2000s Recipes + Menus

Scallion Cilantro Pancakes

Makes32 hors d’oeuvres
  • Active time:35 min
  • Start to finish:35 min
December 2003
These scallion cilantro pancakes are supple and crêpelike rather than crisp—more Korean pa jon than Chinese scallion pancake.

For dipping sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 3/8 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

For pancakes

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (not from sweet rice; see cooks’ note, below)
  • Slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small fresh green Thai or serrano chile, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions (pale green and dark green parts only), diagonally sliced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed small fresh cilantro leaves

Make sauce:

  • Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, and oil in a bowl, then stir in sesame seeds.

Make pancakes:

  • Whisk together flours, salt, whole egg, yolk, water, chile, pepper, and sesame oil in a bowl (batter will be thin). Heat 3/4 teaspoon vegetable oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Pour in 1/3 cup batter, then scatter one fourth of scallions and one fourth of cilantro leaves over top, gently pressing into pancake. Fry pancake until underside is pale golden, about 2 minutes. Turn pancake over and cook until scallions are lightly browned, about 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels. Make 3 more pancakes in same manner, adding vegetable oil to skillet each time (there may be some leftover batter).
  • Transfer pancakes to a cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature, with dipping sauce.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Dipping sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
  • Rice flour—the base for numerous rice noodles and dim sum wrappers used in Southeast Asian and Chinese cuisines—is simply finely milled long-grain rice. Steer clear of “sweet rice flour,” made from sticky (glutinous) short-grain rice, as it gives food a distinct chewiness. Consistency among brands ranges from feathery soft to mildly gritty. The latter works best for this recipe (we like Arrowhead Mills brand; visit arrowheadmills.com for stores nearest you); the supersoft stuff made the pancakes too gummy.
Subscribe to Gourmet