Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Crispy Duck
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I’ve got a couple of absolute must-order dishes whenever I’m eating out at restaurants. If there’s Mac and Cheese as a side dish, it’s getting ordered. If I’m at a Malaysian or SE-Asian restaurant, I’m getting Roti Bread. Finally, and probably my more favorite and most ordered side dish is that wonderfully flaky, Crispy Scallion Pancakes from Chinese restaurants. These wonderful pancakes are crispy and flaky, with wonderful layers of lamination and are packed with that sharp and sweet flavor of Scallions. They’re a delight to eat, and we’re going to show you how to make them at home!

The best way to eat Crispy Scallion Pancakes is with a side of Crispy Duck of course!

Crispy Scallion Pancakes are definitely a side dish. Sure, they can be enjoyed on their own (and they’re delicious!) but they are best eaten as a side to a wonderful main. There’s plenty of delicious food that pairs well with Scallion Pancakes such as curries and hearty Soups. However, one of the best ways to enjoy these wonderful, flaky pancakes is with Crispy Duck!

It’s a classic combination of authentic Chinese flavors. The fatty, richness of the Duck pairs so well with Scallion Pancakes. The combination of flaky, crispy Scallion Pancakes along with the juicy Duck works perfectly. Of course, the taste of these two dishes combined is out of this world

How about some side sauces for dipping?

Finishing off this perfect combination of flavors is a great sauce. We recommend serving the dish with two sauces on the side, so you have some options of what flavors to pair each bite with. The first is the classic – Hoisin Sauce. The sweet, plum-like richness of Hoisin Sauce is the perfect combination with Duck

The second is such a simple sauce to make and is packed full of flavor. It’s a Soy Vinegar sauce, which you literally make by combining equal parts Soy Sauce and Chinese Vinegar into a bowl. Add a generous amount of Chili Crisps for some heat and crunch and it’s done. It’s a great dipping sauce for the Chinese Pancakes, and provides a salty / acidic alternative to the sweet Hoisin Sauce

The meal wouldn’t be complete without some greens. You’ll feel better about eating the dish that’s full of big, rich flavors with some fresh Broccolini on the side. It cuts through the richness of the meal and provides a well-rounded dish overall!

Chinese Scallion Pancakes dipping sauce
Make a simple and delicious Soy Vinegar side sauce for dipping

How to make Crispy Scallion Pancakes

These Pancakes are so easy to make and take no time at all. Unlike other doughs there is very minimal time needed for proving, so you can whip up a batch and be eating in under 30 minutes!

Begin by combining All Purpose Flour and hot water with Salt in a mixing bowl. You can use a stand mixer if you like, but the mixing requirements aren’t all that much so mixing by hand is just as easy. A good tip is to start mixing the ingredients together with a chopstick. This will combine the hot water with the flour without any risk of burning your hands. Chopsticks are great for mixing, as nothing gets stuck to it like using a fork or spoon would

Once the Water has combined, get your hands in there and mix everything together until a dough is formed. The dough will be quite tight, which is what you want. Once you’ve kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes it should be done. Cover, and leave to prove / rest for about 20 minutes

Make the paste for the Scallion Pancakes

While the dough is providing it’s time to make a paste for the Scallion Pancake filling. Simply combine Olive Oil with some Flour, the chopped Scallions, and Chinese Five Spice together in a small bowl. The Chinese Five Spice adds a wonderful spicy sweetness. It really helps to make the Pancakes come alive

Be generous with your Scallions too. We’re recommending about 1 cup or finely chopped Scallions, which will be enough for 4 large pancakes. It’s kind of like Chocolate Chip Cookies. The more, the better!

