Scallion pancake

Scallion pancake
Type Flatbread
Place of origin China
Main ingredients Dough, scallions
Cookbook: Scallion pancake  Media: Scallion pancake
Scallion pancake
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning scallion oil pancake

A scallion pancake (Chinese: 葱油饼; pinyin: cōngyóubǐng; Mandarin pronunciation [tsʰʊ́ŋi̯ǒu̯pìŋ]) is a Chinese savory, unleavened flatbread folded with oil and minced scallions (green onions). Unlike Western pancakes, it is made from dough instead of batter. Variations exist on the basic method of preparation that incorporate other flavors and fillings.

Scallion pancakes are served both as a street food item and as a restaurant dish. They are also sold commercially, either fresh or frozen in plastic packages (often in Asian supermarkets).

Scallion pancake
Peeled pancake

Variations and accompaniments

Other ingredients, such as chopped fennel greens and sesame seeds are sometimes added with the green onions.

When using garlic chives (jiucai), these pancakes are called jiucai bing (韭菜饼) or jiucai you bing (韭菜油饼).

In Taiwanese cuisine, Egg pancakes (蛋餅) are sauteed with egg coated on one side and the dough is thinner and moister.

In North America, the pancakes are often served with soy sauce, hot chili sauce, or Vietnamese dipping sauce.

In Saudi Arabian cuisine, a similar food item is made called "Marase'e" (مراصيع).

Chinese legend surrounding the invention of pizza

Main article: History of pizza

There is a story in China that suggests pizza is an adaptation of the scallion pancake, brought back to Italy by Marco Polo. A humorous newspaper article, that also includes Marco Polo inventing cheese fondue when he is lost in the Alps and wants to eat Chinese hotpot, describes the invention of pizza this way:[1]

Marco 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 managed to meet a chef from Naples at a friend's dinner party and persuaded him to try recreating the dish. After half a day without success, Marco Polo suggested the filling be put on top rather than inside the dough. The change, by chance, created a dish praised by everyone at the party. The chefs returned to Naples and improvised by adding cheese and other ingredients and formed today's pizza.

Historical evidence in Europe suggests that pizza was not transmitted to Europe by Marco Polo, but existed in the Mediterranean long before his time.[2][3] The first recorded use of the word "pizza" dates from 997 AD (in a Latin text from the town of Gaeta in Southern Italy),[4] more than 250 years before Marco Polo was born.

Similar dishes

Similar dishes in Chinese culture, and in other cultures, exist:

See also


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scallion pancakes.
  1. Xinhua, 12 September 2007, "Pizza and Ice Cream: The Chinese Delicacies Marco Polo Brought Back to the West." (Chinese)
  2. "The History Of Pizza." The Nibble. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  3. "Marco Polo & the Merchants of Venice." The Food Timeline. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  4. Ceccarini, Rossella (2011). Pizza and Pizza Chefs in Japan: A Case of Culinary Globalization. Leiden: Brill. p. 19. ISBN 978-90-04-19466-3.
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