Shanghai Scallion Flatbread

Since I grew up eating this dish in the Shanghai area, I will call it here, but scallion flatbread takes many forms in China. But it’s a thick pancake made with leavening and cooked on a grill rather than in the oven.

The sesame seeds add a nutty flavor, and the crust is crisp while the interior is light and airy. It smells very much like its more common scallion pancake relative.

Yet Another Stunning Meal-Related Reminiscence From Your Childhood

This homemade version pales compared to the ones I remember from my youth. The pizza could have fed a small army. It would have to be sold by the pound since no one could eat even a small portion.

I can still hear the soft sizzle of condensation falling onto the hot metal pan as I stood in line, eagerly anticipating my turn to get a piece, mesmerized by the wisps of steam.

Whenever there was a delay, I reminded myself that the crunchy sesame seed crust was well worth it.

They immediately thought of Italian focaccia after I made it for the girls for the first time. This flatbread is very similar to focaccia in terms of thickness and even shares the same oil-crispy crust.

However, the Shanghai version stands out in my mind because it is noticeably softer and has a touch of sweetness.

I’ve been curious about qiang bing for a long time, and now I’ve finally gotten around to making it and writing down my recipe.

Give it a shot because it means a lot to me. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. (And the rest of the family does, too, now that they’ve had the opportunity to share in it.)


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of active dry yeast (can substitute the same amount of instant yeast)
  • 2 tsp. of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of tepid water
  • 1 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. of ground Sichuan peppercorns (optional; can substitute five spice powder)
  • 3 pcs. of scallions (finely chopped, about 1/2 cup)
  • 2-3 tbsp. of raw sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp. of oil (you can add more for brushing)


  1. Sift the flour, yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Despite being slightly wet and sticky, the dough can be shaped. From now on, try to resist the urge to add more flour to the dough.
  2. Put the dough in a bowl and knead it until it becomes a smooth ball. For best results, proof the dough in a warm area for 60–90 minutes, covered with a damp kitchen towel. After boiling a large mug of water, I place it next to the dough in the microwave and close the door to prove it.
  3. Sprinkle the sea salt, white pepper, and Sichuan peppercorns onto the dough after it rises (or five spice powders). Continue kneading for another 5 minutes or until everything is thoroughly incorporated if the dough is too sticky to work with, oil your hands instead of adding more flour.
  4. Please ensure the dough is covered with the towel and leave it on the counter for another 15 minutes. The scallions can now be minced.
  5. If there are still air bubbles in the dough, knead it for another 2 minutes—lightly oil a flat, clean work surface, such as a clean counter or cutting board. Make a thin rectangle out of the dough, no thicker than a quarter inch (0.6 cm), using an oiled rolling pin.
  6. Oil the rolled dough lightly and sprinkle the scallions over it. Roll it up like a log, lengthwise.
  7. First, you’ll need to roll the log into a thinner tube (this will help eliminate any air pockets), and then you’ll need to roll the tube into a spiral to create a thick disc. You should tuck the tail under.
  8. Flatten the disc with your hands and a rolling pin until it’s a 10″ circle. Spread sesame seeds evenly on both sides until they’re completely covered. Use your palm to work the sesame seeds into the dough. (The dough circle will be very soft; flip it over, sprinkle the other side with sesame seeds, and use a bench scraper or large spatula.)
  9. Spread 3 tablespoons of oil evenly across the surface of a large, flat-bottomed, non-stick, or cast iron pan with a lid (I used a 12-inch cast iron pan). In a pan that has been greased, lay the dough circle. (Cover your rolling pin with it and lay it on the pan.) Leave the heat off and the lid on for an additional 20 minutes.
  10. Using a covered pot, turn the heat to medium after the dough has rested. Prepare a 12-minute timer. Remove the bottom after 12 minutes. After 6 minutes, uncover and flip the pancake to ensure an even browning on both sides.
  11. Take off the top and cook for a few more minutes to get a crispy crust. When the pancake is a deep golden brown on both sides, and the crust is crisp, it’s ready to be served (it should sound hollow when you tap on it). Eat it by the slice!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Related Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive updates, promotions, and sneak peaks of upcoming products. Plus 20% off your next order.

Promotion nulla vitae elit libero a pharetra augue