Chung Yao Beng - Scallion Pancakes A.K.A. Chinese Flat Bread
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
1/2 cup green onions (chopped)
Oil – either vegetable oil or olive oil
Mix the water and the flour until a sticky dough forms.
Flour a clean flat work area and knead the dough for a few minutes then place in a bowl and cover. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Flour your work area and rolling pin well. Divide the dough into 4 to 5 equal pieces. Take one of the pieces and roll it into a pancake about 1/8 inch thick.
Spread vegetable or olive oil on the dough and sprinkle generously with garlic salt, cilantro and green onion.
Roll the dough like a carpet.
When you have one long cylinder, turn the dough and roll in the other direction (like a snail).
Squeeze the dough a little to bind the folds and then roll it flat again.
Spread a little oil on a plate and put the flattened dough onto the plate. Spread more oil on the top of the pancake and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Oil the top of the wrap and put the next pancake on top and continue until you finish all the pancakes. You can prepare the dough ahead of time and store in this fashion in the refrigerator for up to one day. Make sure all the edges are covered with plastic wrap otherwise it will harden.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Fry the chung yao beng on one side until browned (see picture below). Flip and continue on the other side until done (approx. 4 minutes on each side).
Remove the chung yao beng to a cutting board and sprinkle with more seasoning if needed. Using a paper towel, scrunch the finished chung yao beng to separate the layers and add texture to the pancake. Cut into pieces and serve hot.
Chung yao beng is referred to by the non-Chinese-speaking world as scallion pancakes, which doesn’t do this appetizer any justice. Blueberries yes, pistachios, maybe, but scallion pancakes? Probably not. I think the misleading term here is “pancakes”. There is nothing about chung yao beng that resembles a pancake other than it’s shape. Chinese flat bread, I believe, is a much more suitable and attractive name for this dish. It is the perfect marriage of crusty exterior and chewy inside layers somewhat reminiscent of a naan, except chung yao beng is pan fried instead of baked – even better! Kids, adults, gourmets and amateurs all love chung yao beng for its simple preparation and tasty results.
Monday, March 7, 2011 - 10:37pm