learning chinese cooking from the best: green onion shao bing

I share many interests with my mother-in-law. We both love her son, we both love to travel, and we both love cooking, eating and talking about food. She is a woman who has instilled in her two sons an appreciation for food and cooking. They are both skilled in the kitchen, and they both love their mama’s Chinese cooking. I remember a story my husband told me back when we were dating. When his extended family gets together, their daily routine consists of eating breakfast, then immediately discussing and planning their next meal. Needless to say, I adore my husband’s family.  

I’ve been observing my mother-in-law’s cooking for as long as I’ve known her. She has many family recipes in her arsenal. Her sons have tried to recreate and get many of her recipes just right. However, she isn’t one to use any measurements or write anything down, so recreating her dishes takes a lot of patience.  Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it’s not.

Recently she and I decided we’re going to have regular cooking sessions. We created a list of her specialties and will make each one together. I will plan on trailing her through the kitchen with notepad, pen and camera so I’m able to document her recipes and share with those of you interested in Chinese cuisine. I also like the idea of creating a book or catalogue of sorts to give to my husband’s family so they have documentation of family recipes.

Last week we spent an afternoon together making green onion shao bing. It isn’t a family recipe, but I did manage to have my mother-in-law translate the recipe from Chinese to English for me. This is the first of what I hope are many Chinese recipes I will get my hands on and share.

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My kitchen notes:

Shao bing is leavened, meaning you use yeast. We used fast rising yeast, which only took about 30 minutes to rise.

It’s great as either a bread to serve with food, or stuffed with goodies like egg, for a breakfast sandwich.

Green Onion Shao Bing 

1 2/3 cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup warm water, between 120-130 degrees

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon fast rising yeast

1 teaspoon grapeseed or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)

2 green onions, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil

Directions

1. Mix flour and baking powder together in medium sized bowl.

2. Mix warm water, yeast and sugar in small bowl. Stir to combine until fully dissolved.

3. Add water/yeast mixture to flour mixture. Mix together with hands to form dough.  After mixing together, add 1 teaspoon of grapeseed or vegetable oil to dough. Continue to knead until mixture is smooth and feels doughy.

4. Set aside dough, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until it’s double in size. About 30 minutes if using fast rising yeast.

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5. Roll dough into circular shape. It will feel a bit like pizza dough. Roll until thin.

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6. Drizzle sesame oil, salt,  pepper and green onions onto dough.

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7. Fold circular shaped dough into thirds. It will now be rectangular in shape, almost like a burrito.

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8. Fold both ends into center. It will look much like an envelope.

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9. Fold envelope shape in half. You will now have a square shaped piece of dough. All of the folding is what creates the layers in the dough.

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10. Roll out square-shaped dough into a circular/rectangular shape. Dough should be about 1/2 inch thick.

11. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto dough. Roll out more so sesame seeds stick on the dough. Finished dough should be approximately 1/2 inch thick.

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12. Let dough stand for 15 minutes.

13. On medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed or vegetable oil to shallow frying pan, let pan heat for  a few minutes.

14. Add dough to pan and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Dough will puff slightly.

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15. Remove from heat, cut into pieces and enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “learning chinese cooking from the best: green onion shao bing”

  1. Wow, I am impressed. I am more impressed that the two of you will not only make many Yangs traditional Chinese dishes, but you will document it so whoever are interested can learn!
    Three solutes!

  2. love! I adore scallion/green onion pancakes, but was never quite sure what condiments (if any) go with them, traditionally anyway. any insights?

    1. Hi Marina! Let me know if you try the recipe and welcome back to the Bay Area. I’ve never seen my in-laws eat them with any sort of condiments. However, I think they’re great dipped into homemade sauce made with soy sauce, Chinese black bean sauce, black vinegar and a bit of sugar.

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