A simple and delicious recipe for the unique, donut-style version of Chinese Green Onion Pancakes, like the ones found commonly in Edmonton. It features pan-fried flaky dough filled with chopped green onions, rolled up in an particular manner.
It's true that they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I had always known that Chinese 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..."
However, my kids love the flat version. Possibly because it's easy to eat!
Anyhow, they do make for the best Green Onion Pancake Beef Rolls.
Only in Edmonton
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 version 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?
Edmonton lays claim to green onion pancakes as its "unofficial dish?"
Ingredients you'll need
These are really easy to make and consist of a few basic ingredients:
- all-purpose flour: regular all-purpose flour will work fine for these pancakes
- salt: I like using a sea salt, but you can use any salt that you like
- baking powder: adds a little lightness to the pancakes
- hot water: helps tighten the gluten strands and yields a more pliable dough
- sesame oil: adds flavour and aroma to the green onion pancakes
- chopped green onions: the star ingredient!
How to make them
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and hot water in a bowl. Mix together.
After kneading, leave the dough to rest for a short period of time.
Divide the dough into portions.
Roll out the dough and brush on a little sesame oil.
Add the green onions and fold the dough over.
Roll the dough out and fold it again, before sealing it.
What makes these different?
For this donut-style version, 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" (donut)
Watch how to make them
How to cook
Pan-fry them over a hot griddle or pan with a little oil.
You could choose to fry them, but I personally like them pan-fried.
Alternatively, you can use an air fryer to cook them as well.
How to serve
Serve the pancakes immediately (while 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 or chili oil and you've got an easy and delicious appetizer.
Can you freeze them?
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 pancakes onto a preheated pan and cook as per usual.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Braided Pork Floss Green Onion Buns
Green Onion Pancake Beef Rolls 牛肉捲餅 (Instant Pot)
A dim sum favourite, these 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)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 ½ C all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt + extra for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ C hot boiling water
- ⅓ C room-temperature water (you may not need all of the water)
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 C green onions (appx 8 stalks, or 1 bunch) chopped
- 3-4 tablespoon 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 3 or 4 equal pieces (depending on how large you want them). Roll each portion into a long rectangle about 2" in width and 8" in length.
- Brush on ¼ tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
OMG my all time favourite dim sum!!! I love how these are shaped in a donut style!!!!!! I've never seen them like this. I love making these at home and you can really control how much oil is used. Absolutely divine.
Yeah! I think this style is only found in Alberta, specifically Edmonton! It's so unique, and that's why I wanted to recreate it 🙂 Thanks Christie!
I'm from Edmonton and have been trying to find a green onion cake recipe that is like the ones I get here!! You nailed it!
I'm a born and raised edmontonian who loves green onion cakes.. I've had them from the every farmers market, and many times from the Green Onion Cake man himself and I have never see them with a hole.. awesome recipe, with or without it though
Found these delicious treats in Bonnyville Ab at Brosseaus department store. Everyone I serve them to loves them. Haven’t tried making them but gonna give it a whirl.
Finally figured out the folding technique. This was great!
Glad it worked out for you! Thanks for the letting me know Jason! 🙂
Yay! I've been looking for this kind of onion cake recipe for forever... I was just wondering if it would be okay to deep fry them instead of pan? Thank you <3
Hi Maria yes, deep fried would be even better. 😉 Report back if you try the recipe!
This is amazing. Edmonton is where I fell in love with these and recently I have been thinking about them. the first time I had them was at a Mongolian place and I seem to recall them being served with sambal oelek on the side. It was delectable!
I think the thing I miss the most about living in Edmonton is the food. That city has some AMAZING restaurants, plus some dishes that are unique to the city. When my wife and I used to eat Vietnamese, we used to go to a place on the westside that served "beef wrapped in piper leaf". When we moved back to BC and tried to get it locally, the server said "You guys must be from Edmonton"!
Thanks for the recipe. Looking forward to trying to make this!
Hi Jason, thank you for sharing your experience! Those green onion pancakes are the icon of Edmonton! I hope the recipe brings back enjoyable memories 🙂
Never pinned & printed something so fast!! As a past resident of Edmonton, these really bring back "the good ol days" of the best hangover food the city has to offer. These have the SAME DELICIOUS TASTE! Will be having these again and again, hungover or not 😀
Would you ever post a video of the process?
Ohh I am so glad to hear it, Mary!
I'll keep the video request in mind -- it's something I'd like to do in the future 🙂
Agreed. A video would be great.
Will work on it!
Can you cook in air fryer?
Yes, you can cook the green onion pancakes in an airfryer. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it, Seanna! 🙂
I live in Edmonton and LOVE these!! I’m not surprised they’re our unofficial dish considering how much me and my friends/family consume/talk/dream about them haha. Thanks for the recipe, i’ve been looking for this exact version of the onion pancake so I could make a healthier version. I’m going to try less oil and whole wheat flour and see how that goes because the guilt (and weight) from eating way too many is real.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I’m from Edmonton, and the first time I ever made green onion cakes I followed a different recipe and they just weren’t as good folded the “classic” way. The green onion cakes just somehow taste better when they’re made like this!
Glad you agree, Cindy! There's something about those layers when they're made this way! 😉
My SIL is from Edmonton...so excited to make these for her!
Ohhh yay, hope you all enjoy! 🙂 Thanks Jess
Oh how fun! I love the flat pancakes, but have never tried them in this style with the hole in the center. They look absolutely incredible!
I love green onion pancakes but never tried to make them myself! These donut shaped ones look like a fun to make. Can't wait to try!
Love that you have shaped them as donuts! Making them for tonight
Never come across these donuts-shaped green onion pan cakes? Will try these out this weekend.
Personally my favourite was from a restaurant called Beijing city. Very soft and doughy, crispy on the outside. Been tampering around with this awesome recipe because mine turn out too flaky. Probably doing something wrong but I add yeast which I found gives me the results most similar. Thanks for sharing Michelle! Great basis to work off of. I love adding a minced garlic clove directly in the dough😄
I'm sorry but I didn't like this at all. I followed the recipe but the dough made for extremely tough green onion cakes after frying. Also it only makes 3 onion cakes... which isn't really worth the effort. Double the recipe is a must. Perhaps I could've let it sit a little longer than 20 mins, but I think it still would've been too tough. I prefer onion cakes that are deep fried from frozen, they seem to have a much chewier texture with more flavor. Thank you tho
Hi Andrew, thanks for your comment. Sorry it didn't work out for you. This recipe mimics the folding style of Edmonton's green onion pancakes. The green onion pancakes that are served in restaurants are typically deep-fried from frozen, which produce an entirely different texture.
I love Edmonton style green onion cakes, and since going gluten free it has been very hard to find them. I made these using gluten free flour. I had to add 1/4 cup more flour just so the GF dough wasn’t sticky! It was delicious!
I have made these with regular flour for my husband before and he said they are better than the restaurants!!!
Hi Laura, thank you so much for your feedback! Glad to hear that a GF version worked out! 🙂