Back in the day, when I worked at a local restaurant, one of the chefs would make these heavenly fried scallion "pancakes". I used to get so excited when they were on the menu, just hoping there would be enough left at the end of the night so I could sample some. Something about those triangles dipped in a soy sauce mixture were just out of this world. I've been determined to duplicate the dish at home for years, but never came across a recipe that I was satisfied with. That is, until recently. (Thank the lord for cooking magazines!)
These "pancakes" were exactly what I was dreaming of all these years. The perfect balance of saltiness with the satisfactory crunch. I loved these so much, I took the time to make them for lunch for myself. They make a great appetizer, side dish or just as a snack. Excuse me while I go make some more!
Yield: about 6 servings
For the dipping sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
For the pancakes
1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup boiling water
7 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 scallions, thinly sliced
To make the dipping sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
To make the pancakes, mix together the the 1 1/2 cups of flour and boiling water in a medium bowl to form a rough dough. When cool enough to handle, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until slightly tacky. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting stir together 1 tablespoon vegetable, sesame oil and remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside.
Divide the dough in half. Cover one half of the dough with plastic wrap. On a lightly floured surface, roll the other half into a 12-inch round. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture over the round and brush evenly with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and half of the scallions. Roll up jelly-log style from the long end.
Coil the log into a spiral. Tuck the the end underneath and flatten the spiral with the palm of your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and repeat process with the remaining dough.
Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over low heat. Roll the first spiral into a 9-inch round. Cut a 1/2-inch slit in the center of the pancake. Cover with plastic wrap and repeat with the other spiral.
Place 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the preheated skillet. Increase the heat to medium-low. Place one pancake in the skillet. Cover and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the pancake is slightly puffy and golden brown on the bottom. Drizzle or brush 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over the top of the pancake, flip, cover and cook until the other side is golden. Uncover and cook until bottom is a deep golden brown and crispy. Flip over again and cook until crispy. Remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack. Repeat cooking process with remaining pancake.
Slice cooked pancakes into 8 wedges each and serve hot with dipping sauce.
Source: Cook's Illustrated, September & October 2016