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Scallion Pancakes (Green Onion Cakes)

These flaky, crispy, tender Scallion Pancakes are also known as Green Onion Pies. Regardless of what you call them, these Chinese treats are wildly popular for good reason. 

scallion pancakes sliced

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Chinese Scallion Pancakes and I go way back.  We’re such old BFFs that I can’t even remember the first time we met.

Whenever I sink my teeth into a crispy, flaky, salty scallion cake, I think of a couple of hole-in-wall Chinese restaurants that were favorite destinations for my parents to take us.  Piping hot savory pancakes fresh off the frying pan.  Total bliss.

Scallion Pancakes never disappoint.  They’re always mouthwatering, satisfying, and completely addictive. There’s nothing else quite like ’em, and all you need are 5 super basic pantry ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

stack of scallion pancakes

Homemade Scallion Cakes Need Only 5 Ingredients

If you don’t live near an authentic hole-in-wall Chinese restaurant that makes crispy, flaky, delicious scallion cakes, you’ve got 2 options: find some frozen ones from Asian grocery stores or make them yourself.

In a desperate pinch, nobody will be judged for toasting up some frozen scallion cakes. That said, we all know store-bought scallion pancakes don’t come close to homemade. You’ll only need these 5 pantry ingredients:

  • all purpose flour
  • salted butter
  • freshly chopped green onions
  • table salt
  • oil

Chinese scallion pancakes are traditionally served as an appetizer, they’re delicious when served alongside Chinese Fried Rice or this faithful Chopped Asian Chicken Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing.

You might be hailed as Best Mom in the World when you serve these up. All the eaters will snag ’em up so fast, you’re encouraged to grab your fair share before putting these on the table.

green onion scallion pancakes

Flaky, Tender Layers

It takes only a few ingredients to pull off these homemade scallion cakes.  The itty bitty trick is rolling them out.  Thinly rolling out the dough is what gives these pancakes their flaky layers inside.  You just have to get one scallion cake up your sleeve and you’ll have it down. You’ll be showing off your skills in no time.

Freeze Them for Later

You can freeze uncooked pancake rounds for your own stash of at-the-ready scallion cakes (we don’t recommend freezing cooked pancakes.)

Just roll out the dough as instructed, and stack them with 2 layers of floured wax paper or parchment paper in between each uncooked pancake. It’s important to use double layers of wax paper, as we’ve found 1 layer of paper to be too thin. Store in airtight container and freeze until you’re ready to defrost and cook.

Try These Refreshing Vietnamese Style Spring Rolls:


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green onion scallion pancakes

Scallion Pancakes (Green Onion Cakes)

5 from 5 reviews

These Scallion Pancakes are made with butter instead of lard. They are flaky, crispy, salty, and completely addictive. Plan ahead for a bit of rest time for the dough. Serve these guys immediately after frying, and watch them disappear.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 6 T salted butter, softened
  • 6 T chopped green onions
  • table salt
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Place flour in a large bowl. Add boiling water and mix with wooden spatula (will be thick and rather dry.) Let cool a few minutes. Add the cold water and knead the dough 5 minutes, until it is smooth. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour. Dough should be pliable and smooth, a bit tacky (like play-dough) but not sticky.
  2. Cover with cling wrap and let rest 1 hour at room temp.
  3. Transfer dough to a floured working surface. Divide into 6 even pieces and roll each piece of dough into a 10-inch round. Spread about 1 TB of butter on top of each round. Sprinkle each round evenly with 1/4 tsp table salt, followed by about 1 TB green onions evenly over the surface of each.
  4. Roll each round tightly up like a jelly roll (think taquito.) Then take one end and roll it up to the other side into a wheel (think cinnamon bun.) Secure ends tightly pinched. Let the buns rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. On a floured surface, gently press bun down to flatten (swirly side up) and roll out to 1/4 inch thick pancakes. Butter may seep out a bit during the rolling.
  6. Heat 2 TB oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium-low heat. Once oil is hot, gently place one cake into pan and fry until crispy and browned, shaking pan often. Flip over and fry other side the same way. Repeat with remaining pancakes. Pancakes can be kept on a paper towel lined baking sheet in a slightly warm oven, until all are prepared.
  7. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

Notes

If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ♡

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 262
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 34.1 mg
  • Fat: 4.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.8 g
  • Protein: 6.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.2 mg
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Chinese Scallion Pancakes, Green Onion Cakes

 

Make it at Home:

There’s also nothing quite like homemade potstickers.  These are made with ground turkey and napa cabbage, so they’re healthier and totally delish!

Potstickers

If you’ve never tried Dan Dan Noodles, it’s a must-try.  So easy, flavorful, and crowd pleasing.  Kids and grown-ups alike will devour it.

Dan Dan Noodles

It’s super easy to make your own Asian Sticky Rice.  We love make a big ol’ pot full and having plenty of yummy leftovers, which keep very well.

