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Author Notes: The one (and only) problem with making homemade dumplings is you invariably end up with way more dough than pork filling. This is what three generations of my family have always done with the leftover dough. These crispy, hearty, but simple pancakes are the perfect complement to the boiled dumplings they play second fiddle to, but they also do nicely on their own alongside some wok-tossed veggies and tofu. —gisellechow
Serves 3-4 as a side
For the dough and filling
cups all-purpose flour
cup water, probably a bit less.
bunches green onions
cups canola oil
canola oil, for frying
- Dump the flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center for the water.
- Pour in the water and mix. I find using one hand to steady the bowl and the other to mix the dough is sufficient. Keep adding water a little bit at a time if necessary until the dough has formed, is uniform, and slightly sticky. Don't worry about overworking.
- Shape the dough roughly into a rounded disk and lay to "sleep" in the same mixing bowl you just used. Dampen a cloth or paper towel and drape over the dough lightly to prevent drying.
- Let the dough "sleep" for about 20-30 minutes.
- While the dough is sleeping, rinse the green onions and chop them, discarding the root ends. Set aside. It will seem like you have a lot. You should!
Rolling out the dough and filling the pancake
- Generously flour a work surface.
- Knead the dough a few times and check the consistency. It should be smooth and dry to the touch, but soft and pliable. If it is too wet and sticky, it will incorporate some of the flour from your work surface as you knead it. You may need to add more flour, but go slow. If it is too dry, it will be hard to knead, get crackly on the outside, and be slow to spring back. In that case, add a few drops of water.
- Once the consistency feels right, shape the dough into a disk shape and begin to roll it out with a rolling pin (I think the plain old wooden broom handle types are the easiest for this). Rotate the dough as you roll. Sometimes it may seem as though you aren't getting anywhere because the dough will keep springing back, but after a certain point it will start to behave and keep its shape.
- Roll the dough as thinly and evenly as you can. It should be a very large and thin circle. Patch the holes with torn off pieces from the edge.
- Pour the oil onto the dough's surface. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out evenly, taking care not to tear the dough. Make sure the edges are covered too.
- Generously sprinkle the chopped green onions all over the dough. Again, get all the way out to the edge.
- Generously salt and season the pancake. Most often heard complaint over three generations has been, "It's not salty enough!"
- Once the dough has been topped with the oil, green onions, and salt, start at the bottom edge of the dough and begin to roll it up all the way to the top so it looks like a long tube
- You may need to add some more flour to your work surface at this point. Next, press down lightly on each end to seal, and coil the roll around itself so it looks like a snail, tucking the ends under and pressing down lightly
- With the rolling pin, gently roll out the pancake a bit again, flattening it to the desired thickness. I like mine about 1/2-3/4 inch think. Remember, a thicker pancake equals longer cooking time.
- Heat a little oil in a heavy bottomed pan, just to cover it. I prefer a cast iron skillet. Cook the pancake on medium-low heat, about ten minutes each side.
- Cut into wedges and serve.