Homemade green onion pancakes (cong you bing, 葱油饼) demand time and skill. Unlike breakfast pancakes, where you whip up a wet batter to spoon into a pan, the Chinese pancakes require a flour-water dough that you knead, roll, and shape before cooking. Green onion pancakes have no shortcuts—until today.
This recipe skips the dough by using store-bought lumpia wrappers. Paper-thin and ready to roll, they get you cheat green onion pancakes in just 30 minutes. Melted butter creates lamination, forming a flaky, layered interior. And the irreverence doesn’t stop there: we add a layer of mozzarella cheese with the green onions, because cheese.
These shortcut pancakes can’t compare to the real thing, obviously. But they get the job done for emergency cravings!
- 15 lumpia wrappers
- ¾ cup melted butter
- ¾ cup spring onions
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese, optional
- sesame seeds, optional
Preheat pan: Heat up a pan over medium heat.
Prepare lumpia wrappers: Place one lumpia wrapper on the rightmost side of a chopping board or clean work surface. Brush wrapper with melted butter. Place another wrapper on top of the first one so at least ⅓ of the wrappers are overlapping. Brush the new wrapper with butter, then repeat with a third wrapper. You should have a row of lumpia wrappers slightly overlapping each other.
Fold into log: Scatter mozzarella cheese, if using, across the wrappers, followed by spring onions. Fold in the leftmost and rightmost sides of the row of wrappers. Starting from the bottom, roll the lumpia wrappers upwards into a log.
Form spiral: Fold the lumpia log into a spiral. Don’t worry about it unraveling a bit at this point. Repeat the folding process with the remaining wrappers until you have 5 spirals.
Cook pancakes: Place a spiral on the pan and hold it down with a flat spatula. The pancake should sizzle immediately. Once the pancake can hold its shape, flip and flatten again with the spatula. Repeat until you get a nice browned color on both sides and the pancake takes on a flaky texture. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
Serve: Transfer pancakes to a plate and serve with soy dipping sauce.
For flaky pancakes, use round, thin lumpia wrappers. Thick wrappers will make your pancakes chewier.
For flat-as-possible pancakes, press down on your flat spatula with a hard cooking utensil, like a wooden spoon or another spatula, while cooking.
A griddle or burger press, especially the cast-iron kind, makes flattening the pancakes an easier task.
To make an easy dipping sauce, mix 2 parts soy sauce, 1 part rice vinegar, and a bit of sugar. Adjust to taste and add sesame oil, chili oil, or minced garlic if desired.
Brands used: Auden lumpia wrappers, Emborg butter.