Scallion Pancakes with Avocado-Mango Salsa
This week, it’s all about the art of hot water dough aka the base for dumplings and one of my favorites- scallion pancakes!
Have you ever been to a Chinese restaurant and had a piping hot order of scallion pancakes? I love ordering them because they remind me of making hot water dough with my mom in the kitchen at her restaurant Mandarin Kitchen back in Dayton, Ohio. She not only taught me how to make it, but also taught me the many different dishes that result from the dough. Hot water dough is fundamentally one of the building blocks of Chinese cuisine. Now you might be thinking that’s quite a statement. But, in all fairness, it’s true. Hot water dough can be rolled out to make scallion pancakes, pot stickers, ravioli, and even desserts. It’s so easy to make yet, so versatile. Today, I’m showing you how to make Scallion Pancakes with a slight twist.
Let’s chat about the hot water dough first. When making this dish, keep in mind that you’ll need a little time to allow the dough to rest. After resting, the dough should be used immediately. If you don’t plan on eating your creation the same day, go ahead and make the scallion pancakes and then freeze them for up to one month. Stay tuned for a post coming soon all about utilizing the dough for dumplings. I’ll give you a few tricks as to how to utilize the dough and freeze them so you can reap the benefits later on. When making the pancakes, keep in mind that you are building flavors with the layers. As you roll out the dough, brush with oil and add the scallions, make sure you twist a few times so that you continue to build layers. It won’t seem like it while you are building the pancakes, but you’ll see what I mean when you go to eat them. When hot, they’ll pull apart and you’ll see all the glorious layers you created.
In many restaurants, scallion pancakes are traditionally served with a fairly astringent ginger-vinegar based dipping sauce. While delicious, I’ve decided to show you how the pancakes themselves can be used as a serving vessel. The pancakes here are paired with a very simple avocado-mango salsa that’s bright, flavorful and is a great contrast against the warm scallion pancakes. Sometimes it’s the subtle salsa or dip that really transforms a dish. The mango brings just a touch of brightness and texture and elevates this from just a regular appetizer, to one you’ll have on repeat for parties. Eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Think of it as the new trendier cousin to avocado toast! Plus, mangoes and avocados are good for you and nutrition powerhouses. But, I’ll let Becca, my PR/Marketing guru and Registered Dietitian explain more!
Notes from Becca
Thanks Chef! You are totally right. While avocado toast might be trendy, I think we have something here! You can totally eat this breakfast, lunch or dinner or use it as an appetizer for a party. It’s not as time intensive as you’d think and you can 100% taste the difference the homemade dough makes. The salsa here is also incredible. The slight kick from the jalapeno adds another dimension, but what I love is the combination of the fresh mango and avocado. Did you know just 1 cup of mangoes contains 100% of your daily vitamin C needs? They also contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. Talk about a super food! Plus, when combined with the jalapeno, you get an extra vitamin C boost. Fun fact- 1 jalapeño provides almost 30% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Eat Well with Ming: While avocados have been trendy for a while, I think we should clear the air on why exactly they are so healthy. Did you know avocados are technically a fruit? They are actually one of the only fruit to contain fat, more specifically monounsaturated fat (the good kind!). As the “good” kind of fat they help increase absorption of fat-soluble vitamins- A, D, E and K. Avocados are also packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including polyunsaturated fats (also the good kind!), pantothenic acid, fiber, folate, vitamin K & E, Copper, Riboflavin, Potassium, Niacin and many more.
Scallion Pancakes with Avocado-Mango Salsa
1 recipe hot water dough, below
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Avocado-Mango Salsa, recipe below
1. Flour a work surface very lightly and roll out hot water dough into a log. Cut log in half. Roll out one half of a log very thinly (1/8-inch thick) into a large rectangle.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil and canola oil and brush over the pancake. Season with salt and pepper and cover lightly with the scallions.
3. Staring with the long side nearest you, roll the dough jelly-roll fashion to make a tight log. Twist each end of the log in opposite directions 4 or 5 times (this will make additional pancake layers), then w rap the log around itself to make a coil, tucking the outside end beneath the coil. With a rolling pin, flatten the coil to ¼-inch thick, brush with oil mixture and press sesame seeds into both sides.
4. Repeat with the remaining dough to make 1 more pancake.
5. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add pancake, one at a time, and cook until brown and crispy on both sides, turning once, 2-3 minutes per side. Slice each pancake into 4 wedges and serve with Dim Sum Dipper sauce.
Hot water dough
Makes 2 pounds
2 cups water
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1. To make the dough, bring water to a boil. In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the flour and salt. Slowly add the boiling water in ¼-cup increments, mixing with chopsticks until a ball is formed and the dough is no longer too hot to handle. All the water may not be needed. Knead the dough on a floured work surface until it becomes smooth and elastic, 15-20 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, return it to the bowl, and cover it with a damp cloth. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour.
Note- while the dough must be made and used immediately, the dumplings may be assembled, seared and frozen for up to1 month. Make dumplings according to recipe, sear and remove from pan. Drain on a paper towel. When cool, wrap in plastic, then foil, and place in a sealable bag. When ready to serve, remove from freezer, place in pan, brown side down, in oil for one minute. Add the water and steam for 6-8 minutes per recipe.
1 ripe mango, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 jalapeno, minced
1 lemon, juice and zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Mix together ingredients and place in a serving bowl.
2. Serve with the scallion pancakes