Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chinese Scallion Pancakes and Asian Beef

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday is Chinese New Year and 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit.  Those born in this Chinese Zodiac year are said to be: Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.

To celebrate this occasion I was going to share a very personal recipe from my Grandmother.  But, my first trial didn't quite come out the way I would have liked so I want to re-make it before unveiling it to the world.  I want it to be perfect and do Grandma's recipe justice :).  So, stay tuned because you'll get this after the Chinese New Year and it won't make it any less delicious or special.

But no worries, you still get a Chinese recipe to ring in the Chinese New Year.  Scallion pancakes are essentially dough that has green onions mixed into it.  It's then rolled really thin and then pan fried until it is golden brown.  Typically it is then cut into wedges and served with a sweet and spicy soy sauce (kind of like they kind that's served with pot stickers) for dipping.  This is a favorite dish of my brother's.  He refers to it as "Chinese Pizza".  If you want the sauce recipe, see Ming Tsai's version which several bloggers have tried and recommend.

Wanting to somehow turn this into a full meal on its own I wondered wouldn't it be interesting to use the pancakes as burrito-style shell and fill it with meat?  So, I searched for a beef marinade and then put my vision to the test.  It was quite yummy and I'd say this creation was a success.  I'd almost call it a Chinese version of a Gordita but the meat is wrapped in the shell versus stuffed inside.

Looking for more Chinese recipes for your celebration?  Checkout my Chinese tag for ideas but if you really want to impress, I suggest the Chinese Bakery-Style Cake or Bolo Bao with Nai Wong Filling.  For a simpler sweet, try the classic Chinese Almond Cookie.

One Year Ago: Grandma B's Chicken a la King and Cream Biscuits

Chinese Scallion Pancakes
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Yields: 8 whole pancakes or about 48 triangular pieces.

  • 3 cups (750 mL) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water
  • 1/3 cup (90 mL) cold water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon (22.5 mL) vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons (15 mL) salt, to taste
  • 4 stalks scallion/green onion, chopped
  1. Place flour in a bowl; gradually stir in the boiling water and mix well; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Slowly add cold water; knead until smooth and dough can be formed into a ball.  Cover with a wet towel and let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Divide dough into 8 portions.  Knead and roll each portion into thin pancakes about 10 inches (25.4 cm) in diameter, then brush with 1/2 Tablespoon  (7.5 mL) oil, sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoons (0.5mL) salt, and 1/2 Tablespoon (7.5 mL) of scallion evenly on top.  
  4. Roll the pancake into a long roll with the ends tightly closed.  Coil the roll like a snail and tuck the end into the middle.  Press the roll with your hand then roll it out into a 1/4 inch (6 mm) thin pancake.  Repeat for remaining dough portions.
  5. Heat 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) oil in a skillet over low heat.  Add pancakes, cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Turn the pancake over and add 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) of oil around the sides of the pan.  Cook until the pancake is golden brown, lifting and shaking the pan several times during cooking.
  6. If using as a burrito shell, serve whole.  Otherwise, cut pancakes into 6-8 triangular pieces.  Serve warm with dipping sauce or fill with desired meat filling.
Source: p 137 of Unnamed Chinese Cookbook

Asian Beef
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  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon barbeque sauce
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
  1. In a small bowl, mix together hoisin sauce, sherry, soy sauce, barbeque sauce, green onions, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Cut flank steak across grain on a diagonal into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour sauce mixture over slices, and mix well. Refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight. 
  3. To cook meat, heat a wok over high with some oil.  Stir fry the beef a few minutes until it is cooked.
Source: Marinade from All Recipes


katie said...

The pancakes looks delicious~ I love the idea. Do you think they would work with Moo Shu Pork?

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles said...

Hi Katie! Sure, I don't see why not? Let your imagination go wild as you look to fill your Chinese burritos :).

Anonymous said...

I attempted to make this tonight as I fell in love with them from a Vancouver Restaurant. Since I no longer live there I had to improvise. It was very good! Though the pancake came out too thick and the meat perhaps didn't have enough hoisin sauce or needed some sugar. I would also recommend having the butcher cut the steak very thin.. which would also make this dish easier to put together. Though thanks for sharing.

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles said...

@Anonymous - Thanks for making these and leaving your suggestions for improvement! Honestly the scallion pancake recipe is one designed to be a stand-alone appetizer that's eaten almost pizza-style and served with jazzed up soy sauce for dipping. For rolling up with meat I agree that you could roll the pancakes thinner before pan-frying. Have a butcher cut the steak very thin is also an excellent idea!

Stephen said...

My aunt used to make this when we were young. I am asking my mum to try to recreate the dish. Thanks