While we have onion seedlings on the way in the Blackheath Community Farm Greenhouse, ever since our first day at the Farm we’ve had green onions or scallions growing in our allium bed. We always cut them off and leave the root in the soil and, without fail, they just keep coming back and growing more. If you’d like to have a ready supply of onions you simply can’t go wrong with them.
Check out this photo of the allium bed three years ago, before we built the giant enclosure or the hugel bed garden. Our first garlic crop is on the left.
Now’s a great time to get seeds started or plant out seedlings. Plant more than you expect to use and then you can have the luxury of making absolutely scrumptious Cong you bing, or Chinese Scallion Pancakes, as often as you like.
On this cold wet day they were such a treat. I used up all the green onions I had in my home garden, and they were so delicious I’ve just started sowing more seeds for both home and the Farm!
Chinese Scallion Pancakes with Dipping Sauce (and gardener’s fingers!)
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
- In order to make the pancake chewy but still easy to cook, use both hot boiling water and cold water. Hot boiling water dough is soft when well cooked, while cold water dough produces a chewier texture.
- Use only the green part of scallion or green onion. The hard white part usually pierces the wrapper.
- It is important to rest the pancake just before the last rolling out.
- In every step of this recipe, cover your dough with a wet cloth to prevent drying out.
- 2 cups unsifted all purpose flour (nearly 300g)
- ¾ cup water (1/2 hot boiling water + ¼ cold water) + 10ml for adjusting
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
- 2 cups chopped scallions (use green part only)
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. Chinese five spice powder
- For dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 scallion, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Pinch red pepper flakes
Mix salt with all purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Make a small hole in the centre and then pour the hot water in. Wait for 10 minutes and then stir in the cold water and vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball, cover and rest for 5 minutes.
Knead until very smooth (around 3-5 minutes ). The dough should be quite soft. Cover and rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
After resting, the dough should be quite easy to roll out. Divide the large dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a large round circle (18-20cm). Brush each one with some sesame oil, sprinkle with Chinese five spice power and chopped scallion (leaving 1 cm without onions around the edge).
Roll up the circle into a cylinder.
Roll the cylinder into the shape of a snail. Cover with wet cloth and rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Roll out the pancake to large around circle. Be gentle and use your hands as much as possible because a rolling pin will puncture the dough. It will be around 18cm in size.
Brush a frying pan with oil.
Pan-fry on medium temperature until the surface becomes brown around 2-3 minutes. Turn over to fry the other side. Use a spatula to press the circle from time and time especially the central part to ensure the circle is evenly fried.
Combine ingredients for dipping sauce. Cut pancakes into 6 triangles and enjoy!