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scallion pancakes - crispy outside?

I've been playing around with making Chinese scallion pancakes; I've had some success, but I'm wondering how to get the outsides crispy. Mine are tender all the way through, whereas the ones I've had in restaurants often have a crispy outer layer but a tender interior.

The recipe I use calls for 3 cups of AP flour, 1 cup of boiling water, and 1/3 cup of cold water; the technique is basically like this one: http://userealbutter.com/2008/04/30/c...

Any tips on getting the outside crispy? Is it mostly a matter of the frying? Temperature? Amount of oil?

Thanks!

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  1. Well, of course you need enough heat. Heat the pan first, and when it's quite hot add the oil. Shouldn't take much, just a nice film. It should be fragrant but not smoking, and the pancake should start smelling good right away. I haven't made these from scratch, since I live in the L.A. area and all the Asian markets have them in packages for cheap, but I like to keep them around for lunches and snacks. I use an iron griddle, and just brush some oil on.

    1. I make them often, and mine always get nice and browned and crispy on the outside. I fry them in a mixture of vegetable oil and a bit of butter (because I like the flavour). As Will says, I think perhaps you don't have the temperature quite high enough. Mine end up looking like the ones in the site you reference - just slightly browned.

      Also, some of the restaurants in my area deep-fry their green onion cakes. I'm not a fan of that, but perhaps that's more what you're looking for.

      1. A tip from a friend's Chinese wife: stretch and fold, stretch and fold the dough many times to give them a croissant-like inner texture. Best I ever had.

        1. Pan fry. Use as little oil as possible. And get your pan smoking hot -- hot like "Africa hot". Fry until just golden-brown.

          1. You definitly need a good bit of oil and a med hot pan. Sounds like Will and MrsCris have it right!

            1 Reply
            1. re: chefj

              you also might try using a different flour with less protein and add some rice flour.