A Green Onion Pancake, also known as the Scallion Pancake as well as Cong You Bing, is basically a nice tasting flatbread which is folded with oil and finely minced green onions. The bread here is non-leavened. Although the food originated in the Chinese culture, it has today become a favorite of the world thanks to the ethnic Asian population settling down everywhere and introducing people to this culinary delight.
Depending upon where it is consumed, the dish varies greatly. There are, however, some common ingredients and aspects. Green Onion Pancake is a street food but nowadays restaurants serve it as well. Mainly, the food is available in China and Taiwan.
Origin of Scallion Pancake
The Green Onion Pancake is one of those foods which go so back in time that it is difficult to trace and pinpoint their exact origin. In fact, there are a lot of legends and folk tales surrounding Cong You Bing and how the food came into being.
The most widely accepted theory about the dish's origin is that it originated in Shanghai, a Northeastern city with large foreign population, mostly Indians. This seems plausible enough because Green Onion Pancakes are made in a very similar fashion to the Indian flatbread delicacy, the Paratha.
Ingredients According to Common Scallion Pancake Recipes
Non-leavened flatbread, scallions which have been properly minced, and lots of oil are ingredients common to all Green Onion Pancake variations. In some variations, other ingredients like chopped fennel greens and sesame seeds are mixed with green onions making the preparation a little different.
Cong You Bing can also be fried with a coating of eggs. These pancakes are made entirely with wheat flour.
Methods of Scallion Pancake Preparations
To make Green Onion Pancake, the dough is filled to the brim with scallions, brushed with oil and pan fried till the preparation is golden-brown and tender. Sesame oil can be used to coat the flatbread and the minced onions can be mixed with other food items.
Sometimes, Cong You Bing is fried with eggs coated on one side of the flatbread.
Scallion Pancake: Serving and Eating
The Green Onion Pancake can be served as it is, in which case hands are used to eat them, or it can be cut into pieces. In restaurants across China, the pancakes are cut in wedges and served with a dipping sauce which is often soy-based. These are served piping hot and can be consumed immediately or after they cool off a bit depending on what is preferred.
Interesting Scallion Pancakes Trivia
Some people in China believe that the pizza is actually an evolution of the Green Onion Pancake. Legend has it that Marco Polo missed the Scallion Pancake so much when he was in Italy that he got chefs to make him a variation.