Sometimes only bread will do. But when it’s a Sunday night and all the shops are closed, you have to fend for yourself with what you’ve got in the cupboards. Spring onion pancakes don’t require any particularly fancy ingredients and if you’re a fan of Chinese cooking, you’ve probably already got sesame oil in your cupboard. If not, substitute regular sunflower oil.
This recipe makes six crispy spring onion pancakes that I like to serve with a dipping sauce of soy and Chinese black vinegar. Some toasted sesame seeds would do nicely in there too.
Spring Onion Pancakes
2 cups plain flour
1 cup boiling water
1/4 tsp salt
5 spring onions, sliced finely
oil for frying
In a bowl, mix together the flour, salt and boiling water until it all comes together. Carefully use your hands to then knead the ball of dough until it’s smooth, about 5-10 minutes. If it’s still too hot, let it cool for a bit before starting to knead. Wrap with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes; keep it in the fridge if you’re leaving it for longer.
Divide the rested dough ball into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a flat, thin round, dusting with flour if the dough is sticking. Brush the surface of the round with sesame oil and then sprinkle over a sixth of the chopped spring onion. Roll the round tightly like a swiss roll, with the oil and spring onions on the inside. Curl this now tubular dough piece into a tight snail shape, tucking the end underneath. Now roll this snail shaped piece of dough out into a round about 5 inches in diameter. Pieces of spring onion will start falling out but don’t worry – just show them who’s boss and jam them back into the dough. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces (I start to fry at the same time as rolling them out).
Heat a frying pan (mine is nonstick) over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil and fry each pancake on both sides until golden brown, draining on kitchen paper when cooked; repeat with all the pancakes. Cut into wedges and serve.