International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Chun Yao Bang

(Chinese fried scallion pancake)

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Scallion pancakes are a familiar appetizer at Chinese restaurants around the world. And now you can make them fresh right at home.

Though they are called pancakes in English, chun yao bang (葱油饼) are actually made with a salted dough instead of a batter. A double rolling out of the dough produces several flaky layers that encase the chopped scallion filling before a quick fry in hot oil.

Perfect as an appetizer for a Chinese-themed meal or as part of a dim sum spread.

Makes 4 pancakes

Ingredients

  • Flour -- 2 cups
  • Water -- 3/4 cup
  • Salt -- big pinch
  • Melted lard or shortening or vegetable oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Scallions, finely chopped -- 1 bunch
  • Oil, for frying -- 3 tablespoons

Method

  1. Mix the flour, water and salt together in a large bowl until it all comes together as a doughy mass. Sprinkle a little flour on a clean work surface, and knead the dough until very smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover with some plastic wrap or a clean towel and set aside to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Take one of the balls of dough and roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 1/8-inch thick round about 10 inches in diameter. Repeat with the other ball of dough. Brush each round with melted lard or vegetable shortening.
  3. Sprinkle the chopped scallions into top of each dough round and gently press them into the dough. Starting at the bottom of one of the rounds, roll it up into a log with the scallions on the inside. Cut the log in half, then roll each half into a spiral like a snail's shell, pinching any open seams together. Repeat with the remaining round. You will have four spirals. Set them aside to rest for about 15 minutes.
  4. Once the spirals have rested, roll each out again with a rolling pin until about 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
  5. Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium flame. Cook the rounds, one at a time, until lightly browned on one side. Then flip and brown on the other side. Add more oil as necessary until all the rounds are cooked through and browned.
  6. Stack the rounds and cut into wedges. Serve immediately with soy sauce on the side for dipping.

Chun Yao Bang Variations

  • Sprinkle the scallion filling with toasted sesame seeds for added flavor.
  • Juicai Bing: Use chopped garlic chives instead of scallions.

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