Scallion Pancakes

phatch

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I've talked about these off and on over the years. Most regions of China have their own variation on the idea.

Chinese Cooking Demystified makes theirs in a thick fried sort of cake style which is not what I see most often.

The Woks of Life make it thinner than the Demystified folks but thicker than I usually encounter.
https://thewoksoflife.com/shanghai-scallion-flatbread-qiang-bing/ Theirs is also Shanghai style as is Demystified's.

Souped Up Recipes gave me my personal breakthrough in a thin style pancake from scratch with good results.

The hot oil seasoned roux-- Yo Su-- is a critical step. I like to thin the finished paste a bit with sesame oil. Another thing I like is that this dough mixes in a snap in the food processor, which is not her technique, but one I use where I can.

So that is what I've been doing for a few years now after my public experimentation 3 years ago in the 2018 Feb Challenge, Chinese topic. https://cheftalk.com/threads/the-february-2018-challenge-is-chinese.96939/post-576269

Since then, I've added another Youtube cooking channel, Xiaoying Cuisine. It seems pretty clear that she doesn't speak english and uses an automated translation service, probably Google Translate. So the titles are usually off the wall and the subtitles can be equally strange. But you can follow it and she does things I've never seen before or with entirely different approaches.


Her scallion pancake deviates by kneading the scallions directly into the dough from the start. And her rolling method is different. She divides the dough into mini loaves, and then rolls those the long way. Her Yo Su includes salted eggs which is an interesting touch, but she just folds the dough across in thirds and then rolls it up with a rest before the final roll. This is less handling and rolling than I often see and she achieved quite good layering.

I'm going to have to try those varations and see how they affect my results.
 
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The hot oil seasoned roux-- Yo Su-- is a critical step. I like to thin the finished paste a bit with sesame oil. Another thing I like is that this dough mixes in a snap in the food processor, which is not her technique, but one I use where I can.
Phatch, Do you think the Hot Oil Roux help absorb some of the liquid/steam that may happen during the cooking process. When you think flaky what comes to mind is what frozen butter does in the baking process for biscuits. I like Yo Su's method, thanks for sharing. The Street food pancake on top may have to be processed differently because it's a street food and doesn't have the luxury of a controlled kitchen atmosphere....
 

phatch

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I think the toasted flour roux resists incorporating into the dough better than just oil alone. Butter is usually chilled so it has that resistance to maintain separation. And the seasoning blooming in the hot oil is a bonus
 
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I think the toasted flour roux resists incorporating into the dough better than just oil alone. Butter is usually chilled so it has that resistance to maintain separation. And the seasoning blooming in the hot oil is a bonus
Phatch, I watched a few more videos and one showed equal parts of flour and just making a roux heating it on the stove. Another used just oil that wasn't hot. Watching these videos reminds me on how everyone has to change a recipe to make it their own. I liked how one gals recipes was described. She said she wanted the pancake to come out like a Chinese Croissant, flaky, chewy with a crunchy outside. I'm going to try the method you showed. If you come up with any other ideas or methods let me know.....Take care and thanks............
 

phatch

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I tried to hybridize between the Xiaoying and Souped up versions and other things that have worked before.

So boiling water dough, food processor mixing (plastic blade), scallions in the flour.
IMG_20210323_160921065.jpg

Seems a little wet and I don't want knead further by machine as I don't want to reduce scallions any further. The dough is greenish from the boiling water and the blade action.

After some kneading to even it out and work it. It's too wet. The blade action on the onions likely released extra liquid.
IMG_20210323_161133622.jpg

Trying out Xiaoying's forming method.
IMG_20210323_161602291.jpg

And the hot oil toasted flour and pepper.

IMG_20210323_162052792.jpg

Continued next post
 

phatch

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Rolling. The first one was a floured surface effort. Not good, still too wet and very sticky.
IMG_20210323_170329750.jpg

IMG_20210323_170401382.jpg

I got there in the end.Notice the oil bursting out at the 1:00 position. I did the rest with an oiled board and pin in the manner of Roti Canai or Sara Moulton rolling pizza dough.

The pancake form.
IMG_20210323_171651387.jpg

And a slice of pancake after cooking as I nosh a few more at the end of dinner.

IMG_20210323_175439602.jpg

There are layers but it wasn't flaky. The outside was crackly and the whole thing a bit tough. The flavor was quite good. I tried too many changes at once though.

I'm pretty sure of this. You shouldn't do a boiling water dough and scallions in the flour via the food processor. With scallions in the dough, stick with hand kneading and probably skip the boiling water or the dough will likely be too hot to handle. Maybe some of the hot and cold water mix methods would be appropriate there.

I liked the long rectangular roll out method for the first roll. I'll probably keep that.
 
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When I make roux say for gumbo, or gravy I usually dry my flour in a dry pot before adding oil/fat. I find it requires less oil/fat than raw flour and I like the nuttier flavor it develops. A wise chef taught me decades ago - "always pee before you start your roux" . . . and he was right. LOL

On that note my grandmother burned a roux once and it took two weeks to get that smell out of the house!!!
 
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