A recipe for Cong You Bing (蔥油餅, Chinese Scallion Pancakes)! This thin, crisp flatbread is filled with flaky layers and finely chopped scallions.
Cong You Bing is an unleavened Chinese pancake flavored with sesame oil and scallions. It is a fairly easy one to make with only a handful of ingredients. A simple dough is formed, flattened, filled with a layer of finely chopped scallions, rolled, coiled, flattened again, and pan-fried until crisp and flaky!
The dough comes together with a combination of flour, salt, and hot water. After kneading into a smooth and soft dough, it is allowed to rest for about 30 minutes before shaping. This will make the bread easier to work with and roll. Divide into 8 equal pieces and roll a piece into a thin rectangle. Brush the top with toasted sesame oil and sprinkle generously with scallions and a small pinch of salt. Roll the rectangle up, then coil to form the shape of a snail. Set aside and repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
Right before pan-frying, roll each coiled ball into a thin circle. The rolling and coiling process will help create those wonderfully light and flaky layers. Fry in oil (or lard) over medium-medium low heat until crisp on the outside. These Cong You Bing are best served warm. If you do have leftovers, freeze the pancakes in an airtight bag and reheat in a 350˚F oven until hot, about 10 minutes.
Try to avoid dusting the workspace with flour when forming the pancakes. Too much flour will create a tough dough. If they are sticking slightly, try coating your hands with a little oil first.
The Cong You Bing are delicious served on their own still warm from the pan, but you can pair them with a dipping sauce if desired. I personally like a simple dipping sauce made with a mixture of soy sauce, black vinegar, some finely chopped scallions, and minced garlic. A chili sauce would also be nice if you are looking for bit of heat.
Looking for more flatbread recipes?
Cong You Bing (蔥油餅, Chinese Scallion Pancakes)
Adapted from Seasaltwithfood
Cong You Bing (Chinese Scallion Pancakes)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 8 scallions chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil for pan-frying
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. With the handle side of a wooden spoon, quickly mix in the hot water. Knead until a smooth dough forms, 3-5 minutes. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Flatten a piece into a rectangle, then roll as thin as possible. Brush with a layer of sesame oil. Sprinkle with some chopped scallions and a small pinch of salt. Roll the dough long side to long side. Roll again from one end to the other to shape the pancake like a snail, tucking in the end. Set aside and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- In a cast iron or heavy skillet, pour in a thin layer of vegetable oil and place over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, roll a coiled pancake into a thin circle and fry on each side until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Adjust the heat as needed to brown the outside while still cooking the flaky interior. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
- Serve immediately, if desired with a dipping sauce.