Week Five: Scallion Pancakes and Cilantro Lime Chicken

I’ve been excited for green onions because in the winter, Jane got this amazing cookbook out from the library that had the following “pancake” recipe. The cookbook is called “Double Awesome Chinese Food” and these little pancakes made with hot water dough are VERY exciting.

We wanted a hearty lunch, so we used the pancakes like little chicken tacos to great success! They are pictured with the Pickled Veggie Sandwich Slaw recipe from last season – this week we used turnips, kohlrabi, and snow peas.

Frankly, the scallion pancakes could go with anything. I definitely changed a few of the ratios and added some turnip tops to the scallions, so I’ll write out the way I did it and you can find the original in the library! These “pancakes” are amazing – richly flavourful, delightfully flakey, and actually really simple! It’s going to be very hard not to make these every time we get green onions in our share, despite our commitment to variety here at Root Radical Food Blog Headquarters. But if all you do from this recipe is the scallion pancakes, you have won the day.

Scallion Pancakes and Cilantro Lime Chicken


For the Chicken

  • 6-8 thighs boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves and stems, rough chopped
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tsp salt

Scallion Pancakes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup hot water one minute off the boil
  • 1/2 cup green onions finely diced, almost minced
  • 1/2 cup turnip tops finely diced, almost minced
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil



  1. toss the chicken in the lime juice, cilantro and ginger

  2. place in the fridge in a sealed container, overnight if possible, or at least a few hours

  3. throw in the oven at 350 with all the marinade for about half an hour to forty minutes

Hot Water Dough

  1. boil some water, take off the heat, and leave to cool for a minute or so

  2. stir the flour and salt together in a medium bowl

  3. slowly add 3/4 cup hot water to the flour and stir until the dough coheres

  4. add up to a 1/4 cup more if there's lots of flour kind of hanging around on the bowl

  5. you might need to let it cool for a bit before it's handleable, but once it is, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until it's smooth

  6. put it back in the bowl and cover it for 30-60 mins

Scallion Addition Protocol

  1. this part is cute

  2. quarter the dough and roll into balls

  3. roll out each ball to about 8"

  4. mix the turnip greens and green onions together and quarter them so that there's an equal amount for each pancake

  5. brush a bit of sesame oil over each pancake, then sprinkle the green onion/turnip top mix on top

  6. roll up each pancake into a tube (they call this the "snake" phase)

  7. then roll that snake up like a snail, and make sure the tail is kind of pinched into the main lump (snail phase)

  8. then use your rolling pin and roll it out flat, back to the same diameter – depending on how fine you've chopped your scallions and turnip tops, some may pop out but this is fine!

  9. for each of these steps, you may need to shake some more flour onto your surfaces and on top of the dough, but go easy, because you want them to stick to themselves relatively well still!

  10. you can re-snake and re-snail as many times as you like for additional flakey layers, but i only went twice and that's plenty. the recipe even says you can just do the once.

Cooking the Pancakes

  1. heat a fair amount of neutral oil in a pan at medium high heat – we're not deep frying, or even shallow frying, but we're not being afraid of oil here either.

  2. once the oil is shimmering hot, gently slide one pancake at a time into the oil, and fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown

  3. once finished, sprinkle lightly with salt and place on a paper towel or a clean cloth you don't mind getting oil stained, to cool