Chinese Scallion Pancakes (Cōng Yóu Bǐng)

One of my favorite things to eat when I was living in China was Cōng Yóu Bǐng – Chinese Scallion Pancakes. I would wake up nice and early and head down to the campus dining hall to get these, and about 4 large glasses of freshly brewed soy milk. Nothing, and I mean nothing compares to freshly brewed soy milk. I would buy four, drink one, and put the other three in my fridge and enjoy them throughout the rest of the day. I had to get there early because the few days I didn’t, both the cōng yóu bǐng and the soy milk were long gone. On those days I opted for freshly made won ton soup (yes that was breakfast, and pretty different from what we get here in the US).

These pancakes, were beyond delicious and cut like pizza slices. I’ve been wanting to try to make them gluten-free for the past few years but never got around to trying it. Last weekend however, I was craving these like crazy. I’m not going to lie, they aren’t exactly like the ones in China – and I’m not sure if they will ever be but I’m okay with that. These are close and I enjoyed them quite a bit. Isn’t that what really matters? So below, is my take on one of my favorite dishes…

Chinese Scallion Pancakes – Cōng Yóu Bǐng

1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Silvana Nardone’s Blend, page 15 from her cookbook ‘Cooking with Isaiah’)

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons sweet white rice flour

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your all purpose flour blend already has this, just omit)

3/4 cup warm water – added slowly

3 tablespoons oil (preferably peanut, but canola or other neutral flavor oil would work)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4  cup diced scallions, white and green parts

salt – to taste

In a medium bowl combine all-purpose flour, sweet white rice flour, xanthan gum (if needed), and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly add the warm water (you may not need all of the water).

Mix with a wooden spoon until a ball starts to form. Kneed in bowl for until dough is nice and soft. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together peanut (or alternative oil) and sesame oil and set aside.

Lightly dust a working surface with all-purpose flour and cut ball of dough into four even wedges. Remove one wedge and cover the remaining three with damp towel. You can either leave the dough the size that it is or you can cut it into smaller portions. Either way, the remaining directions are exactly the same.

Lightly dust the top of the dough with some all-purpose flour and roll dough out into a 5-6 inch circle. Brush the surface with the oil mixture, sprinkle with salt and scallion slices. Roll circle up (or if you can’t without it ripping, just do the best you can, roll it back into a ball and then roll out again), twist, and pinch together. Roll out again into a 5-6 inch circle, brush again with oil mixture and place in a non stick skillet. If needed add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of oil to the pan. Cook about 3-4 minutes until you see light browning and bubbles forming. Brush the other side with oil mixture and flip over to repeat the cooking process.

Remove from pan and cut into two or four pieces, or leave whole and rip pieces off as you wish.

Repeat with remaining wedges of dough.

Best if eaten right away – but can be warmed up in an oven set to 300-350° for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with a Ginger Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon or a pinch of red pepper flakes

1/8 cup sliced scallions

1/4 teaspoon minced ginger

Mix all ingredients together – can be made several hours ahead of time.

Gluten-Free Mini Corn Dogs

Bryan loves corn dogs and for many years I would even take a bite of one of them.  It was a texture thing to me…I always thought that the corn bread batter would be soggy and mushy and I wanted nothing to do with them.  When Bryan came to visit me in California we picked up a box for him (they weren’t gluten-free), but when he left I still had half a box…they ended up in the trash. I told him at some point I will give them a try.

A few months ago I as fortunate enough to sample some of the Applegate Farms new corn dogs – they were delicious!! To my surprise the coating was crunch and not soggy at all. Ever since Bryan has been asking for me to make some…he would really love them to be full of gluten but he’s a good sport and eats what I make.  Maybe I’ll surprise him and make some regular ones for him anyway.

Yesterday I decided to make some mini corn dogs just to see how they would come out.  I found a recipe in a magazine that seemed pretty simple but it had NO corn in it at all.  How can you call it a corn dog with no corn?? To me it must have corn in it and Bryan loves them with a little bit of crunch to them so I came up with the following recipe.  Please note that this recipe will continue to be worked on…they came out pretty good (to my standards) but Bryan wants more corn flavor to them so I will be posting an updated recipe at some point. 

These would be great for: a quick snack for your kiddos, or an app during super bowl!

Mini Corn Dogs {Gluten-Free} (please see notes for how to make them with regular flour)

1 Package Mini Beef Franks (14oz)

3/4 Cup Pamela’s Pancake/Baking Mix Gluten Free (Or 3/4 cup regular AP flour)

1/2 Cup Gluten Free Corn Meal (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 Egg

1/2 Cup cold water

  1. In a medium bowl mix together Pamela’s Baking Mix (or your favorite Gluten Free AP flour, or regular flour), corn meal, egg, and water.
  2. Remove the franks from the package and pat dry with a paper towel (the batter will stick better when they are a bit dry).
  3. Take a toothpick and insert it into the frank about 1/2 – 3/4 of the way, set aside and continue with the remaining franks.
  4. In a medium sauce pan heat about 1 – 1/2 inches of oil to 350° (If you have a candy thermometer be sure to use it…that way your batter wont get too dark too fast, if not just test a few franks until the desired color is reached – golden brown).
  5. Dip franks in the batter – it is not a perfect dip, you may need to move the frank around a little bit to get it all covered.  You don’t want it to be too thick because you want it to cook on the inside as well as the outside.
  6. Add three-four franks to the pan, turn often to brown all sides evenly.  Cook each frank for 30-45 seconds (it’s really quick!)
  7. Remove corn dogs and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Repeat this process until all the corn dogs have been cooked.
  8. Serve with your favorite dip – I love it with spicy mustard!

Again, this recipe will be a work in progress so check back for an update in the near future.