Green Onion Pancakes recipe

green onion pancakes

I love green onions, especially when they’re lightly cooked to release their secret delicious cooked flavour. Cooking them in oil quickly releases a mellow, mild, almost sweet flavour. I like raw green onion as garnish too, but the smell of cooked green onions is really, really good.

Green onion pancakes are one of my most favourite Chinese snack foods. I love them! They’re perfect on their own, hot and crispy out of the pan, or along side something like Kimchi Stew. When you dip your pancake into the stew or scoop up a bit of meat, it takes on a curry and naan bread feel.

I have fond memories of going over to our family friends’ houses to eat green onion pancake brunches. There may have been other food, or not, but all I remember are those pancakes. Oh, and the little boy I played with, because he had an awesome play kitchen and one of those Little Tikes cars.

Green onion pancakes aren’t pancakes at all. They don’t have any leaving agent and they aren’t made out of a batter. They’re more like a crispy, fluffy, multi-layered flat bread studded with green onions. They’re really easy to make and even better to eat!

Green Onion Pancakes Recipe


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups boiling water
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons oil or other fat substitute
1 bunch of green onions finely sliced
oil for frying


measure out flour

1. Combine sifted flour, salt and boiling water in a bowl and stir until the water is absorbed. Let the dough cool, add the cold water and knead until smooth. I used my hands, but feel free to use a dough hook and your stand mixer. The dough will be soft, but not excessively sticky.

combine flour and water

2. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for an hour. The dough won’t rise much, but this resting period allows the gluten in the flour to develop.

knead dough into a smooth ball

3. Remove the dough from the bowl and put it on a slightly floured surface. Shape into a log and divide in to 8 pieces. The 8 pieces will yield 5-6 inch pancakes depending on thickness. If you want smaller or bigger pancakes, divide the dough accordingly.

brush dough with oil

4. Take a piece of dough and roll it out as thin as you can. The thinner you roll your dough, the more flaky layers the pancake will have.

sprinkle green onions

5. Brush a thin layer of oil, or choice of fat, on the pancake and sprinkle with green onions. Use as many or as little green onions as you like.

roll like a cinnamon bun

6. Roll the dough up like you would a cinnamon bun, that is, into a tube shape. Then form a coil with the tube and pinch the end shut.

coil dough

7. Now you can either roll out the pancake or repeat the above steps with your remaining dough. If you want to roll out your pancakes, flatten your coils with the palm of your hand and proceed to use your rolling pin to roll the coils into pancakes. The thickness of the pancake is entirely up to you. If you like your pancakes crispy, roll them thinly, if you like a chewier pancake, roll them a bit thicker. Don’t worry if green onions start sticking out of the dough, it’s fine.

flatten and roll into a pancake

8. At this point if you don’t want to fry your pancakes, stack them with sheets of parchment paper in between and wrap them tightly and freeze them. They will keep in the freezer for about a month. You can fry them straight out of the freezer.

fry at medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet

9. To fry, heat oil in a frying pan (I prefer cast-iron) until it is shimmery and hot. Swirl the oil around so the pan is coated. You need enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, but not so much that the pancake is swimming. Fry both sides of the pancake on medium heat until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

crispy, delicious green onion pancakes

10. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

green onion pancake cut into wedges

18 Comments add yours

  1. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t find this recipe to be as good as green onion pancakes that I can get from a street vendor in Chinatown. How was the texture? taste? of the recipe?

    Hi RCE,

    I’m glad you got to try the recipe out! This recipe for pancakes isn’t like the ones they sell in Chinatown, but sometimes homemade is better! I find the pancakes flaky and flavourful, especially when you roll the layers super thin.

    steph on January 19th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
  2. Just had some of this at Fu Man Dumpling House in Seattle and it was wonderful.

    Green onion pancakes make the world go round!

    steph on February 20th, 2010 at 10:57 pm
  3. I used lard, maybe that makes a difference.

    Lard does add extra flavour.

    steph on April 21st, 2010 at 12:21 pm
  4. I was trying to tell my friend’s mom how my grandnother and I used to make these for my grandfather almost daily when I was a young boy. So simple and easy. The only thing we did differently than your recipe was use to use sesame oil inside. Thank you for helping me show her how easy these are. Brings back so many happy memories of grandma’s kitchen.

  5. Another flavoring agent I tried is to add 5 spice salt to the oil brushed dough just before it is rolled up.

  6. Always use shortening (I used a vegan shortening), white pepper, and salt, and sesame oil on the green onion pancakes before rolling into a tube.

    :) Looks good! :) Love how thick they are. I prefer thin green onion pancakes. Yum!!!!!

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I just made a batch and came out perfectly! Next time, will double the recipe ;-)

  8. I’ve made these a half dozen times now, and they turn out awesome! I’ve passed the recipe along to a number of friends, too. Thanks so much for posting.

    how many pancakes did you get out of one back, Alison? Thanks in advance :)


    Diana on November 19th, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    Diana on November 19th, 2013 at 6:36 pm
  9. How many pancakes does this recipe yield? Thanks!

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