China-based foodie and restaurateur Lindsey Fine (aka Veggie Mama) has been creating all sorts of delicious vegan recipes since moving to China 10 years ago. You can read all about the perks of eating a plant-based diet via her blog Veggie Mama and sample recipes on this series, Cooking with Veggie Mama. In this edition, Lindsey shares her recipe for Stovetop Scallion Flatbread.
When I first moved to China, I was immediately confused by many things, one of which being why kitchens didn’t have ovens. Furthermore, why were there deceiving dish sanitizers that looked like ovens? Was it all some mean trick?
No, it was not. It was just due to the fact that for a very long time, baking just was not part of the culture. They had their own ways of utilizing flour, such as in scrumptious steamed buns and in scallion pancakes cooked in a super hot drum.
Due to the world being in the state that it is in, I have spent a long time away from my kitchen, which meant being away from my beloved counter top oven. Not one to shy away from fulfilling my taste for certain foods, I found a way, and it was glorious.
This scallion bread is not the same as Chinese scallion bread, but it is just as addictive. Plan to set it on the table, go to get the dips like hummus or babaganoush and finding nothing left for you when you return. But you won’t be sad, you will be smart, because you hid half of the batch in the kitchen for yourself.
It’s not mean, it’s self preservation. And in times like these, that is a key component of life.
Veggie Mama’s Stovetop Scallion Flatbread
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoon, 7g) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (180ml) slightly warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Additional oil for frying the flatbreads
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3/4 cup (80g) chopped scallions
In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and water. Let it stand 10 minutes for the yeast to proof.
Add the olive oil, flour and salt and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add a sprinkle more flour if the dough is too wet, or a bit of water if it feels too dry. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise, 30-45 minutes.
After the dough has risen, dust your work surface with some flour and flatten the dough out with your hand. Sprinkle 1/3 of the scallions on the dough and fold in half. Flatten the dough again and repeat twice so all of the scallions have been incorporated into the dough. Knead the dough for 2 minutes and shape into a log. Then divide into about 6 equal pieces.
Cover the pieces of dough with a clean damp towel and let rest for 1 hour or more. This step can be omitted but the results are SO much better with the extra resting time.
As you are cooking, roll each piece of dough into whatever shape they dang well please, as long as it’s pretty thin. You can try to control the shape and force it to be a circle, but really, who cares? You can roll out each new piece of flatbread while one piece is cooking.
Heat wok over medium high heat.
Add a bit of oil to your hot wok and swirl it around. Gently place one rolled out piece of dough into the wok. Let cook for 2 minutes on the first side, or until browned and bubbly, then using chopsticks, turn the flatbread over and cook the other side until it’s bubbly and brown as well, about another 2 minutes. While you’re cooking one flatbread, start rolling out the next one and continue with the rest of the circles of dough, adding oil between frying each flatbread.
Before serving, slice pieces of flatbread into cool triangular shapes so no one knows how hideous your messed up circles were.
Serve alongside your favorite dips, or just mow down while laying on the couch like my son did.
Read more Cooking with Veggie Mama
[Images courtesy of Veggie Mama/Lindsey Fine]