Extra (Ap)Petite: Quick Scallion Pancakes (and sandwich ideas!)

easy chinese recipes scallion pancakes shortcut

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During this time, I’ve especially missed comfort food by my mom, and have been brainstorming ways to recreate and reinvent some old favorites! She always has scallion pancakes in the works when we visit, sizzling audibly on the stovetop. These are usually crisp on the edges, flaky with layers inside, salty and fragrant with green onions. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I’ve heard their frozen version is actually pretty good!

Traditionally, scallion pancakes are made from a dough that’s kneaded, rested, twisted, then rolled out amongst other steps. It’s labor intensive in my opinion (example of a traditional recipe), so we’ve been testing out a few shortcuts! Below are two simplified methods that are pretty good – note that #1. the batter method results in a texture closer to soft pita wrap (which my toddler also loves), while #2. the dumpling wrapper method results in something closer to a crisp tortilla.

2 shortcut chinese scallion pancake recipes

Scallion pancake shortcut method 1. batter (left) versus method 2. dumpling Wrappers (right)

I usually eat these alone or with some congee or soup, but Nick was inspired by a local Boston restaurant Mei Mei and whipped up a few vegetarian friendly scallion pancake sandwiches. I definitely raised an eyebrow as he made these, by my oh my they were delicious! The pancake sandwiches from restaurants are a little too heavy for me, but by cooking your own at home, you can control the oil and let the other ingredients shine.

Shortcut Scallion pancake methods
1. Batter method

Super simple using pantry ingredients. You won’t get the flaky layers inside but I thought these were pretty good for how easy they were, and Nori loves them. Method is based on this post by China Sichuan Cooking with some adjustments.

Print Recipe
4.82 from 16 votes

QUICK SCALLION PANCAKES

Servings: 2 people, 3-4 pancakes depending on size

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 plus 1/3 cup water
  • 3 to 4 full stalks scallions chopped small
  • 1/8 tsp salt plus more for sprinkling while in the pan
  • oil for pan frying and brushing on top

Instructions

  • Mix the flour, water and 1/8 tsp salt in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Add in the scallions. It’s tricky to measure flour precisely, but you want the batter consistency to be fluid, like a heavy cream and not too thick. Adding a few Tbs more water if you need to thin it out can also help the end result be less doughy in the center and more crisp around the edges.
  • Heat 1 Tbs vegetable or avocado oil or just enough to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat, in a medium sized frying pan. We used avocado oil here just for the higher smoking point compared to olive oil.
  • After the oil is heated, use a large ladle to pour some batter into the center of the pan and quickly swirl the pan around to get the batter to spread out as THINLY as possible, like making a crepe. Using less batter at a time to make smaller pancakes also results in a more evenly cooked texture in the center.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat or until the bottom is lightly browned and crisp (lift a corner to check). Once it’s lightly browned, brush the top of the pancake with oil, sprinkle salt on top, then flip over and cook the other side for 4 to 5 more minutes. Adjust salt to your tastes, making sure you’re using enough to bring out the scallion flavor.
  • Optional: brush some sesame oil on the cooked side and then flip it again to sear for just a few more seconds. Sesame oil tends to lose its fragrant flavor after cooking, so I like to do this just near the end.
  • Cut into triangles and enjoy!

These can easily be made in advance and refrigerated, then warmed up by re-searing in a pan on medium high heat right before serving. We think these are even tastier reheated – and in essence, double pan fried.

how to make scallion pancakes using a batter
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The method shared by China Sichuan Food involved drizzling the batter in a circular motion, filling in some of the gaps, then using the back of the ladle to flatten it out and get it as thin as possible. You have to work very quickly otherwise parts of the pancake will cook unevenly or stick to the ladle. This is worth trying as as it creates a nice texture, but a speedier way is to just use the ladle, spooning some batter into the center of the pan, then quickly swirling the pan around to get the batter to spread out.

easy Asian scallion pancake recipe

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two quick and easy scallion pancake recipes

I eat these plain or dip into a soy, black vinegar, and sesame oil mixture, or some Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch hot sauce. Nick enjoyed his in the form of this breakfast sandwich with a fried egg, sriracha mayo (he does 1 part sriracha, 4 parts mayo, small splash of fish sauce), and grated cheese on top. This sandwich would be so good with some leafy greens like arugula, but we only had avocado! I love this egg and sauce combo just on some toast, too.

scallion pancakes egg breakfast sandwich

2. Store bought dumpling wrappers method

My mom has mentioned this method to me before as an interesting shortcut shared on Chinese cooking forums, and I’ve also seen it on Woks of Life. Whoever came up with it is genius because this does deliver somewhat flaky layers without the dough kneading work. Not to mention, a great way to use up leftover wrappers if you’re making dumplings at home (see our potstickers recipe here).

