July 4th Weekend wasn’t just a nanoscapes Painting Marathon for me, but an opportunity to revisit Scallion Pancakes. My recipes from 2006 date were from the “It’s complicated, so it’s ok” period. Complicated is fine; unnecessarily complex is unnecessary.
An undated NY Times clipping (and I searched the archives, to no avail) and some trial and error lead me to create “Super Simple Scallion Pancakes.” You have the basic ingredients: flour, salt, water, scallions and red fresno chili, sesame and canola oils. Make the dough in two minutes, and refrigerate it for an hour or overnight.
“Rolling and folding” seems more natural than the “coil and roll” instruction from my earlier efforts. In the spirit of multiple layers of puff pastry, cover two pancakes with scallions, stack, fold, roll and fry.
A small rolling pin (steal it from your children) and silicone baking mats make these a snap. Unable to leave anything alone, I cut the salt in half, added wheat germ and cayenne to the dough, and red tiny diced red fresno chili to the scallion mixture.
Super Simple Scallion Pancakes (adapted from the NYTimes)
Makes 4-6 pancakes
2 c all-purpose flour
1 T wheat germ
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sesame oil
1 c finely chopped scallions (or a mixture of scallions and garlic chives)
2 T finely diced red fresno or other chili pepper
Dipping Options: soy sauce, salt, rice wine vinegar
1. Mix the flour, wheat germ, cayenne, and salt in a food processor or bowl. Add 3/4 cup of COLD water and mix until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for one to 24 hours.
2. Cut the dough into 1-1/2 balls.
3. On a silicone mat (or parchment or waxed paper), roll the dough balls into 4-5″ rounds or near-rounds. Don’t obsess with roundness.
4. Each finished pancake will use two dough rounds. Brush one with sesame oil and top with scallions and red fresno or other chili.
5. Top with a second dough round and press the edges together. Brush with sesame oil and top with scallions.
6. Fold the rounds of dough in half. Press down with your rolling pin or your hands. Fold in half again and then roll the pancake back into a circle.
7. Heat 2-3 T oil in a non-stick pan. Fry the pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side, being careful not to burn the cakes. If you do this in batches, clean the pan between each batch or you will have an ugly burned flour smell in your kitchen.
8. While these are best served right out of the pan, it can be tedious to tend to the frying while your guests are grabbing the pancakes out of your hands. They can be kept in a warm (250 degree) oven. You can also freeze them. Reheat at 350 in single layers on pre-heated sheet pans on top of your silicone baking mats. Check after 10 minutes.