Start forming the pancakes to be ready for frying

To form the Scallion Pancakes into their wonderfully layered final form, roll out the dough once rested into a large rectangle. The thinner you can get the dough the better, so you should be able to roll the dough out to be about 1 ½ ft. in length

Brush the Scallion / Olive Oil paste generously over the dough. Be sure to give the dough full coverage, and don’t worry if some Oil drips off the pancakes. This step is about getting moisture and flavor into the pancakes

Scallion Pancakes dough rolling
Roll the dough out then cut into 4, even pieces
Pancake dough ready to be pressed
Turn the rolled dough on its side, then press it down firmly with the palm of your hand

Then, roll the dough into a cylinder from the shorter side of the rectangle. Once rolled, cut the cylinder into 4 equal parts. Place one of the cut pieces upright then squash it down with your hands with some force, then roll it out thin with a rolling pin. Repeat for the remaining pieces

Scallion Pancakes ready for frying
Once you’ve pressed out the dough, roll it out as thin as you can to form the pancakes ready for frying

This step will create this wonderful layers and a ‘spiral’ effect on the pancakes. Don’t worry if it breaks up a little bit, just fold it back over itself and roll it again. Honestly, the more layers you get, the better the result will be. More layers = more flakiness!

The final step – cooking the Crispy Scallion Pancakes

I treat this step just like I would make regular pancakes. Complete with the first pancake being a ‘test’ one! Heat some Vegetable Oil in a hot frying pan and then add one pancake at a time. You want to cook each side for about 3 minutes, but this may vary slightly depending on how hot your pan is

Once it’s a lovely golden-brown color, flip and cook for about the same time on the other side. It’s important that your Scallion Pancakes are rolled out thin, as this will avoid them being undercooked in the middle. We want these pancakes crispy, so a nice dark brown color is what we’re going for

Cooked Crispy Scallion Pancakes
Once the Scallion Pancakes are cooked they will form a beautiful, golden brown color

For some added flavor and a unique twist, try cooking the Scallion Pancakes in Duck Fat

There’s an age-old saying in the cooking world that ‘everything tastes better with bacon’. Well, we’d agree with that, but will add that ‘everything tastes even better with Duck Fat!’. If you’re making our Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Duck, you can use some of that rendered Duck Fat as a substitute for Oil when frying the Pancakes

The Duck Fat does have a lower burn point than frying oil, so you will just need to watch the temperature when frying. What Duck Fat brings is a ridiculous amount of flavor to the pancakes. We highly recommend giving it a try!

Speaking of Duck, here’s our guaranteed method for perfectly cooked, crispy skin Duck every time

We absolutely love Duck, and when it’s cooked properly it’s one of the best proteins out there. There are three sure-fire steps involved when cooking Duck Breast to guarantee perfectly cooked, crispy skin every time

Step 1 – Leave the Duck exposed in the refrigerator for at least 2 days before cooking

This step does require some foresight with planning, but that’s what we’re all about at Dinnertime Somewhere. Plan to cook this dish a few days in advance when you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping. Once you get the Duck home, take it out of the packaging, trim it up, then place it on a plate, exposed in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days

The exposure to the cold air in the refrigerator will significantly dry out the skin. Any moisture in the skin is what prevents it from turning crispy. So, drying out the skin is what you want. You can add a bit of Salt to the skin while drying in the refrigerator too if you like. This is the technique we also use for making Crispy Pork such as our Pork Belly and Pork Shoulder recipes

Crispy Duck with Scallion Pancakes
Follow our technique to get the most crispy Duck skin every time

Step 2 – no need to score the Duck skin, use this method instead

Scoring the duck skin is a very common method for helping to render the fat while the duck is cooking. It involves cutting the duck skin, which we’ve found can make the duck look a little bit hacked up once cooked

Try this technique instead. When you’re ready to cook the Duck, prick lots of tiny holes in the skin with a sharp pin. Yep, those pins that you use for sewing. Poke as many holes as you can in the skin of the Duck Breast evenly and all over. We probably do about 50 per Breast

These holes will allow the fat to render out of the Duck, through the skin while it cooks. It leaves a crispy skin, and a much nicer final presentation than when scoring the Duck Breast

Step 3 – Start to cook the Duck in a cold pan, and cook slowly on a low heat

To render as much fat out of the Duck as possible, place the duck skin-side down in a cold pan then turn the heat onto low. The duck will slowly start to cook, and you’ll see the Duck Fat start to slowly render out of the meat and into the pan

This process will ensure that the Duck Skin will gradually become crispy, while the fat is rendering out of the Duck. The result, after about 20 minutes, will be a perfectly rendered piece of Duck, with the crispiest skin you’ll ever eat! Flip the Duck over and cook the other side for a few minutes then it’s done!