Ingredients
Easy to make as few as you want at one time, keeping the rest of the dumpling wrappers in an airtight container and refrigerated)

  • Store bought dumpling wrappers, usually found in the refrigerated section of Asian grocery stores or international markets. You’ll need 4 to 5 wrappers per pancake. IMPORTANT: Use round, white dumpling wrappers and not yellow, square, or wonton wrappers which are too thin for this hack. The ones I’m using here are by Twin Marquis brand.
  • Oil for brushing and pan-searing.
  • Scallions, chopped. I use approximately 1 full stalk of scallions per pancake.
  • Salt for sprinkling on

Directions
1. Put chopped scallions, oil, and some salt in separate little bowls to get everything organized.

2. On a cutting board or clean, dry surface, place 1 dumpling wrapper on the surface.

3. Brush with a thin layer of oil (use a paper towel if you don’t have a brush), sprinkle with a little salt and scallions. Note that many store bought dumpling wrappers already have salt in them. I cooked one finished pancake to test, then adjusted salt and scallion levels accordingly for subsequent ones.

4. Place another dumpling wrapper on top like a sandwich and firmly press it down with your palm and fingers to flatten. Next, repeat with the oil brushing, sprinkling of salt and scallions, and new layer of dumpling wrapper. I did 5 layers in total.

5. After your last layer, firmly press everything down again and then roll it out with a rolling pin until thin.

6. Heat 1 Tbs oil or just enough to coat the bottom of a pan over low-medium heat (lower heat than the batter method to avoid burning the thin dumpling wrappers). After the oil is heated, pan fry your scallion pancake about 3-4 minutes on each side. Lift an edge to check doneness, and when the bottom is lightly browned, brush a little oil on top and flip.

I found these were best enjoyed immediately!

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scallion pancakes shortcut using dumpling wrappers

Again I usually eat my scallion pancakes alone, but this sandwich Nick put together was delightful.

We usually have blanched broccoli crowns on hand for Nori and various dishes like pasta, and they worked perfectly here as a filling:

  1. Start with a handful of blanched broccoli florets. We dip broccoli crowns in boiling water for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes so it still has a crisp texture, and keep some of the stalks for extra crunch.
  2. Mix 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek chili paste or sriracha (optional), and 1 teaspoon hot water to thin out the hoisin.
  3. Toss the broccoli florets into the sauce. I used a pan here just as a quick way to heat up leftover broccoli and mix with the sauce.
  4. Place into a pancake, drizzle Kewpie mayo on top, and enjoy. Sub regular mayo if you don’t have Kewpie, but I do love this Japanese version of mayo made with some rice vinegar!

how to make a scallion pancake sandwich
vegetarian scallion pancake broccoli asian sandwich

For more easy meal ideas, check out our other Extra (Ap)Petite recipe posts!

easy ways to make chinese scallion pancake recipe

Leave a Comment

30 Comments

  1. Kaycee wrote:

    5 stars
    Hi, I’ve been silent stalking your site for like a decade now lol and this is my first comment. I really enjoy your quick easy recipes being a mom now who can’t cook, this is golden. I usually get anxiety when cooking and never really enjoy it cause I feel like I really don’t know whAt I’m doing. Most times I resort to making boxed mAc and cheese for the kids and Altho they love it, I feel so guilty. I Can’t wait to try this dumpling wrapper recipe. I just tried your egg drop corn soup recipe tonight ( the first soup I ever made ) and it was a huge hit with the kids and husband! So thank you !!!

    Posted 5.18.20 Reply
  2. sk wrote:

    5 stars
    I tried the dumpling wrapper version (even found the Twin Marquis brand) and it was delicious! Will definitely be making these again. Tastes great with a sunny egg too 🙂

    Posted 5.16.20 Reply
  3. Anabel Medina wrote:

    5 stars
    I tried the batter version, and it is so easy and good. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 5.13.20 Reply
  4. Thanh wrote:

    5 stars
    Tried the batter version, since I only had the square wrappers on hand. Super easy and satisfied my family’s scallion pancake craving! Looking forward to trying the wrapper version.

    Posted 5.13.20 Reply
  5. Lanna wrote:

    These look so good! I love how you modified the original recipe to make it more practical / simpler to make. I’m trying to add simple but still delicious meals that I can make for myself and my partner during quarantine.

    One thing it might be useful to add to the recipe is how many servings this produces so we can modify the amounts as needed.

    Posted 5.10.20 Reply
  6. Steph wrote:

    Super easy to make! Only 4 ingredients and if you add an egg on top, it’s 5! I was skeptical at first to see how simple the recipe was, but it was delicious and chewy with a crispy edge! Thanks for the recipe Jean!

