Flaky Scallion Pancakes In The Manner of Taiwan

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"The scallion pancakes provided here are similar to Malaysian or Indonesian roti and are rich in flavor yet light because of the many delicate layers. The total time given does not include the rising or resting of the dough. Source: Milk Street."

Original recipe yields 8 servings
  • FOR TAMARIND BUTTER (optional)


  • Serving Size: 1 (175.6 g)
  • Calories 535.6
  • Total Fat - 33.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 13.4 g
  • Cholesterol - 72 mg
  • Sodium - 14469.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 55.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 7.7 g
  • Sugars - 7.3 g
  • Protein - 9.9 g
  • Calcium - 54.5 mg
  • Iron - 3 mg
  • Vitamin C - 8.5 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg

Make the Dough

Step 1

In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups water and the egg. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and 2 teaspoons salt; mix on medium until well combined, about 1 minute.

Step 2

Add the melted butter to the water-egg mixture then, with the mixer running on medium, slowly add to the flour and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce to medium-low and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 7 minutes.

Step 3

Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured counter and divide into 8 portions (about 4 ounces each).

Step 4

Shape each into a taut ball. On an unfloured area of the counter, roll each portion against the counter under a cupped hand until the surface of the ball is completely smooth.

Step 5

Pour the oil into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place the balls in the dish and roll to coat with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 6

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.

Step 7

Using your hands, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in an even layer on a large area of counter (about 2 feet square). Working with 1 dough ball at a time, use your fingertips to push the dough gently out from the center until it forms an 8-inch round.

Step 8

Flip the round, adding more oil as needed to the counter to keep the surface slicked, and continue to push and stretch the dough until it forms a paper-thin round about 18 inches in diameter; you should be able to see through the dough.

Step 9

Shape the dough into an 18-inch square. If at any point the dough isn't moving easily, add more oil to the counter.

Step 10

Grease your hands with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter, then gently rub the entire surface of the dough with butter. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt.

Step 11

Using your fingertips, lift the far edge of the dough square and fold the top third of the dough down toward you, then fold the bottom third up, as if folding a letter; align the edges as much as possible. The dough will spring back slightly as you fold, leaving you with a long strip about 4 inches wide.

Step 12

Scatter 2 tablespoons of the scallions over the strip and gently press them in. Fold over 4 inches of one end of the strip, then continue folding the 4-inch area until you reach the other end.

Step 13

Transfer to two oiled plates and cover with plastic wrap. Shape and fill the remaining dough in the same way using the remaining scallions.

Step 14

Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

Step 15

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium until flecks of water instantly sizzle when they hit the pan, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 16

Place 1 dough square on an oiled counter and gently spread it into an 8-inch oval of even thickness; it's fine the oval is not perfectly shaped.

Step 17

Transfer the oval to the skillet, reduce heat to low and cook, occasionally rotating the pancake in the pan, until the bottom is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 18

Flip the pancake and cook until the second side is golden brown and crisp, another 5 to 7 minutes. While the pancake cooks, shape another dough square into an 8-inch oval.

Step 19

Using a spatula, transfer the pancake to a cutting board and cover with a dry kitchen towel.

Step 20

Using your hands, scrunch the pancake, pushing the edges together to help the layers separate. Flatten the pancake, then rotate 90 degrees, re-cover with the towel and repeat the scrunching process.

Step 21

Unfold the pancake and place it on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the entire process until all the dough squares have been used. It's fine if the pancakes overlap slightly on the rack. Transfer the pancakes to the oven and bake until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Step 22

Serve with Tamarind Butter if desired. Makes 8 pancakes.

NOTE: Don't use all-purpose flour. Bread flour is essential for a dough that can be stretched paper-thin. Don't worry if the dough forms a few tears or holes as you stretch it; they won't matter in the finished pancakes. Don't skimp on the oil used on the countertop; a thin but thorough coating is required.

NOTE: These pancakes are best when the dough is made and refrigerated a day ahead, but they can be shaped and frozen, then thawed and cooked just before serving. To do so, once the pancakes have been pressed into 8-inch ovals, freeze them in a single layer on baking sheets lined with lightly oiled kitchen parchment. Freeze until solid, then stack between sheets of lightly oiled parchment and place in a large zip-close bag. Seal and freeze for up to a month. When ready to cook, thaw on the parchment liners just until pliable, then cooked as directed.

Tamarind Butter (optional)

Step 23

In a small bowl, whisk together the chutney, honey, chili-garlic sauce, curry powder, and ½ teaspoon each salt and white pepper. Set aside.

Step 24

In a medium bowl, mix the butter with a rubber spatula until completely smooth. Add the chutney mixture, stirring until incorporated. Stir in the lime juice, followed by the cilantro, mixing well after each addition. Transfer to a serving bowl.

NOTE: The Tamarind Butter can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days; bring to room temperature before serving. It's also good slathered on regular bread.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



I'm giving these a 5-star rating because they tasted really good, but have to say that they are VERY labor intensive and no doubt take a lot of practice to get them right. On the plus side, the dough (using bread flour) was remarkably easy to work with! It stretched out paper thin, like the instructions said. But, being a novice, my rounds weren't perfectly see-through in all areas, and I think that affected the final cooking. I had a problem, too, with the "scrunching". The first pancake wouldn't separate into layers. For the second one, I tried to get the dough as see-through as possible when flattening the packets, and this seemed to work a little better. I still have six of the balls in the fridge and will give it another go tomorrow. Practice makes perfect!!! Sorry for the long review - but there was a lot to say! I'm glad I tried this out! And thanks for posting. One more thing - it helps if you watch one of the many YouTube videos out there...

review by:
(16 Mar 2020)