|Chinese Flat bread with scallion|
I love flour based food, noodles, all kinds of Chinese ‘bread’ and ‘flat bread’, dumplings, baozi… If one day I am getting really really big, it will be because of the flour. :))) But, I cannot cut it off my diet, so I go to jogging more often… Ha…
This Cong You Bing is one of my favorites, but, because of its caloric count, I don’t make it often. In literal translation, it is spring onion and scallion flat bread (bing), in some translations, it is also called ‘Chinese green onion pancakes’ or scallion pancakes. It has distinctive scallion smell and taste, which makes it different to other Chinese ‘bing’ recipes.
Some say this recipe originated in Taiwan, others say it is from northern China. I vaguely remember my grandma used to make something similar, but not the exactly the same. Cong you bing only became popular in North since mid 1990s, it firstly came out as a ‘xiao chi’, like ‘small bite’, I used to go to this ‘small bite’ bars with my best friends, with a few pieces of Cong you bing, and some soup, talked for a whole afternoon.
Only later, it became possible to order Cong yu bing in some restaurants. In England, I had it couple of times in Chinese restaurants when having ‘dimsim’, it turned out to be quite different thing — still with scallion, but fried, quite oily.
Flat bread with scallion, from its name, you probably already guessed it is made with scallion, there is actually quite a lot of scallion pieces. In the recipe, scallion is not used like in normal dishes – only small part to influence the dish, but as a main part. Normally only the green part of scallion used in the recipe.
Another difference between this recipe and standard Chinese bread (Bing) is the flour dough. The water for mixing the flour is warm, no yeast or any raising agent. Warm water gives the bread a different texture, and it will be easier for making it ‘crispy’ during cooking.
Furthermore, making it crispy is very important. However, Cong you bing is thin, but not super thin, so the crispiness in the surface, you still can taste the ‘soft’ thin layer in the middle.
Here you go how I made it, it is quite easy.
Plain flour, scallion (I just used the green part of spring onion), salt, oil
1) Making the dough: I mixed 3 cups of flour with a bit less than 1 cup of warm water, add 2 teaspoons of salt and 3 -4 tablespoons of oil. The dough should be medium soft, not hard.
2) Chop scallion into smallest pieces (only the green part).
1) Divide the dough into smaller pieces.
3) Roll the small dough into a thin sheet.
4) Evenly spread a pinch of salt, chopped scallion pieces on the sheet.
5) Roll it up altogether, and press down.
6) Roll the mixed dough into 0.6cm thin flat sheet.
7) In a heated flat sauce pan, add in around 2 tablespoons of oil.
8) Only when the oil is hot enough, place prepared the sheet into the sauce pan. Keep medium to low fire. Turn side time to time.
When both sides become gold and crispy —
It can be eaten as snack, or part of the main stable meal, with soup.
There is a custom when eating it, no matter how small the Congyou bing you made, you always need to chop it into at least 4 pieces for serving. :))