Why You Should Try Grilling Scallion Pancakes

The next time you're at a Chinese restaurant, skip the pork lo mein and chicken fried rice and instead order a whole plate of scallion pancakes for yourself. Known as cōngyóubǐng, these savory "pancakes" are aesthetically simple but pack an onion-flavored punch, per Cook's Illustrated.

What makes scallion pancakes superb is their textural contrast, as the outside is golden brown and crispy while the inside is soft and chewy. The finished pancakes are usually sliced into small pizza triangles and dipped into soy sauce or a dipping sauce made up of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and a variety of other seasonings, via King Arthur Baking.

The ingredient list for making this jellyroll-style of scallion pancakes involves all-purpose flour, oil, water, salt, and scallions. Lard is commonly used when pan-frying these, but you can also opt for peanut oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.

And while pan-frying scallion pancakes is the go-to method, we've got an even better idea to enhance the textures and flavors of your next scallion pancake batch.

Charred and extra-crispy

The grill isn't just for filet mignon or asparagus with Parmesan and honey mustard, it's also an excellent choice for scallion pancakes. Here's why: Such doughy pancakes end up charred, super crispy, and maybe even smoky depending on what type of grill, wood, and/or coals you use.

The method is pretty simple. Just follow your favorite scallion pancake recipe, brush them with oil prior to grilling, and grill them at medium-high heat for 10 minutes total, flipping them once at the five-minute mark (and be sure to cover them during the grilling process), per Delish. And if you're wondering what the excess oil is for, Serious Eats explains that it helps to lock in that moisture and makes the exterior beautifully brown.

Scallion pancakes don't require a lot of ingredients and are fun to make. But for an extra boost of flavor and ultra-crispy textures, use a grill instead of a pan. And don't forget that seasoned soy sauce either.