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Scallion Pancakes

Time 2 hours, largely unattended
Yields Makes 4 pancakes
LOS ANGELES, CA.,(May 1, 2020) How to boil water -scallion pancakes (Geneveive Ko/ Los Angeles Times)
(Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)
1

Mix the flour and ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl using chopsticks or a wooden spoon. Bring ½ cup water to a boil, then pour it into the bowl. Mix until the flour is evenly moistened and has formed large pebbles, then stir in ¼ cup cold water. Continue mixing until the dough starts gathering in large clumps. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth, tacky dough forms. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick rectangle, cover loosely with plastic wrap on the work surface and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

2

Clean the work surface, then rub it with a thin layer of oil. Uncover the dough and roll it using a lightly oiled rolling pin into a 24-by-6-inch rectangle (about ⅛-inch thick). Drizzle the oil over the dough and rub it evenly to coat the surface. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the scallions and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

3

Starting from one long side, roll up the dough tightly as you would a sleeping bag. Cut the long rope into 4 even pieces. Stuff in any scallions that may fall out at the edges and pinch the open ends and seams closed. Gently squeeze a piece to make it narrower and longer, then spiral it like a snail shell into tightly wound coil and tuck the end under the coil to seal. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

4

Gently press one coil flat with your palm, then gently roll it into a round 6 to 8 inches in diameter, depending on whether you prefer a thick or thin pancake. Repeat with the remaining coils.

5

To shallow-fry the pancakes, fill a medium skillet with oil to a depth of ¼ inch. Heat over medium heat until the oil is wavy, then carefully slip in a pancake. Fry, flipping occasionally to evenly brown, until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. To dry-fry the pancakes, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a pancake and let sit until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip, cover partially with a lid, and cook for 2 minutes more. Uncover and continue cooking, flipping the pancake every minute for even browning, until golden brown and no parts of the dough look translucent, 2 to 5 minutes more. To give a dry-fried pancake a little crispness, drizzle a little oil around the edges of the pan after uncovering and let it run under the pancake while it finishes cooking. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

Variations:
Sesame Scallion Pancakes: Substitute toasted sesame oil for the vegetable oil for brushing on the dough and sprinkle 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds over the dough along with the scallions and salt. Fry in vegetable oil.

Genevieve Ko is the cooking editor for the Los Angeles Times. She is a cookbook author and has been a food writer, editor and recipe developer for national food media outlets. Ko graduated from Yale after a childhood in Monterey Park.
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