Spring onion pancakes are a Northern Chinese dish, that you often see being cooked on the streets. I made these a couple of weeks ago while my parents were here, because they spent many years living in Hong Kong and Beijing.
They are called pancakes but have a pastry like texture. Some eateries in China make them quite thick and others cook them paper thin.
250 grams of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of oil
220mls of boiling water
1 and a 1/2 cups of washed, VERY well drained and finely sliced spring onions
sesame oil for cooking
Place the flour and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Add the tablespoon of oil and the boiling water and mix everything with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture resembles dough, pop it onto a floured bench and knead it for a few minutes. Set it aside and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Place the dough on the bench and shape it into a long roll. Divide this roll into 24 pieces.
Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a small circle. The circle should be approx 10cms in diameter.
Sprinkle some spring onion onto the circle and roll the circle into a skinny log. Gently press down on the log, to lightly flatten it. Then roll the log onto itself from one end to the other to form the shape of a snail and set it aside. Repeat this process with all the circles. Once they are all in a snail/coil shape. Allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
Finally, place the coils on their side and roll them back into a thin circle. Stack the completed circles of dough on top of each other, separated by floured baking paper. Allow them to rest for a final 15 minutes.
Heat a small pan with some sesame oil and cook the pancakes one at a time. Cook one side till golden, then flip them over and cook the other side. I like to sprinkle a little salt on them as I cook them, to bring the simple flavours out.
Serve straight away. They are beautiful served with a curry or rice or noodle dinner. Or just as a snack.
This is one of my more time consuming recipes, but if you love spring onions like I do, love Chinese food and you enjoy cooking, you will enjoy making (and eating) these too. They are simple, fragrant, crispy and delicious.
Yields: 24 pancakes
Time: 30 minutes of preparation and cooking, plus the resting times.
Notes: Make sure your spring onions are as dry as possible. Keep your bench clean, dry and well floured.