Chinese scallion pancakes are one of my favorite things on earth to eat. If given an ultimatum, I would give up potatoes, rice and yes, even traditional bread in favor of my beloved pancakes. I love them so much that last night I made them for dinner and woke up early to eat the leftovers before Benny got up. Imagine, stealing food from my own child… yes, they’re that good.
They’re like Chinese quesadillas, but instead of cheese and beans, they’re filled with ginger, garlic, sesame seeds and lots of green onions. If I’m really ambitious, I’ll stuff them with sticky slivers of hoisin-glazed short ribs and top that with a tall pile of cilantro, fried ginger threads and even more green onions. The boys eat them by the stack too, and don’t even realize they’re loaded with garlic.
Here’s an easy at-home version using tortillas as a shortcut in place of more traditional dough.
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Chinese Scallion Pancakes
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
12 finely chopped green onions
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas, or use whole wheat as an option
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and set aside.
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds without oil for 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same sauté pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat until rippling. Add the garlic, ginger, and half the green onions. Turn the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and remove from heat.
Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg on each tortilla to completely cover, and sprinkle the green onion mixture over half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing down to seal. In a non-stick sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Brush the outside of the tortillas generously with egg and sprinkle outside with remaining scallions. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes on each side. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked, adding remaining oil as needed. Slice into quarters and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Please don’t be limited by the simplicity of the recipe or challenged by the complex hoisin short rib suggestion – a drizzle of hoisin, naturally brewed soy sauce, sweet vinegar and chili paste is delicious. I hope one of my favorites becomes one of yours too!
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