Let’s Lunch: Scallion Pancakes
It’s time for this month’s blog round with Let’s Lunch! I’m happy to be back after a couple of months of kitchen catastrophes and life crises, and just in time to celebrate the release of The Marijuana Chronicles, the brand new anthology including a short story by Let’s Lunch’s own Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan!
Despite the fact that I went to plenty of parties during college, I managed to never lay eyes or nose on marijuana at any of them, so my experience with munchies is limited entirely to the eternal non-chemical allure of a good French fry. (I would say that the lack of non-alcoholic recreation was because we were all so law-abiding but I suspect it was largely because we also took ourselves way too seriously.)
I do, however, feel totally confident in recommending scallion pancakes for anyone feeling the urge for a little snack. Hot out of the pan, they’re crisp, salty, and entirely delicious. I use Martin Yan’s recipe because a) Martin Yan’s good cheer and enthusiasm for cooking never fail to delight me, and b) it’s a damn good recipe. I have made these many times for parties, and they always get eaten down to the last crispy triangle. Always.
Scallion Pancakes (Lightly Adapted from Martin Yan’s Feast)
For the Pancakes:
3 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup scallions, finely chopped (approx. one bunch)
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening or cooking oil
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
For the Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. scallions, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chili sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (optional)
Splash rice wine vinegar (optional)
Place flour in a bowl. Add boiling water, stirring with chopsticks or a fork until dough is evenly moistened. On a lightly floured board, knead dough until smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl.
On a lightly floured board, roll dough into a cylinder and cut into 12 equal portions. Cover all unused dough while making cakes. To make each cake, roll a portion of dough into an 8″ circle approximately 1/8″ thick. Brush with a thin film of shortening and then sprinkle with sesame oil, green onions, salt, and pepper. (You can be fairly generous with the salt and pepper since the dough is entirely unseasoned up until this point.) Gently roll dough into a cylinder and coil dough into a round patty, tucking the end of the dough underneath. Roll out again to make an 8″ circle about 1/8″ thick.
Place a wide frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add 2 Tbsp. cooking oil, swirling to coat sides. Add 1 cake and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining cakes, adding cooking oil as necessary. Cut cakes into wedges (I generally go for six), and serve with dipping sauce.
If you’re thinking of making this ahead, experimentation indicates that this dough really does not refrigerate well. If, however, you make the pancakes and freeze them flat wrapped in plastic, they thaw and fry up nicely.
Still hungry? Check out the rest of this month’s offerings on Twitter, hashtag #LetsLunch, or below:
Spam Fries with Key Lime Dip at A Tiger in the Kitchen.
Sausage Rolls at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook.
Homemade Pizza Rolls at Dreaming of Pots and Pans.
Fry Sauce with an Asian Twist at HapaMama.
No-Time-To-Wait Nachos at Monday Morning Cooking Club.
Tater Tots, Fried Pickles, Peppers, Cheese Whiz and Garlic Bread Burger at Sandwich Surprise.
Sam Sifton’s Trini-Chinese Chicken at Spicebox Travels.
Farm Fresh Corn Fritters at Hot Curries & Cold Beer.
Spam and Kim Chi Sandwich at Vivian Pei.
Heavenly Hash Popcorn at Free Range Cookies.
Chocolate Chewy Squares from Jonathan Santofler.