We call them ‘Bing’ which is a shortened version of their Chinese name,饼. Actually, they are 葱油饼, which literally means ‘Onion Oil Cake’. Most people know them from their Chinese Menu name of Scallion Pancake, or Green Onion Pancakes.
These are devoured rather quickly here. They’re a combination of flaky, crisp, chewy, salty, oniony and delicious.
This recipe seems like a lot – I’d advise sharing. And cooked Bing wedges rewarm pretty well in the toaster oven, or you can keep the uncooked assembled dough globs around in the refrigerator for a few days and cook them as you like.
By the way, the dough recipe is the same recipe used for homemade potsticker wrappers in case you want to divide off some of the dough for a different purpose.
- 5 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 C Boiling or Very Hot Water
- 1/2-3/4 C Cool Water
Put the 5 cups flour in the mixer bowl with a dough hook.
Pour in 1-1/4 C Boiling water into the flour – all at once.
Start the mixer slowly and increase speed as water gets incorporated into the dough. The dough will be sort of floury, stringy and messy at this point.
Add in 1/2 C Cold water – maybe a little more if you like a softer dough.
Mix/knead until the the dough is smooth. (This is longer than a lot of people think.
You’re developing the glutens in the dough to make an elastic dough)
Put about 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil in a bowl and put the mixed dough turning the dough ball to cover the surface with a little oil all over, into that bowl to rest for at least 5 minutes.
If you don’t have a mixer, or you’re feeling energetic, all this can be done by hand. You’ll just need a bowl, measuring cups, and a sturdy spoon to start. Do the rest with lots of kneading, squishing, and folding. And tie back your hair.
You can now cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store the dough in the refrigerator for about 3 days before using it further.
- 1 Bunch Green Onions – Some people call them Scallions
- Black Pepper
- Approx 1/2 C Vegetable Oil (I use Canola, or Peanut Oil)
Wash the green onions well, checking to make sure you wash thoroughly around the areas where the leaves separate from the the white part of the onion. Dirt and sand hides there.
Divide the dough into 5 pieces.
Taking one, roll thin on a floured surface, turning the dough occassionally to prevent sticking to the counter. You should be able to roll something about 10″ in diameter with the dough thin enough to be almost translucent. It’s not important to for the dough to be particularly round actually – mine often resemble rectangles more than round.
Spread 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on the dough. I usually use the vegetable oil I’m going to be frying the pancakes in, but if you’re feeling flush, you can use sesame oil here for a nice sesame flavor. Salt and pepper the surface to taste – I use about 1 tsp salt and and grind a light amount of black pepper on the surface. Spread 1/5th of the chopped green onion across the surface.
When you’re ready to cook the pancakes, smash and then roll the coil from the top of the coil.
The coiling and the jelly rolling serve to get you the layers that are crispy and yummy if you fry these up right. The coil should roll out to about a 9 inch pancake. The dough will resist a little if you just made the coils. Gluten does that. If you kept the dough around a while, it relaxes more. Regardless, roll out the thing and don’t worry about minor amounts of escaping onions. You can smash them back into the dough if you want or just ignore them. There should be plenty still integrated in the doughy mess.
Heat about 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (do not use sesame oil here – it burns a too low of a temperature) in a flat bottomed pan. Place a pancake into the pan and fry about 2-3 minutes over medium heat or until the bottom has nice golden brown spots. Turn the pancake and fry the other side until nice and brown.