February 26, 2021

Scallion Pancakes

Recipe: Jackie Kai Ellis

“Growing up, and even now, my family gathered for all occasions to make dumplings,” says designer, pastry chef and best-selling author Jackie Kai Ellis. “We spent afternoons making the dough, chopping vegetables for the filling and wrapping each delicious bite. At the end, out of the extra dough, we would make scallion pancakes, never wasting a thing. I always hoped for dough to be left over because the pancakes were my favorite part: the salty hits of onion, the crispy edges. It’s comfort, and isn’t comfort everything we need right now?”



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake and pastry flour
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 3–4 tbsp boiling water
  • 5–6 tbsp neutral oil, such as avocado or vegetable oil, plus more for cooking
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 7–9 scallions or green onions

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tbsp good-quality light soy sauce 2 tsp white or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • 1⁄2 tsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), optional


Yield: Makes eight 6" pancakes

Make Pancake Batter

  1. In heatproof bowl with wooden spoon, or bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, mix together two flours while you bring water to a boil.
  2. Add boiling water to flour, reserving last few tbsp. Mix by hand with spoon, or on low with stand mixer, until all moisture is absorbed into flour. If dough is moist, soft and has absorbed water with small specks of flour remaining, you may not need to add remaining tbsp or two of water. If you find dough is dry, add remaining water until mixture is soft and moist, but not watery.
  3. If mixing by hand, turn roughly mixed dough onto floured table and knead until well mixed and smooth, about 5 to 6 minutes. If using stand mixer, mix on medium-low until dough comes togetherinto ball and becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Shape dough into ball and wrap in plastic, or set underneath upside-down bowl for minimum of 1 hour. If dough isn’t perfectly smooth, not to worry; just allow it to rest and glutens will strengthen.

Prepare Scallions 

  1. Clean and cut scallions crosswise into thin rings. For harder white parts, split them lengthwise first so they break apart easier.

Shape Pancakes 

  1. After dough has rested, divide into 8 pieces and gently shape into balls. On floured surface, roll first ball until it’s as thin as possible and about 8″ in diameter. Be sure to keep remaining balls covered so they don’t dry out.
  2. Using pastry brush or your fingers, cover top of dough with 2 to 3 tsp of neutral oil and spread all over surface to edges. Sprinkle top evenly with about 1⁄8 tsp of salt, and finally sprinkle about 2 to 3 tbsp of chopped scallions over entire surface.
  3. Starting from one edge, begin rolling dough into cigar shape, then take roll and, with seam toward centre, curl cigar into snail shape, tucking end tail under snail. This will look like a small 4″ disc.
  4. Press down gently with palm to flatten, and roll disc to about 1⁄2″ thick or 6″ diameter. Continue this process with remaining dough. At this point, you can cook them or freeze with parchment between each pancake so they don’t stick together.

Make Dipping Sauce

  1. In small bowl, mix all ingredients together and set aside.

Cook Pancakes

  1. In nonstick skillet, heat a little oil to medium heat and fry pancake on one side, until bottom has deep, golden brown spots. Flip over and fry other side the same way. Let cool slightly on rack. Cut pancakes into four and serve with dipping sauce.

Jackie Kai Ellis


House & Home January/February 2021