Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 26, 2012 01:39 PM

Saveur Onion Pancake Recipe

(Note: This thread was split from the Home Cooking Dish of the Month discussion. -- The Chowhound Team )

I am reposting this here because it was deleted from the nomination thread. I forgot to state I rephrased the recipe, which I did. So here is the recipe we talked about for Thin Onion Pancakes:

Here is Martin Yan's recipe for Scallion Pancakes as set out (but rephrased) in this month's Saveur magazine on page 18:


4 c. flour, plus more
1 T. baking powder
1 T. kosher salt
1/3 c. canola oil
2 T. toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced scallions
1 T. crushed red chile flakes
1/2 t. ground white pepper

Process 1/2 the flour and all the baking soda in a food processor. With motor running, add 2/3 c. cold water, process until dough forms, about 40 seconds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add remaining 2 c. flour and all the salt to a food processor and with motor running add 2/3 c. boiling water. Process until dough forms, about 30 seconds.

Return reserved dough to food processor, pulse until both doughs come together, about 35 seconds.

Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Kneed until smooth, about 4 minutes.

Transfer to a greased bowl. Cover and let sit at room temp for 2 hrs.


1/2 the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll 1 dough into a 10" x 20" rectangle. Brush with 1 T. canola oil and 1/2 the sesame oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 the scallions, 1/2 the chile flakes and 1/2 the white pepper.

Beginning with one long side, tightly roll like you would a jelly roll.

Cut roll crosswise into 3 pieces.

Slightly stretch each piece and starting from one edge, coil piece horizontally, tucking the end underneath. Using your hand, gently flatten coil into a dish; using rolling pin, flatten into a 5" circle.

Repeat, using your other 3 pieces, then do the same with the other 1/2 of the dough.

Let pancakes sit for about 10 minutes before cooking.

Heat 2 t. canola oil in a 10" skillet. Cook the pancake, swirling skillet and turning once, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a baking sheet, place in a 200 degree oven to keep. When ready to serve, cut into wedges and serve with a dipping sauce. I serve mine with a sauce made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, and pickled ginger.

Another recipe is posted online, but it appears to be a totally different one. It shows them being made step by step so it may be of some use to you:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. My daughter and I will be making these this weekend so I will report back with how they come out.

      1. I was pretty happy with these: But they didn't have anything on some of what I was lucky enough to eat in China.

        I love and subscribe to Saveur, and I might give this recipe a shot, but my money is on Serious Eat's being better. I like that Saveur includes recipes, but for me they're often too short on detail for as exotic as they can be, and when I'm actually familiar with the cuisine (Scandinavian, SE Asian) I often find myself scratching my head wondering what they're doing, further eroding faith.

        2 Replies
        1. re: adamj880

          I haven't made the Saveur version, but when Kenji at Serious Eats posted his cheese version I thought that it was a novelty I could get behind, and made that version.
          And, since everything is an experiment to me, I made the first batch as described, with a mix of cheddar and mozzarella. It was one of the flakiest scallion pancakes I'd ever tasted, and not overtly cheesy, at least with the mix I used. I made a second round with sesame and neutral oil in lieu of the cheese. This batch was much less flaky--good enough, but paled in comparison to the cheese batch. I attributed this to the solidness of the grated cheese creating mini-pockets, so I tried a third experiment with grated, frozen butter to try to replicate these pockets. I had high hopes for the butter version, but it was sort of soggy and refused to crisp up like the previous two versions, and wasn't that much more flaky than the oil version. I ran out of dough before I could try a grated solid animal fat version, but so far the winner in my book was the cheese (and I went in expecting to like something more traditional.

          1. re:

            Barbara Tropp had a dual temperature dough for scallion pancakes, so I don't think it's a recent innovation.

        2. How is that 'userealbutter' recipe totally different. Seems that there's the same basic idea - make flat disks of dough, sprinkle the onions, form into a coil, flatten, ... This one has the more complicated step of making 2 doughs, though it isn't obvious what that contributes.

          If you want a totally different scallion pancake, look for ones that start with a batter, and are cooked crepe like. It's easiest to find the Korean version, but I have a Chinese cookbook with it as well (the big yellow Encyclopedia volume).

          Come to think of it, I'd prefer to call this rolled, folded, and rolled version a scallion pastry. It may be flat and round like a pancake, but the preparation is quite different.

          4 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            Hi Paulj.

            I posted this in the DOTM nomination thread in response to another reader's request for the recipe. It was then moved by the Chowhound Team to its own thread (I guess we are not supposed to post recipes in the nomination/voting threads as they make the threads too long). That is why there are two recipes posted and no real question included in heading. Right now, savory pancakes are one of the contenders for the October 2012 DOTM discussion. If it doesn't win, someone may start a Savory Pancake Discussion Thread down the line.

            1. re: dkennedy

              My daughter, (age 11), and I made these thin onion pancakes for dinner last night. The recipe was super easy to execute but the result was nothing like what I get at my local restaurant. Ours were far less flavorful and not as oil laden as the ones we are used to. We made 3 pancakes, with each batch I tried to increase the amount of oil to try to get that restaurant result, but no luck. I was able to get them pretty thin. Maybe next time I will try seasoning the flour mixture more heavily? Any advice would be appreciated. Pictures to follow shortly.

              1. re: dkennedy

                Ming Tsai has a recipe on that I have made with great success. His version uses hot water instead of cold, but the amount of oil seems about the same. Perhaps worth a try as a comparison?

                1. re: smtucker

                  Agree. I haven't made the Ming Tsai recipe, but a friend of mine made some and they were delicious.

          2. I really liked these from Food52 better than Saveur's. I have used sesame oil and bacon grease as well as lard, and we liked bacon grease the best. I know, not traditiona - but delicious, flaky dough. I have not tried Kenji's yet - will give them a try.