    Posted 5.2.20 Reply
  7. lucy wrote:

    Hi Jean, love your blog! long time reader. I just wanted to mention you should try Korean pancake mix for your onion pancake. It’ll make the texture perfect. I tried the flour cheat and it was too doughy in the middle and took a long time to cook. Then I remember Koreans have a similar dish and there is a specific flour mix just for that!

    Posted 5.1.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Lucy – thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to check that out! x Jean

      Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  8. Debbie wrote:

    It only just occurred to me yesterday that I made this pancake recipe for lunch, and your braised pork recipe for dinner! It was a real Jean-Wang-kinda- day! I really like these recipes though, it makes a novice like me feel like I’m doing ‘real’ cooking! Look forward to seeing more!!

    Posted 4.26.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Debbie – I love that! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes, it’s been fun for us to share some of our family favorites! x Jean

      Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  9. Lauren Ng wrote:

    I made the scallion pancake with a fried egg and siracha mayo — on two separate days because the flavors were just that good. Thanks for sharing the simple recipe.

    Posted 4.23.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      That sounds like a perfect way to enjoy the scallion pancakes! x Jean

      Posted 5.4.20 Reply
  10. Carmen wrote:

    So yummy! We made the batter recipe and loved it! We added sesame oil as suggested.

    Posted 4.18.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed them! x Jean

      Posted 4.20.20 Reply
  11. REGINA SMITH wrote:

    I’VE HAD THE ONES AT TRADER JOES AND THEY ARE DELICIOUS. WHEN I MAKE THESE I ALSO THROW IN MUSHROOMS AND CARROT SLAW.

    Posted 4.11.20 Reply
  12. Betty wrote:

    I’m SO excited to try this recipe tomorrow night! Makes me nostalgic for my parents. I showed my husband the video in your IG stories with the dumpling skin method, which is perfect because we have so much extra dumpling skin!

    Posted 4.3.20 Reply
  13. Caroline wrote:

    I made this too! Thank you! Yum!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  14. Kara wrote:

    Made these with cassava flour and added garlic powder to the batter. Also subbed the water for 1/2 miso broth. Turned out excellent!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  15. Mireia wrote:

    These look too good! I’m definitely going to try it soon!

    Mireia from TGL

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  16. Trista wrote:

    I tried this this morning and using your sandwich idea I thought they may be good as the wrap for breakfast egg wraps! They were so tasty, I used the batter recipe and I have a feeling I had a thicker batter than shown but it worked well to provide a stable outside for the wraps. Thanks for the recipe!!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  17. Annie wrote:

    I ditched worked and tried to make this immediately after reading your post using some wonton wrappers that I had at home. The presentation was fine but the taste/texture was somewhat off.. like a crispy tortilla as you mentioned above. Will try with dumpling wrappers next time. Since I still have some left over scallions, I will give the batter version a try after I wrap up work.

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Annie! Yes unfortunately wonton wrappers are pretty thin and usually egg based which will take on a different texture. I think the brand we get is called twin marquis Shanghai style dumpling wrappers and are white and round.

      Posted 4.2.20 Reply
      • Annie wrote:

        I tried it again last night with the batter method and it came out so much better. Had it with soy sauce, vinegar and homemade chili sauce. So good!

        Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  18. Carolyn wrote:

    I made these this morning with gluten free flour for my husband who has Celiac Disease. He said maybe the best thing he’s ever tasted! My batter was still think after 1.25 C water to 1 C gf flour. But they cooked up great. I did do the suggestion of brushing a little toasted sesame oil on. First round he ate with a cooked egg on top. Second round he ate plain. Sending recipe to my 3 children who also have Celiac Disease. Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  19. Marilyn Rodgers wrote:

    These remind me of the cod fritters my mom used to make. They are a traditional food from Spain popular in Puerto Rico where she was from. Very yummy. Thanks for the recipe ideas!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  20. Leninha wrote:

    I also miss my mom’s food a lot!! Thank you so much for this!!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  21. Jen wrote:

    Made these last night and they were a huge hit – esp with the simplicity and short list of ingredients needed! Only thing I changed was after the first time frying them, the middle was still sort of gooey textured so I cut them up and re-fried them again making them super crispy!!

    Posted 4.2.20 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Great tip Jen, thanks! I forgot to add in the post we started making the batter ones smaller to help with the gooey texture in the center of larger ones.

      Posted 4.2.20 Reply
  22. Tiffany wrote:

    One of my fav comfort foods! Definitely including scallions on our next grocery trip and trying this out! Thanks for the comforting posts and easy recipes. ❤️

    Posted 4.1.20 Reply
    • Lera T wrote:

      Do you use non stick pan? If yes, how do you feel about teflon and other chemicals leaching into food. If not, what pan do you use instead?

      Posted 4.1.20 Reply

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