Duck will need adequate time to rest, we recommend 10 minutes of resting before slicing

This is an important step, and one that is difficult to follow, especially if you’re hungry! Cooked Duck Breast takes a while to rest. The fibers in the duck need time to relax and for the juices to settle. If you cut into the Duck too early, the juices will immediately run

So, while it’s tempting to eat it sooner, please wait 10 minutes before slicing your Duck. We like to take the Duck off the heat at around 125 – 130F, and let it cook a little more while resting. You’ll get a perfect medium Duck. Slightly pink in the middle, with the crispiest skin you’ve ever eaten. A perfect pairing with Crispy Scallion Pancakes!

Recipe Details

Servings

2 people

Prep time

30 minutes

Cooking time

25 minutes

Total time

55 minutes

Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Crispy Duck Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Duck Breasts
  • 1 ¾ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 160g / ¾ cup Hot Water
  • 1 cup Scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Chinese Five Spice
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt

For the Soy Vinegar Sauce

  • 3 tsp. Soy Sauce
  • 3 tsp. Chinese Vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Chili Crisps

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 ½ cups of Flour with Hot Water into a large bowl along with 1 tsp. of Salt. Mix the water into the flour with Chopsticks to combine until there is no loose flour left, then work the dough with your hands into a ball
  2. Cover the dough with Cling Wrap or a towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes
  3. Add the remaining ¼ cup of Flour into a bowl along with the Olive Oil and Five Spice. Mix well to work into a paste. If it is too thick, add a little more Olive Oil if needed
  4. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a flat surface into a large, thin rectangle. Brush the Flour and Oil paste generously all over the dough, ensuring a good, even coverage
  5. Sprinkle the chopped Scallions over the dough, ensuring an even coverage. Roll the dough up into a cylinder from the shorter side of the rectangle, then, cut into 4, even pieces
  6. Stand each piece on their end then press down with force to squash the dough into a ball. Roll out well with a rolling pin to form a thin pancake. Repeat for remaining pieces
  7. Add a quarter of the Vegetable Oil to a large frying pan. Once hot, carefully place a pancake in the center of the pan. Fry for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for a further 3 minutes until golden-brown on both sides. Repeat for remaining Scallion Pancakes. Serve while hot!

To make the Crispy Duck

  1. We highly recommend removing the Duck from any packaging and refrigerating for at least 2 days before cooking for the Crispiest Skin. Before cooking, prick lots of holes in the skin with a pin / needle
  2. Season the Duck well with Salt, then place skin-side down on a cold pan. Turn the pan heat onto low and slowly cook for 20 minutes
  3. Once the fat has rendered and the skin is beautiful and crispy, flip the duck and cook for 3 – 4 more minutes on the flesh side to finish cooking. Once the internal temperature of the duck is 130F, remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  4. When you’re ready to eat, mix the Soy Sauce, Chinese Vinegar, and Chili Crisps in a small bowl and serve as a dipping sauce

Recipe Notes

  • You can also serve the dish alongside a bowl of Hoisin Sauce. The combination of Hoisin Sauce and the Soy Vinegar sauces add a great contrast of sweet and salty flavors
  • For a complete meal, serve alongside some simple steamed Chinese Garlic Broccoli. You can use our recipe here

That’s our recipe for a wonderful Chinese homecooked meal of Crispy Scallion Pancakes with Crispy Duck. We highly recommend giving this recipe a try for something a little different. The flavors and textures you can produce from this recipe are amazing! It’s well worth making for dinner!

If you enjoyed this meal, why not try out some of our other Chinese inspired dishes:

Happy Cooking!

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