I love Chinese food and while there are a few Chinese restaurants here in Tirana, I have yet to find a restaurant here in Albania that can fulfill my cravings. My solution? Make my own. I don’t do it often but when I do I am so glad that I did.
Scallion pancakes are a basic Chinese food staple. They come in many versions and forms but I think there is nothing better than a hot and crispy pancake that is fresh out of the fryer. Because the dough needs to rise twice, this recipe is from Flour Bakery takes some pre-planning and time to make but the results are worth the effort. You can eat them as a snack on their own, as an appetizer, or as part of a larger Chinese feast. Go ahead and make a double batch; they are that good and will disappear quickly.
For the pancakes:
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
- Place the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 3/4 of a cup of tepid water and allow to sit for 30-60 seconds until the yeast dissolves.
- Add the flours, sugar, and salt.
- Using a bread hook, mix the dough on low-speed for 10 seconds.
- While the mixer is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil pouring it down the side of the bowl to avoid splattering.
- Raise the speed one notch and mix for an additional 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled boil. Cover and place in a warm but draft-free area for 2-3 hours until the dough rises.
For the filling:
8 scallions, green and white parts minced
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups peanut oil
- Combine the scallions, oil and salt in a small bowl.
- Divide the dough into three balls.
- Working with one ball at a time on a well floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 5 x 10 rectangle.
- Evenly divide the scallion mixture over the three rectangles.
- Roll each rectangle jelly roll style to form a tight tube. Twist each tube into a coil.
- Place the dough on a floured board, cover with a lint free towel, and allow to sit for 2 hours.
- Heat the peanut oil until shimmering in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- With floured hands, flatten each coil into a 10 inch round, taking care to distribute the scallions throughout the dough.
- When the oil is shimmering, fry the pancakes, one at a time, for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Make sure the oil returns to the correct temperature before frying the next pancake.
- Serve immediately.
For the dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scallion, minced
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Serve with the pancakes.
Yields: 3 pancakes and 1/3 cup of sauce