Experiences - Asia

Must – eat in China – Scallion Pancakes

Scallion Pancakes, or Cong You Bing, are Chinese pancakes that are savoury flat bread filled with green onions and sesame oil. Scallion pancakes are widely popular in China. They are normally served with soy milk or rice porridge for breakfast. Some like it firm, some fluffy. Chilli flakes can be added for colour and crunch.

Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Image Courtesy: stu_spivack used under the Creative Commons Licence

There are different types of savoury Chinese or Taiwanese pancakes (made with dough instead of batter).  One of them is ‘Dan Bing’, a soft tortilla like pancake which is filled with a thin green egg omelette.  The other popular type of pancake is ‘Cong You Bing’ a fried piece of dough with green onions layered inside.

Scallion Pancakes

Image Courtesy: buncheduptv used under the Creative Commons Licence

There is a legend which says that pizza is an evolution of the scallion pancake, brought back to Italy by Marco Polo. It is believed that Polo missed scallion pancakes so much that when he was back in Italy, he tried to find chefs willing to make the pancake for him. One day, he met a chef from Naples at a friend’s dinner party and persuaded him to try recreating the dish. After a day without success, Marco Polo suggested the filling be put on top rather than inside the dough. The resulting dish was praised by everyone at the party. The chefs returned to Naples and improvised by adding cheese and other ingredients, and formed what is known today as pizza.

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