Carbs and scallions (Scallion Pancakes). A wonderful combination. Add lard to that and it is an even better combination. The 101 Easy Asian recipes is an amazing cookbook. It really has helped me bring more Asian recipes and ingredients into everyday cooking. It takes a lot of traditional Asian recipes and simplifies them; which I appreciate. Now don’t get me wrong I like knowing the traditional way to make them, but I am also a fan of getting the masses to be excited about kimchi and pho, and I think the best way to do that is to make more Asian recipes approachable.
I have been itching to try the scallion pancake recipe in the cookbook. The cookbook’s version called for vegetable shortening. Not a fan. I thought how much better would these taste, if I used lard instead. OMG! Delicious. Crispy, savory, and a wonderful scallion flavor. I also made a dipping sauce that drives the flavor of sesame oil home. I added gochugaru to the dipping sauce because a touch of heat is always a must when eating something crispy and savory.
*These pancakes freeze really well so if you don’t plan on eating all 6, you can wrap them in foil and throw them in the freezer. To heat them up straight from the freezer, place them in a 350° for about 10-15 minutes
- 4 cups all purpose flour, plus additional if needed
- ¼ cup leaf lard (you can use solidified bacon fat here too)
- 1½ cups warm water
- ⅓ cup water, plus additional if needed
- 2 tsp kosher salt, plus additional
- ½ cup sesame oil
- ¾ cup minced scallions
- neutral flavored oil (canola, grapeseed or peanut oil)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1½ tbsp gochugaru flakes
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp crushed sesame seeds
- Combine 2 cups of the flour with lard in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until the fat is dispersed into nickel sized chunks. Pour 1 and ½ cups warm water into the bowl and mix until a stiff dough forms, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixture and add the remaining 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and ⅓ cup water. Knead on medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and supple and hold a finger print. I made this when it was very humid so I needed to add more flour because the dough was still very wet. If it is too dry, add more water. If you need to add more of either, only add 1-2 tbsp of water or flour at time until it is the supple consistency mentioned earlier. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Unwrap the dough and cut it into 6 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel so they don't dry out as you work. Lightly flour your work surface and use a rolling pin to roll one of the balls out into an 8 or 9 inch round. Brush the entire surface generously with sesame oil and sprinkle with 2 tbsp of scallions. Sprinkle with salt. Now roll the dough into a jelly roll log. Form the log into a tight spiral creating a cinnamon roll shape. Tent with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining dough, sesame oil, scallions and salt until you have made 6 cinnamon rolls. Let them rest for 10 minutes.(At this point they can also be individually wrapped and refrigerated for up to 1 day).
- Now it is time to flatten the cinnamon rolls. Lightly flour your work surface. Make two or three passes with the rolling pin, gently flattening as you go, then turn 90 degrees and repeat. Keep going until it is about 8 inches in diameter.
- Heat ⅛ inch of neutral oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the pancakes about 3 minutes on each side, or until very crisp and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve hot with the gochugaru dipping sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, gochugaru, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Stir to combine.
More Asian inspired recipes can be found here.