Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Scallion pancake recipe evokes family and China: NPR

Left: A family photo of Lily Liu and her father, Tai. Right: A plate full of green onion pancakes held by Lily’s niece.

Lily Liu/Collage by NPR

hide caption

toggle caption

Lily Liu/Collage by NPR

Scallion pancake recipe evokes family and China: NPR

Left: A family photo of Lily Liu and her father, Tai. Right: A plate full of green onion pancakes held by Lily’s niece.

Lily Liu/Collage by NPR

All Things We’re Cooking is a series starring family recipes of you, our readers and listeners, and the special stories behind them. We’ll continue to share more of your kitchen gems throughout the holidays.

Lily Liu’s parents left China when they were only high school students. It was a quick decision made one night in 1948 in the midst of the country’s civil war. Both wanted to escape the prospect of life under Communist rule. They didn’t take many things with them, and what they took, they mostly ended up throwing away. But one tradition they stuck to was a recipe for scallion pancakes, Liu said.

These pancakes help keep the memory of Liu’s father, Tai, alive over a decade after his death and remind the family of where they came from.

“The memories are always with us of waking up on a Sunday and the aroma of those wonderful crispy scallion pancakes would be wafting up the stairs,” Liu said. “But that meant he woke up early because it takes time to prepare the flour and then to make them.”

Liu now lives in Washington, DC, but said she could always imagine walking down the stairs of her family’s Delaware home to see her father standing in front of the stove. The house can get drafty during the winters. So there he was, the London Fog raincoat draped over his shoulders like a “Superman cape”, baking pancakes.

After a few years in a refugee camp and Taiwan, where the couple married in the mid-1950s, Liu’s parents landed in Indiana, which was fine because they were from what she calls the Midwest. Chinese, where there are many wheat fields, and flour is a staple ingredient in many recipes, including pancakes.

“It’s so simple when you think about it. Flour, scallions, salt, and that’s about it. And oil to cook it,” she said. “But from this simple thing, the layers I feel from the fluffy interior show the layers and nuances of parental love.”

These days, Liu’s siblings carry on the tradition by making scallion pancakes for their children on weekends, just like their father did for them, always following his advice.

“He said the secret was to stand there at the beach, turning it around so the outside was crispy, but the inside was nice and flaky,” she said. “That was his forte.”

Liu said she thought more about the traditions her parents brought to the United States as she watched the war in Ukraine unfold this year, with many people leaving everything behind. She sees a common thread between Ukrainian refugees and her parents, who left China more than 70 years ago.

“Traditions are in our minds and in our hearts, and sometimes that’s enough – better than any monetary heirloom or a gold bracelet or anything that someone was able to bring out,” she said.

Pancakes with green onions from Ye Ye / Tsung you bing

Recipe submitted by Lilie Liu
washington d.c.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water (if needed, add a tablespoon or two of warm water)
  • 1/4 cup Mazola corn oil
  • 4 green onions, very thinly sliced


Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Add warm water to flour and stir with a spoon. Continue to stir until all the water is absorbed by the flour.

Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl. You may need to add up to 2 more tablespoons of warm water until all the flour comes together.

Knead the dough for about five minutes. If it sticks to your fingers, dust with a little more flour.

Finally, shape the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.

Next, sprinkle flour on top of your workspace. Cut the dough into four pieces. Keep one piece on your work surface and return the remaining three pieces to the bowl.

Shape the first piece of dough into a small ball. Use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a thin circle. The size should be around 6 inches in diameter.

Spread a little corn oil all over the circle of dough. Sprinkle the sliced ​​green onions all over the circle of dough. Pinch some salt and sprinkle it evenly over the green onion pieces.

Pull the top end of the circle of dough and roll down, forming a log-like band. Place your right palm on one end of the strip and your left palm on the other end and push toward the middle, bringing the strip of dough together. Flip the pancake face up and place it on your work surface.

Use a palm to flatten the dough into a circle. Using the rolling pin, roll out the circle of dough thinly, about half an inch thick. Thinly sliced ​​pieces of green onions can come to the surface of the circle of dough.

Transfer this green onion pancake to a plate and prepare the remaining three pieces of dough using this process.

Using a medium sized non-stick skillet, pour 4 tablespoons of corn oil around the skillet. Turn the stove to medium heat and place a crepe in the center of the pan. Using a heatproof cooking spatula, swirl the pancake several times in the pan. Fry each side for about five to seven minutes until the crust is crispy and golden. The heat should be lowered towards the end of the cooking time.

Repeat this process for the remaining three pancakes, adding oil to the pan before cooking each pancake.

Entertainment Gt

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button