Green onion pancakes, or scallion pancakes (蔥油餅), are a popular Taiwanese street food. They are made of flour, water, and green onions, and are usually served with a soy sauce dipping sauce. Green onion pancakes have been enjoyed in Taiwan for centuries and can be found at food stalls and restaurants all over the country. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history of green onion pancakes in Taiwan, their popularity, and how to make them yourself!
When I was little, I was always very excited at the weekends because if my parents went to the morning market they would always bring me green onion pancakes. They had a crispy and flaky texture with layers of green onion stuffing. To give the pancakes more flavour, they would add some sweet chilli sauce with an egg filling and it tasted amazing.
What is the history behind this dish?
Green onion pancakes are thought to have originated in Northern China, where they are known as Cong You Bing (蔥油餅). It is said that the dish was brought to Taiwan by immigrants from Fujian province in the late 19th century. The pancakes quickly became a popular street food in Taiwan, and can now be found all over the country.
Why are green onion pancakes so popular?
Green onion pancakes are popular because they are delicious, cheap, and easy to eat on the go. Also they are a great vegetarian option for those who do not eat meat. They can be eaten as a snack or as a main meal, and are often served with a soy sauce dipping sauce.
Which sauce to eat it with
The most simple flavour is white pepper The most popular sauces to eat green onion pancakes with are soy sauce, chilli sauce, and garlic oyster sauce. The pancakes can also be eaten with ketchup, honey, or any other sauce you like!
If you ever have the chance to try this delicious Taiwanese street food, I highly recommend it! Thanks for reading!
Flaky Green Onion (Scallion) Pancakes
- 200 g Plain Flour
- 100 ml Hot Water
- 20 ml Cold Water (depending on the flour you may need to adjust it)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tbsp Oil for the dough
- 3 Green Onions (scallions) finely chopped
- Extra Oil for cooking
Filling for 2 Green Onion pancakes
- 2 Beaten Eggs
- 1/2 Chinese Leaf roughly chopped
- A pinch of Salt
Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 2 tsp 2 Tsp Tomato Ketchup
- 2 tsp 2 Tsp Chilli Bean Paste
- 2 tsp 2 Tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp 1 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp 2 Tsp Water or Hot Water to melt the Sugar
Garlic Oyster Sauce
- 1 tsp Garlic Paste
- 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Water or Hot Water to melt the Sugar
White Pepper and Salt
- 1 tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- Add the flour and salt in to a mixing bowl then mix well. Pour in the hot water slowly, stirring using chopsticks or a utensil if its easier. Stir until the hot water is fully absorbed in to the mixture. (Do not use your hand as it will be hot)
- Slowly add the cold water and continue mixing. Dough flakes should form once all the water is added.
- Start to press everything together with your hand. You can add a little bit more water if there’s too much dry flour left. Or you can add a more flour if the dough is very wet. Once the flakes have been pressed togther, you should have no dry flour left. Then start to knead the dough in the mixing bowl or table, knead for approximately 5 mins until a tough dough has formed. Then add a little oil on your hand and cover the dough surface. Next put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or a plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature for around 15 minutes.
- Once rested, knead the dough again in the bowl or on the table, until it becomes smooth, it will just take a few minutes. Then cover with a damp cloth or a plastic wrap on the bowl agian and rest it for 40 minutes to 1hour. Or you can rest it in the refrigerator for one night. This will give the dough a better texture.
- Once rested, make dough into long sausage shape and cut into 4 then roll into the ball shape.
- Cover the dough balls with a damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent it becoming dry. Add some oil on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
- Take a ball and press it with the palm of your hand. Next using a rolling pin, try and make the dough into a rectangle shape. If you can not make it perfect it is fine, just make it long and thin.
- Once the dough is in a rectangular shape, brush some oil on the dough to cover the surface, add a pinch of salt, then sprinkle some green onions on the surface. You need to leave a 2 cm space from one edge. (see photo below)
- Gently roll up the dough, as tightly as possible. If there is any air, press it out.
- Next, you need to twist the dough. Take either end and turn in opposite directions. Take the twisted dough then create a spiral by rolling it in on itself. Tuck the ends underneath. Cover with a damp cloth or a plastic wrap and rest for 15 minutes.
- Take a piece of plastic wrap and lay it on the table (this will make it easier to handle the dough). Next place a dough spiral on the wrap and gently using your hand press the dough into a circle, or you can use a rolling pin to roll out the dough.
- The dough is very sticky and soft, so ideally you should make one and cook one. Or you can ready a tray with a piece of plastic wrap and stack the pancakes, seperating each using plastic wrap. This way you can put them into a bag then freeze. When you want to eat it, remove from the freezer, don’t deforst, just cook it like a fresh one and use a medium low heat.
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Put the pancake in the pan and reduce to a low heat. Cook the pancake slowly. If you use a high heat the outside will burn and the inside will not be cooked. Once the surface colour starts to become white then you can turn over and cook for 1 minute. You need to repeat this process, whilst scrunching the pancake using a couple of utencils. Cook until the pancake starts to take a nice brown colour and becomes crispy. Once you have cooked it, then sprinkle the white pepper and salt mixture which you can find below in the sauces section.
- Add the chinese leaf and the salt into egg and mix it well.
- Once your green onion pancake is cooked, remove it from the frying pan. Over a medium heat add some oil to the pan and add the half of filling. Cover with a green onion pancake, then use a spatula to push them together. Once the egg is cooked turn over and add the sauce or any thing that you like, then fold it in half. Remove from the pan.
- You can add some white pepper, more green onions and sauce, or whatever you like.
- Enjoy your meal 🙂
- Mix all the ingredients together and spoon the sauce over the pancakes.
- Mix the Oyster Sauce and garlic in a dipping bowl.
- Mix the white pepper and salt.