I am really enjoying branching out and trying new Asian recipes, so when I ran across this recipe I was immediately hooked. While it uses very few ingredients and the dough is made quite simply with flour and water, these pancakes have such a remarkable flavor. The combination of sesame oil, the scallions, salt and pepper, and being toasted in just a bit of oil all combine to create an incredibly delicious meal. And although the ginger dipping sauce is likely an after-thought as many condiments and dips are, this one could easily be the star of the show. The fresh ginger and red pepper flakes give it a great kick, and I’m already brainstorming other uses for this fabulous sauce. For starters, I think it would be great in place of standard soy sauce for sushi.
When writing about this recipe, I pondered renaming the dish Asian Fritters. Mmm fritters. My grandma always makes them around the holidays in many variations, although my family’s favorites are corn and zucchini. These pancakes tasted very similar to the fritters I am accustomed, and they were absolutely delicious. I didn’t use much oil so they weren’t bogged down in grease, and the crisp bite of the scallions was really able to shine through. In addition to not using many ingredients, this is a true quick meal. There is a 30-minute rest after the dough is mixed together, but that time can be used to make the dipping sauce and slice the scallions.
Do you have a favorite savory ethnic food that is made around the holidays? I definitely know it’s Christmas Eve when I walk into my grandma’s house and smell zucchini and corn fritters being fried up!
Craving more Asian-inspired food? Give the Sweet and Sour Chicken a whirl. You won’t ever want to order takeout again!
For the Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
Salt & pepper to taste
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
For the Ginger Dipping Sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Place sifted flour in a medium-size bowl. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
2. While dough is resting, make the ginger dipping sauce. Simply combine all ingredients and whisk to blend. Set aside.
3. On a floured surface, knead the dough a handful of times to bring it together. Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle about 18x13 inches.
4. Brush the sesame oil all over the surface of the dough, scatter scallions evenly over the oil, and then season with salt and pepper.
5. Carefully roll the dough up like a jelly roll, with the long side facing you. Cut the cylinder of dough into 4 equal pieces.
6. Take one pieces and twist 3 times. Coil the dough into a spiral and then flatten and roll again into an 8-inch pancake. The dough should be very thin. Repeat with the remaining three pieces of dough.
7. On a non-stick griddle over medium-high heat, brush 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Place one of the pancakes on the pan and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining three pancakes.
8. Cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.