Friday, February 15, 2008

Scallion Pancakes (Tsung You Bing)

Makes 6 pancakes, cut each in 4 to 6 wedges.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting the board
1/2 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp cold water
4 to 6 scalolions (white and green parts), thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 to 4 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Stir in the boiling water until well blended; then add the cold water. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough is firm and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, dust it flour, wrap it with plastic wrap, and let it rest on the surface for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with several layers of paper towels and set aside.
Divide the scallions into 6 equal portions. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough into a 7 1/2 inch circle. Spread 1/2 tsp. sesame oil on the dough to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle with a scant 1/4 tsp. of salt and one portion of the scallions; them lightly press the salt and scallions into the dough. Fold the dough in thirds, pinch the ends closed, and roll the dough up loosely from one short end like a jelly roll. Turn the coil round side up, dust a little flour on it, flatten it slightly with your fingers, and roll it into a 5 inch circle. Repeat with the remaining dough and fillings.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. oil. When it is almost smoking, place one pancake in the skillet, and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning it once, until golden brown. Transfer the pancake to the baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven while cooking the remaining pancakes. Add oil to the skillet for each pancake. Cut each pancake into 4 to 6 wedges. Serve hot.

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