Or you can use chives…just scallions, just red onions, shallots, or whatever combination you want.
The recipe isn't mine – I found it on the Food Network website – from an episode of East Meets West with Ming Tsai. If you want a copy of the recipe, here it is. I pretty much followed it exactly except that I used a combination of the baby scallions and the young red onions.
The first time I made these I used wild chives that were growing in among the horseradish and the asparagus. I didn't take pictures, though. And they were so good, I knew I'd need to make them again and this time TAKE PICTURES.
So here we go.
Bill had pulled red onions from the garden last weekend. He'd planted them last year, we let a few of them winter over to see how big they'd get. Well…maybe red onions aren't our crop. They looked like fat red scallions. I used one or two for this recipe, along with a ton of baby scallions Bill had thinned from our scallion planting. Here are a few of them:
They were so thin – like chives – but with the white ends of scallions, or spring onions. All I have to do was chop off the little bit of root at the end.
I had about a quarter cup of the baby scallions, so I used enough red onions to make the full half cup, more or less.
I'd made the dough first – just mixed the flour and boiling water together into a dough, shaped it into a ball, and let it rest for half an hour. Easy as pie. Easier, actually.
While the dough was resting, I also made the dipping sauce, which is fabulous, by the way, over rice or grilled chicken, or anything else, probably.
It's extremely easy to make, too.
You just take your chopped scallions, red pepper flakes, minced (I grated mine) ginger, and sugar and put them in a bowl…
Add the rice vinegar (I actually used an organic brown rice vinegar, by the way, not the Chinese type listed in the recipe) and the soy sauce…
And ta-da, your dipping sauce is done. Just stir it a bit to make sure the sugar dissolves.
And now it's time to make the pancakes.
You take your ball of dough – it's probably still warm – and roll it into thin, 1/8" or so, rectangle.
Or, in my case, a rectanglish shape, which you brush generously with the combination of sesame and canola oil.
Then you sprinkle on your scallions (or whatever you're using) and salt and pepper…
Let's have a closer look, just so I can prove that there actually are bits of red onions in there.
See? Okay, they look purple, but still. They're not green.
Anyway, now, after admiring the distribution of your allium elements, you roll up the whole thing, jelly-roll fashion. Or cinnamon roll fashion, depending on your taste preference.
It might be a little tricky getting it started, but just be patient and you'll do fine.
Okay, now the recipe tells you to cut this cylinder into four pieces, but I cut mine into six, just because I wasn't sure how much space they'd take up in the pan I'd be using. So keep the pan size in mind when you reach this point.
Now, the recipe also tells you to take a piece and "twist 3 times." I had a bit of trouble with this initially – the oil inside kind of dripped out – but after a bit of practice it gets a bit less messy. Just squeeze genly while you twist the dough. The twisting lengthens the portion of dough a bit and also helps create layers in the pancake.
Once you've done the twisting, lay the piece on your work surface and roll it into a spiral, like a snail's shell.
Tuck the end underneath and flatten the whole thing with the palm of your hand, and then roll it carefully into a thin disk about 8" or so in diameter. If it's not exactly 8, or if it's not a perfect circle, don't worry about it. It will still taste fabulous.
Continue this way until all the pieces of dough have been twisted and spiraled and flattened and rolled out.
Now, in your frying pan, heat the oil (I added in the remaining sesame/canola blend, too) on medium high until very hot and place one of your pancakes in it.
Check the underside after a minute or so – it will cook very quickly when the oil's hot enough. When the underside looks a nice golden brown, flip the pancake over and cook the other side.
You can go as dark as you wish, and when the pancake has browned to your liking, remove it and place on some paper towels to drain while you cook the next one.
In a very short time, you will have cooked them all.
You can either serve them as they are or cut them into wedges and arrange on a plate with your dipping sauce.