Crispy Scallion Pancakes
Published Jan 23, 2012•Updated Jul 27, 2023
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Crisp, flaky hot wedges of scallion pancakes are perfect for snacking, or serving alongside your favorite take-out fake-out dishes. Aromatic green onions are folded into layers of soft, chewy pastry-like pancakes, making these savory pancakes irresistible.
If your mouth waters at the thought of really good Chinese takeout, or savory, dippable snacks, then you have got to try these scallion pancakes. Break off little pieces of crisp, flaky pancake for a quick snack, serve them with noodle dishes and stir fries, or use them as appetizers at your next party. This versatile dish can be enjoyed in a ton of different ways.
Chinese green onion pancakes taste so good that they almost feel like a treat, but they are made with the simplest pantry ingredients. All you need to create a plate full of delicious, melt-in-your-mouth green onion pancakes is flour, water, salt, sesame oil, and scallions. The dough is easy to make, and can even be made the day before.
What is laminated pastry?
In baking or cooking, lamination is the process of rolling and folding a layer of fat into the dough. The best example of laminated pastries are croissants, which have layer upon layer of flaky, butter goodness.
Unlike a croissant, that folds butter into the layers of dough, in this recipe for scallion pancakes the fat component is sesame oil. When you fold layers of savory sesame oil into this dough, the result is super crispy, ultra flaky scallion pancakes.
How to Make It
- Make the batter. Using a food processor, combine flour and boiling water.
- Proof the dough. Knead the dough on a dusted counter to form a smooth ball. Cover the dough with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Shape. Separate the dough into even-sized balls. Roll and shape the dough, brush with sesame oil, and then sprinkle with green onions. Repeat the process, then flatten into a disk before cooking.
- Cook. In an oiled non-stick skillet, sear both sides until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
- Slice and serve. Cut pancakes into 6 wedges and serve warm.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is all you need to create a batch of beautiful scallion pancakes.
- Boiling Water – Boiling water is used to create a “hot water dough”. The boiling water cooks the proteins in the flour and makes the dough easier to work with. This process also makes the dough less stretchy and creates a more tender pancake.
- Sesame Oil – Sesame oil gives the pancakes the best aromatic flavor.
- Green Onions / Scallions – Thinly sliced scallions add a little crunch and more aromatics.
- Cooking Oil – Any neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point will work. Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or whatever you have on hand.
- Kosher Salt – Standard pantry seasoning to bring all of the flavors together.
You can make the scallion pancake dough the day before by transferring it to a bowl, covering it with plastic wrap, and allowing it to rest overnight in the fridge. Another option is to roll out the pancakes and freeze them until you’re ready to fry them up.
How to store
Store leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the pancakes in the microwave or in a lightly oiled skillet.
How to freeze scallion pancakes (and printable label)
Scallion pancakes are super freezer friendly. Just place the pancakes in a freezer bag or an airtight container, and separate each pancake with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper so they don’t stick together. Thaw the pancakes at room temperature for about 10 minutes before frying. They may need an extra minute or two to cook on each side.
Printable Freezer Label
Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!
- If the dough doesn’t easily come together in a sticky ball while combining the flour and hot water in the food processor, add one tablespoon of water at a time until the ball of dough starts to take shape.
- Make it spicy – You can make spicy green onion pancakes by adding red pepper flakes or ground Sichuan peppercorns.
- Add more aromatics – Mixing garlic powder into the dough makes the pancakes more savory.
There are so many ways to enjoy crispy scallion pancakes. You can serve these savory Chinese pancakes as a snack, as an appetizer with your favorite dipping sauce, or alongside stir fries, dim sum, or weeknight takeout.
Yes! Scallion pancakes require no animal fat. Sesame oil is used in place of butter or chicken fat to make this recipe vegan.
More Easy Asian Take-Out Fake-Out Recipes
- Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken
- Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken
- Slow Cooker Sesame Beef and Broccoli
- Easy Pad Thai
- Korean Chicken Lettuce Wraps
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Crispy Scallion Pancakes
- Food Processor
- Mixing Bowl
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced green onions / scallions
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Add flour to the bowl of a food processor. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in about 3/4 cup of boiling water. Process for 15 seconds. The dough should come together in a sticky ball and spin with the blade but if it doesn't, drizzle in more water a tablespoon at a time until it does.
- Dust a clean counter with flour. Transfer the dough from the food processor to the counter and knead it a few times until it forms a smooth ball. Cover the dough with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. (Note: You can also transfer it to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest overnight in the fridge.)
- After resting, slice the dough into four even pieces and roll them into balls.
- Working one ball at a time, roll out into a disk roughly 8-inches in diameter (dust the counter with flour as needed). Brush the surface of the dough with sesame oil and then roll the disk up like a jelly roll and then twist into a tight spiral, tucking the tail end underneath. Flatten with your palm and then roll it out again into an 8-inch disk. Brush the dough again with another layer of sesame oil and then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of green onions / scallions. Repeat the rolling process, rolling it like a jelly roll, twisting it into a spiral with the tail end underneath, and then flatten and re-roll into a 7-inch disk. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds.
- Heat a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with the cooking oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, carefully transfer one disk to the hot oil. Sear on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Immediately season the hot pancake with salt. Repeat with remaining 3 pancakes.
- Slice each pancake into 6 wedges and serve warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.