Growing up, I knew it was a special occasion in our house when Dad was in the kitchen. My mom was the one who cooked for us day in and day out. My dad on the other hand, made specialty foods for us when there was a holiday or if we were having important company coming over for dinner.
This green onion pancake was one of his specialties and one of my favorite childhood foods. This savory pancake is filled with a pungent green onion flavor and crispy layers of salty, doughy goodness. Who knew five simple ingredients could be incorporated into such a delectably tasty dish.
This is a very common street food item in the streets of the Taiwan night market. You can smell the oil and green onion perfuming the air as you walk from vendor to vendor. The pancake can be eaten at any meal, in lieu of rice. You can also use it as a tortilla and fill it with meats and vegetables, like a Chinese taco of sorts.
Chinese Green Onion Pancake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup finely chopped green onion
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt (more as needed)
6 Tbsp cooking oil
In a bowl add water to flour and mix with your fingers and mix until smooth. Set aside for 20 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth. After resting, remove the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Roll the dough to form a one inch thick log and cut into 6 pieces.
Take one of the 6 pieces of pancake dough, using a rolling pin, roll out into a circle about 4-5 inches in diameter. Brush dough lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and then some green onions over the dough.
Now roll it like a cigar (not that I condone smoking of any kind), into an egg roll shape. Then taking the dough from one end, roll it up again lengthwise until it forms a coiled ball. Then turn it over on its end (spiral side up) and press the dough down with the palm of your hand. Roll it out with a rolling pin, into a circle ready to be pan-fried. This technique will give the pancake its flaky layers.
Do the same to the other 5 rolls of pancake dough. Keep them separated, otherwise they’ll stick.
Heat up a pan and then pour in about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. When the oil is hot, fry the pancakes until golden brown on one side and then turn over to fry the other side. Enjoy best warm.