Spring onion pancakes

Spring onion pancakes are a dish best presented with caution, as your guests are bound to want these again. And again. And again.

These crispy, flaky, savoury pancakes are great as a side dish or a starter, and go great with a salty, spicy dipping sauce, all washed down with a cold beer. They’re not easy to perfect, but once you’ve got this recipe nailed, you won’t be able to turn them out fast enough.

Work up the courage to embrace the Chinese pancake challenge, and add this killer dish to your repertoire….

Flavour: Savoury, salty and very, very moreish 😉

Serves: 4 – 8 as a side, depending on the array of option you’re presenting and/or the size of your appetites 😉

Ingredients:

Spring onion pancakes:

  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted (plus a little extra, for dusting)
  • quarter teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (you probably won’t need all of this)
  • 2 spring onions
  • a few drops of sesame oil

Dipping sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar – rapadura or palm sugar is best; raw sugar if you can’t get either of those
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • a few drops of sesame oil (optional)
  • a few chilli flakes (optional)

Directions:

Spring onion pancakes:

  1. Dissolve salt in warm water
  2. Stir salt water mixture into flour with spatula, adding water gradually until there is enough to bind the flour, but not so much that it becomes sticky – bind together until you have a ball of dough
    • Amateur tips:
      • if your dough is a little dry as it’s forming, add a few drops of water to loosen it up
      • if your dough is dry and flaky once you’ve formed a ball (i.e. you haven’t rescued it soon enough), add a few drops of sunflower oil to make it more moist and pliable
      • if your dough is too wet and sticky as it’s forming, add a little more flour a sprinkle at a time, kneading it into the dough until it’s smooth and pliable, not stiff and tacky
  3. Knead dough for 5 minutes – you should see it change texture and colour, with it turning slightly beige, and increasingly pliable yet firm
  4. Set dough aside in a bowl covered with a damp towel for 30 minutes – use some of this time to make your dipping sauce
  5. Finely slice spring onions, set aside
  6. Once your dough has rested, divide it into 4-6 pieces, and roll each one into a ball
  7. Dust your counter top with flour, and roll our each dough ball into an approximately 6-inch diameter pancake
  8. Sprinkle each pancake with a few drops of sesame oil
  9. Roll up each pancake into a tube, and twist each tube into a spiral
  10. Roll each spiral of dough flat into 6-inch pancakes again
  11. Sprinkle each pancake with chopped spring onions
  12. Roll up each pancake into a tube again, and again twist each tube into a spiral (it’ll be a bit messier this time because of the spring onions – try to keep it all together!)
  13. Roll each spiral of dough out one more time into 6-inch pancakes (some spring onion bits will try to do a runner, but keep it together as best you can – it won’t all come undone when you’re cooking!)
    • If you repeat the rolling up, twisting, and rolling flat steps a couple more times you’ll end up with an even more awesome flakier pancake, thanks to the layers you’re building in by repeating these steps – optional, of course, as it’s time-consuming
  14. Fry each pancake in a hot skillet with a tiny splash of oil, cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side before flipping and turning out onto a board
  15. Once all your pancakes are cooked, you can cut them into wedges (I usually cut each pancake into 6 pieces, but 4 or 8 are just fine) and serve with your dipping sauce – best eaten piping hot, and dipped using chopsticks

Dipping sauce:

  1. Stir soy sauce, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl until the sugar is well dissolved and the ingredients are well combined
  2. Stir in a few drops of sesame oil and/or a few chilli flakes if you like
  3. Serve immediately alongside spring onion pancakes

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