It’s true that they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I had always known green onion pancakes come as flat round discs, with lots of flaky layers. Similar to an Indian paratha. Except, when I lived in Edmonton, most of the green onion pancakes I encountered had a hole in the centre (like a large donut).
I started to enjoy this style of green onion pancakes, and maybe became a bit of a “food snob” — because when presented with “regular” flat-disc green onion pancakes — they don’t excite me as much anymore, but my kids love the flat version! Possibly because it’s easy to eat! However, they do make for the best Green Onion Pancake Beef Rolls.
When I was talking with my mom about green onion pancakes, she mentioned that she was curious about the ones she had tried in Edmonton, which she had never seen elsewhere.
I only realized that this donut-style of green onion pancakes is particular to Edmonton after I moved to Vancouver.
So when I visited Edmonton on our summer trip last year, it was my mission to figure out how to make these in this unique style.
(Did you know that Edmonton lays claim to green onion pancakes as its “unofficial dish?”)
WHAT’S IN CHINESE GREEN ONION PANCAKES?
Green onion pancakes are really easy to make and consist of a few basic ingredients:
- baking powder
- hot water
- sesame oil
- chopped green onions
HOW TO MAKE GREEN ONION PANCAKES FROM SCRATCH
The flour, salt, baking powder and hot water are combined to form a dough. After kneading, the dough is left to rest for a short period of time (to relax the gluten).
The dough is divided into portions and sesame oil and green onions are layered onto the dough after it’s rolled out.
WHAT MAKES THESE GREEN ONION PANCAKES DIFFERENT?
For these donut-style green onion pancakes, rather than rolling out the dough into a circle, and coiling it up, the dough is:
- rolled out into a long rectangle
- sesame oil and green onions added on top
- folded over lengthwise
- rolled out and folded again
- sealed together to create an “O”
The green onion pancakes are then pan-fried over a hot griddle or pan. You could choose to fry them, but I personally like them pan-fried.
HOW TO SERVE THEM
The green onion pancakes are best served hot and fresh. I like to sprinkle some flaked sea salt over the top once they come off the griddle and cut them into pieces with a pair of scissors.
Serve them with a sweet chili sauce and you’ve got an easy and delicious appetizer.
ARE THEY FREEZER-FRIENDLY?
Absolutely. You can freeze green onion pancakes (prior to cooking). If you don’t plan on consuming them at once, you can layer the pancakes in between parchment paper and place them into a freezer bag or container.
No need to defrost the pancakes before cooking them. Just place the frozen green onion pancakes onto a preheated pan and cook as per usual.
A dim sum favourite, green onion pancakes are a great way to use up those extra green onions you might have hanging out in the fridge. My kids get super excited when they see me make this quintessential Chinese appetizer.
Let me know if you try out this recipe — and if you’ve had those green onion pancakes in Edmonton! Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment below.
Green Onion Pancakes (Edmonton-Style)
- 1 ½ C all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp sea salt + extra for garnish
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ C hot boiling water
- ⅓ C room-temperature water (you may not need all of the water)
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 C green onions (appx 8 stalks, or 1 bunch) chopped
- 3-4 Tbsp avocado oil (or any high-smoke point oil) for pan-frying
- chili garlic sauce
- Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and hot water together in a large bowl. Mix with a pair of wooden chopsticks.
- Gradually add in the room temperature water until a dough is formed. (You may or may not need all of the water).
- Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes slightly smooth. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave for 15 minutes.
- Divide the rested dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each portion into a long rectangle about 2" in width and 8" in length.
- Brush on ¼ Tbsp of sesame oil on the dough and sprinkle the green onions on. (Sprinkle with additional flaked sea salt if you wish).
- Fold the dough in half lengthwise to close.
- Roll out the dough width-wise until it's about 2" again. Brush with sesame oil.
- Fold the dough over in half lengthwise to close and tuck in the 2 ends together to seal.
- Heat a griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Add about 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan.
- Place the green onion pancake onto the griddle/pan and cook until crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Sprinkle on additional flaked sea salt, cut into quarters and serve immediately.
- Serve with chili garlic sauce or chili oil.