Chinese Scallion Rolls


They were a staple at the Chinese grocery store we visited in suburban New Jersey, where the huge wild blue yonder contrasts with the big wild gray yonder we now find ourselves in.

To make these scallion rolls, known as “flower rolls” in Chinese, you’ll need to twist or braid them into more complicated forms (no worries! We’ve got an easier method). As with cinnamon buns, we opted to roll and cut them into “butterfly shapes” to keep them from growing and rolling away. Simplicity once again triumphs!

There are some conventional (and vegetarian) ways to prepare this dish. If you’d like to go all out, you can also add:



  • 1 recipe of mantou dough
  • 3 scallions (chopped)
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • 4 oz. of cooked bacon (chopped)
  • water


  1. The basic mantou dough may be made in roughly two hours.
  2. You’ll need half of the dough, so divide it in half and roll it out into a half-inch thick rectangle. A few teaspoons of olive oil and salt to taste are all that are needed for this dish. On the dough, spread half of the scallion mix equally. Alternatively, sprinkle on half the bacon or one tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  3. Slice the dough into 3-inch pieces after rolling it into a cigar. Make a crease in the middle of each bun using a chopstick. Using a nonstick skillet set to medium-high heat, warm up a tablespoon of oil for frying. Toss the buns in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until golden brown. Add half a cup of water to the pan and seal the lid shut. About 12 minutes of steaming. Ensure that the pan isn’t drying out, and if it is, add a bit of extra water.
  4. Allow the water to evaporate by removing the cover. When the bottoms of the buns begin to become a golden brown, add more oil if necessary. Serve! The remaining ingredients can be used to make another batch, or you can refrigerate the dough and utilize it at a later time.
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