinly (for a crispy delight) or rolled a bit thicker (for chewy layers). We make ’em crispier in our video, but check out the instructions below if you want to give the chewier type a go.

Finally, we love these pancakes because they are hugely versatile. Dipping, wrapping, dunking… the possibilities are endless (or at least many!)

In our opinion, choong yeo bang are at their peak tastiness when they’re fresh, so do try to eat these as soon as possible after they come out of the pan. Nom nom!

They’re wickedly good on their own, but here’s a few other serving suggestions if you feel like fancying it up a bit 😀

Wedges: Chop pancakes into wedges and serve with a variety of dipping sauces, e.g. hoisin, sweet chilli, and sriracha.

Wraps: Load these bad boys up with all sorts of tasty fillings for a satisfying meal. In our video, we went for juicy roast pork, fresh cucumber, and crispy carrot. You could also chuck in some boozy hoisin chicken and satay sauce 😉

Dunkers: You probably wouldn’t want to dunk American pancakes into soup, but one benefit of the choong yeo bang’s flatbread-like quality is that it makes for *excellent* dunking. For example, serving these up with our chicken and corn soup is superb comfort food. Mum also likes to make choong yeo bang alongside congee (rice porridge), making it the perfect marriage between simple/clean and devilishly indulgent.

 

GET THE METHOD →

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Add oil. Add about 250ml of the warm water and stir with chopsticks to bring the mixture together. Add the rest of the water gradually until you form a slightly sticky dough. You may find that you don’t need to add all the water!
Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Add a sprinkle of flour as you’re kneading if you find that the dough is unmanageably sticky. But it should be a little sticky. Leaving it a little sticky and not over-kneading is important if you want to avoid tough and dry pancakes! Pop the dough back into the bowl, cover, and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
OUR
TIP!
One of the hallmarks of a good choong yeo bang is its many layers. Rolling the spring onions and oil between several layers of dough gives the pancake a scrumptious flaky texture. Here’s two ways (courtesy of mum and dad) for rolling the dough to maximise layeredness (yep, that’s a word now).
To prep for the rolling:

Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough and roll into a ball. Place the ball onto a floured surface and press down with a floured palm. Roll the dough out into a squarish shape, just a few mm thick. Drizzle oil onto the dough and spread across the surface as evenly as possible. Sprinkle on salt and spring onions.

Then choose one of the following methods!
Method 1: Dad’s Roll and Squish

Take the edge closest to you and roll the dough up to form a thin snake. Pick up the snake by the head, and using your other hand gather the snake up into concertina folds by bringing the tail towards the head. You are effectively ‘squishing’ it together. Leave on a floured surface to rest. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Method 2: Mum’s Roll and Snail

As before, take the edge of the thinly rolled, spring onion topped dough closest to you and roll it up to form a thin snake. Grab the head (i.e. one end) of the snake and curl the dough up into a spiral like a snail. Tuck the ‘tail’ underneath and leave to rest for about 10 minutes before the second rolling out. This allows the gluten to relax a bit, making for easier rolling later on. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Once the dough has rested, roll out your snails/squished-up-blobs into lovely circles. You should be able to see the layers and hear the squishing of the oil between the layers as you roll.
OUR
TIP!
Roll out thinly (approx. half a centimetre) for crispy pancakes, and slightly thicker (up to 1.2cm) for the chewier variety. The former is great for chopping into wedges and dipping, whilst the latter is better for using as a meal-sized wrap.
Fire up your frying pan onto a low heat and add a couple of dashes of oil. Fry until both sides are golden brown and your house smells heavenly. You may want to add a little more oil between flips to ensure ultimate crispiness. Keep the pan on a low heat, as the pancakes need to cook right through.
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