This is a great combination of flavours that just is so satisfying and moreish. I like to serve it with XO sauce ( a spicy seafood sauce from Hong Kong) to give it some spicy seafood favour – but then it’s no longer vegetarian.
This dish also has a story – though it’s more fable than fact. The Xinhua newspaper reported that the scallion pancake was the humble beginning of the pizza. Apparently, Marco Polo had fallen in love with this dish in China and wanted to introduce it to Italy. Italian chefs struggled to put the filling in the middle of the pancake, so they ended up putting the filling on top of the dough and adding a bit of cheese along the way – hence creating the pizza! Unfortunately for this story, historical evidence suggests that pizza existed in the Mediterranean long before Marco Polo’s time. The first recorded use of the word ‘pizza’ dates from 997AD (in a Latin text from southern Italy), more than 250 years before Marco Polo was born. Nonetheless, I thought I would share the story with you.
400g plain (all-purpose)flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
220ml cold water
4 tbsp warm water
9 tbsp vegetable oil
6 scallions (spring onions), chopped
How to make scallion pancakes
Sift the four and salt into a bowl
Gradually add the cold water, mixing to make a sticky dough.
Add the warm water and knead the dough until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Mix 6 tablespoons of the vegetable oil with the scallions and set aside.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly foured work surface and knead lightly, then divide it into four equal pieces.
Roll out each piece into a rectangle about 20x10cm. Spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of the scallion mixture onto each piece of dough and spread it to cover the dough.
Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up each piece of dough to make a log shape. Coil each log into a snail shape and tuck the end underneath. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough into a pancake about 5mm thick; try not to break the dough when rolling out: if it is a bit thicker, just cook it for slightly longer.
Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil.
Cook the pancakes one at a time for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Keepthe pancakes warm while you cook the rest of the batch.
To make these spicier, add a drop or two of chilli oil to the scallion mixture.