This recipe was inspired by Jean Kwok’s novel, Searching for Sylvie Lee.
I sifted through the Internet to find a recipe for traditional Chinese scallion pancakes and came across several that involved making a dough, allowing it to rest, rolling it and re-rolling it, and then frying it into a crispy pancake. I tried one of the recipes, and it worked. However, given the extended amount of time it took to make the dough, I figured there must be an easier and less time-consuming way to tackle this.
Enter: an Asian scallion pancake in a version that has us incorporating bubbly water to give the batter some airy lift. And, the pancakes can be ready in a jiffy because you make a liquid batter that’s ready to scoop into a waiting hot pan. I chose to cook the pancakes in some coconut oil, first for its heart health benefits, and second, for its unmistakable flavour. This is what led me to create a dipping sauce with a coconut theme, a zingy splash of lime, and a note of fresh coriander. For some, coriander is a deal breaker. No worries here, if you’re not a fan, just leave it out. The dip will still be great! I had friends around to enjoy these as an appetizer and the plate was swiftly emptied!
Scallion pancakes are good on their own, or you can serve them alongside the Chicken Satay, or, Sweet and Sour Chicken dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25
Total Time: 35 minutes
Ingredients for the Coconut Yogurt, Coriander, and Lime Dip
- 250ml (1 cup) unsweetened coconut yogurt
- 50ml (¼ cup) fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- grated zest of half a lime
Ingredients for the Pancakes
- 120g (1 cup) all purpose flour
- 60g (½ cup) rice flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 250ml (1 cup) sparkling water
- 125ml (½ cup) filtered water
- 3 scallions, finely chopped into rings
- *Optional: 1 Tbsp finely chopped chili pepper, if you’d like to add some heat
- 3-4 Tbsp coconut oil
Directions for the dipping sauce
Start by making the dipping sauce. Chop the coriander, and then zest the lime into a small bowl with the yogurt. Mix this together until well combined.
Directions for the pancakes
For the pancakes, in a large bowl, measure in the dry ingredients and mix together. Add the beaten egg, sparkling water and filtered water, and give this a good stir with a whisk, trying to eliminate any lumps. Add the chopped scallions, and chili if you are using that. The batter should be easy to pour into the pan. If it’s too thick, it can end up stodgy and take longer to cook, so feel free to add a bit of water to make it into an appropriate pancake batter consistency!
Over a medium-high flame, heat a generous teaspoon of the coconut oil in a small frying pan. I used a cast iron skillet. When the oil is hot, pour a ladleful of the batter into the pan and swirl it around so it touches the edges of the pan. Cook this for about two minutes. Check the underside of the pancake, and when it looks brown and crispy, it’s ready to flip over. Cook for an additional two minutes. Repeat this process until you have used all of the batter. If you like, keep these warm on a tray in the oven set at a low temperature 50C (120F). When all of the pancakes are made, serve them with the coconut yogurt dipping sauce and a sprinkle of scallions to garnish.