This will be my last post for Chinese New Year recipes, but certainly not my last Chinese recipe. Another of my favourite dishes that I ate in China was cōngyóubǐng (葱油饼); know as scallion or green onion pancakes in English. In many ways they are more similar to jiǎozi (dumplings) as it is a dough and vegetable dish, which is pan fried, and not to traditional western pancakes which tend to be sweeter and are closer to a cake batter. Some people also call cōngyóubǐng Chinese pizza because it is often eaten with hands and is cut into triangles.
There was a legend that persisted for a long time, and still does to some extend that when Marco Polo returned from China he brought the idea of pizza with him based on cōngyóubǐng, however there is evidence of pizza being made throughout the Mediterranean for at least a century before Marco Polo was even born. It is unknown when cōngyóubǐng was invented in China but it is believed that it started out as a street food, something that has continued into the present time. Most of the time on my way to work I would stop by one of the stalls that had set up next to the road and order some for breakfast, they were a cheap and quick meal to have, plus were always fresh and served hot. Today you can also find them in grocery stores, particularly those that serve Asian communities, but there is nothing that beats homemade ones.
After having made jiaozi I felt more confident in making cōngyóubǐng gluten free. I also found them much easier to make then jiǎozi and it went much quicker. Cōngyóubǐng consists of the dough, scallions or spring onions and some type of oil, traditionally lard is used but as I wanted to make them vegetarian I used shortening.
This is another great recipe to make ahead of time and freeze for later use or make lots and bring round to your next get together!
- 2 Cups gluten free flour, I used 1½ cups Bobs Red Mill 1-1 gluten free flour and ½ cup Bobs Red Mill garbanzo and fava flour.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ Cup cold water
- Pinch of salt
- ½ Cup minced scallions or spring onion
- ¼ Cup oil, lard or shortening
- Oil for frying
- Combine flour and 1 Tbsp oil in large bowl. Add water slowly; mix when half the water is in bowl mix dough to determine if more water is needed. Continue this until dough become uniform and clumps together. Mix and knead until a ball begins to form.
- On a floured surface cut dough into 15 balls, all roughly the size of a gold ball. Using a rolling pin flatten out and stretch into a round, try to thin it out as much as possible but make sure it does not break.
- Spread on some shortening to cover the round and sprinkle on some spring onions.
- Roll round up into a tube and press gently to flatten out again, and then roll again into a spiral. Press down gently and use rolling pin to flatten and spread out again into a larger pancake. Set to side and continue for as many as you want.
- Turn stove onto medium-high to heat up oil in a skillet. Place one to two pancakes in skillet and cook on each side for a few minutes, turning to ensure they do not burn. You want the outside to be a nice crisp golden brown colour.
- Cut into triangles and serve hot with soy-vinegar sauce, or cool down to eat later or to freeze.