Chinese Sticky Rice

Did you make this?

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Recipe rating

25 comments

    • Leyla

    Hi, I’m wondering I’d I could freeze the scallion pancake unrolled dough? I’ve made the dough but just realized that I dont have enough scallions for all the pancakes. Could I freeze the dough and then defrost it to shape?

    • Jim

    Hello,
    I found your site while making myself hungry in the middle of the night and wanted to thank you for being one of the few people to have this style of green onion cake. Most sites are batter based or just roll the dough out without using the “jelly roll” method.
    I learned to make these many years ago (late 80s maybe) and I will definitely have to try your butter variation out 🙂 I had eaten these in a local Chinese restaurant and then found the recipe in “The Frugal Gourmet cooks 3 ancient cuisines: China, Greece, Rome.” At the time I did not have any lard or shortening so I fried some bacon and used the grease from that for the inner layers which turned out extra delicious. For the next batch I decided to crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on the inside in about the same proportion as the green onions; I also omitted the salt. If you don’t have an aversion to pork I highly recommend trying it this way!
    In addition to trying your butter method I am now curious to see how these would turn out with the alder-smoked salt I have….. I feel weight gain coming on… 🙂
    Thanks.

      • chewoutloud

      Jim, that sounds delish! Thanks for coming over, and glad you liked this. And yes, I definitely won’t make these if I’m home alone…gotta share them! 🙂

    • Melissa Lee

    I was excited to make this recipe! My pancakes turned out wonderfully: flaky, slightly crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. I will definitely be making these again and I appreciate your tip about freezing them once rolled out! A nice variation I tried was adding toasted sesame seeds on both sides during the final rolling, like I had eaten in northern China. Sooooo good! After making these I think I might be ready to try making my own dumplings. =)

      • chewoutloud

      Super fabulous, Melissa!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Melissa Lee

        I’ve made these again for the third time, at my teenager’s specific request. Correction: I made the dough and she did the rolling and shaping. 🙂 They are soooo good!

    • Rose Ann Sales

    It’s the first time I’ve heard of a recipe like this. Sounds delicious and very affordable.

    • April

    This recipe looks delicious! Could I use unsalted butter instead?

    • Aileen Elsbury

    Just made these in Derby, UK during lockdown, because I miss my best friend in Edmonton and the ones we got there. Thanks for the recipe, they were fantastic and I dipped them in ponzu and chilli oil x

      • chewoutloud

      So happy you enjoyed these! Coincidentally, my best cousin is from Edmonton 🙂

    • Carly

    Any way to sub out the butter/lard for a vegan version?

      • chewoutloud

      You can try shortening, if you’re staying away from butter or lard 🙂

    • Hannah

    Would this work with gluten free flour? Hmmmm

      • chewoutloud

      Hannah, you can try using a reliable GF flour mixture that includes rice flour. The only other thing that may need modifying is the water:flour ratio… it really depends on how “absorbent” your flour is. The key is dough that is pliable, soft, and feels like play-doh. It should come together easily; just sticky enough but not overly so. Hope that helps!

    • Katie Ayala

    Great recipe!!! Can’t seem to order these nice and crispy during the quarantine so decided to make some! Thank you for this! It hit the spot!

      • chewoutloud

      Katie, so so happy you enjoyed these! They definitely hit the spot when you can’t get them from a restaurant.

      • chewoutloud

      Thanks for letting me know; yes, they must have grabbed my original copyrighted photo from my site. Unfortunately, this happens 🙁 Try the recipe; I think you’ll love the flakiness 🙂

    • Doris

    I made them but, I used self rising flour and exquisite lard from Pennsylvania. They were very big and fluffy. I would make them smaller next time possibly for an appetizer with different chili dips and spicy jams.

      • chewoutloud

      Self rising flour will have ingredienta that make them fluffy. For traditional results, use all purpose flour. Glad you enjoyed; dip ideas sound yummy!

    • Jennie

    This was so much fun to make! Tastes like the real thing! I used half part butter and half part lard. I stuck the leftovers in the freezer and will reheat as needed. Hopefully they will taste just as good reheated. Thank you for sharing!

      • chewoutloud

      Whoop Whoop! So happy to hear it, Jennie 🙂 Sometimes ppl are fearful of lard, but it’s actually perfect for this; good call! They are easily reheated from frozen by putting in toaster oven or toaster, too 🙂 Thanks for coming over today and hope you continue finding recipes you love here at COL!

    • Liz

    Love all your Chinese recipes. Thank you and have a great Tuesday.

    • Carol at Wild Goose Tea

    I have never heard of these and I think I have been missing out. They look soooo flakey. Thank you for the introduction

      • chewoutloud

      Ooh, you have to try them, Carol… you can always try them first at an authentic Chinese (Mandarin or Taiwanese style) restaurant. These are so good 🙂

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