It’s a well-known fact among food blog consumers that if you want to learn how to make simple Asian, primarily Chinese, dishes, Rasa Malaysia is a go-to place. Back in 2006 when there weren’t as many food blogs as there are now, Bee Yinn Low started her blog as a way of chronicling her attempts to replicate the dishes from her hometown of Penang, Malaysia. The site has grown in leaps and bounds for the past six years, gathering tons of fans, and resulting in Bee’s first cookbook, Easy Chinese Recipes: Family Favorites from Dim Sum to Kung Pao released in late 2011.
This recipe for Chinese green onion pancakes can be found in this book along with many other familiar Chinese recipes which you like but perhaps didn’t know are so easy to make. I love the flaky texture of these simple flat breads, the fragrance of the green onions, and the fact that they are delicious both unadorned and paired with other ingredients.
I have, in fact, been using these pancakes as satay sandwich wrappers. These are based on my chicken satay sandwich recipe — I just add some green onion slivers (the white parts that are left over), red bell pepper slivers, and thinly-sliced cabbage). I have also enjoy these pancakes spread with a good amount of Nam Prik Pao.
Chinese people (and Thai people as well, come to think of it), please forgive me.
Green Onion Pancakes
From Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low
Makes 8 pieces or serves 4 as an appetizer
1 1/2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) water (You may need a bit more as different brands of flour are packaged with different moisture contents.)
3 green onions, green parts only, sliced crosswise thinly (You should end up with about 1/3 cup.)
2 tablespoons oil (I use melted goose fat.)
Additional all-purpose flour for dusting and rolling
Additional vegetable oil for frying (I use melted goose fat also.)
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl; add the salt and stir to combine.
- Boil the water either on the stove top or in a heat-proof bowl in a microwave.
- Slowly add the water to the flour mixture and carefully (hot water!) knead the dough by hand until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. This takes about 10 minutes. If more water is needed, add more a little at a time; it’s always better to err on the side of adding too little as you can always add more.
- Form the dough into a ball, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- Add the green onion into the dough; mix well.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces of equal size; roll each piece into a smooth ball.
- Working with one dough ball at a time, while keeping the rest covered with a kitchen towel, roll the dough into a thin disc with a rolling pin. Dust the work surface with additional all-purpose flour as needed.
- Brush the surface of the disc with the vegetable oil.
- Roll the dough into a pretty tight cylinder — like you do a yoga mat.
- Coil up your doughy yoga mat into a snail, tucking and pinching in the “tail.”
- Dust the rolling pin with additional all-purpose flour and roll the snail out again into a thin disc, measuring about 6 inches in diameter. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls.
- Add about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Shallow-fry each side of the pancake until it’s golden brown, about one minute. Flip and fry the other side. Add more oil, repeat the same frying process for the remaining pancakes.
- Serve the pancakes immediately.