`Scallion Pancakes with Chili-Infused Olive Oil - Olive Oil Times

Scallion Pancakes with Chili-Infused Olive Oil

Bitterness and pungency are positive attributes that are present in both high-quality extra virgin olive oils and traditional Sichuan recipes.
Scallion Pancakes with Chili-Infused Olive Oil
By Patterson Watkins
Apr. 25, 2022 12:20 UTC

Bitterness and pun­gency are pos­i­tive attrib­utes that are present in both high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils and tra­di­tional Sichuan recipes. EVOO pairs extremely well with most of the core ingre­di­ents found in Sichuan cook­ing; mouth-tin­gling pep­per­corns, piquant dried chilis, tangy black vine­gar, fer­mented condi­ments, heady rice wines, and rich-toasted sesame oils and seeds. 

This recipe con­tains two clas­sic com­po­nents that come together for one mar­velous meal or appe­tizer. The scal­lion pan­cakes (a famous and tra­di­tional Chinese street food) are a crispy, flaky, and savory cre­ation, eas­ily recre­ated at home. The sec­ond com­po­nent is a fra­grant, chilli-infused olive oil, per­fect for a spicy dip or driz­zle over the pan­cakes. The oil is made by slowly heat­ing and steep­ing aro­matic ingre­di­ents (star anise, cin­na­mon, cloves, Sichuan pep­per­corns, gar­lic, and shal­lots) with a mod­er­ately intense extra vir­gin olive oil. The pep­pery pun­gency of most mod­er­ate EVOOs high­lights these paired ingre­di­ents and enhances the crushed red pep­per flakes (which are added after the steep­ing process). 


Scallion Pancakes with Chili-Infused Olive Oil

Course: Appetizers, MainCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium

4 – 6

Prep time


Cooking time



The infused oil can be made a day or two in advance and stored at room tem­per­a­ture (stored at room tem­per­a­ture only if used right away). This recipe makes plenty of oil to use for this recipe as well as any num­ber of dishes that need a dose of spice through­out the week. Infused oils will last a few days longer if refrig­er­ated.


  • Chili-Infused Olive Oil:
  • 1cupmod­er­ate-inten­sity extra vir­gin olive oil

  • 2eachstar anise

  • 1eachcin­na­mon stick

  • 2eachcloves

  • 1eachbay leaf

  • 1 1/2table­spoonsSichuan pep­per­corns

  • 2eachgar­lic cloves, peeled

  • 2eachshal­lots, peeled

  • 3/4cupcrushed red pep­per flakes

  • 1 tea­spoons salt

  • Scallion Pancakes:
  • 2 1/2 cupsall-pur­pose flour

  • 1tea­spoonsalt

  • 1 table­spoon sesame oil

  • 1cuphot water

  • 1/3cupmild inten­sity extra vir­gin olive oil (plus more for fry­ing) 

  • 2cupsscal­lions, chopped


  • Place olive oil, star anise, cin­na­mon stick, cloves, bay leaf, gar­lic, and shal­lots in a medium saucepan, stir to com­bine. Slowly heat the oil over medium-low, bring­ing and main­tain­ing the oil at 225°F‑250°F for 30 min­utes, stir­ring occa­sion­ally.
  • Place the crushed red pep­per flakes and salt in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Once the oil has steeped, strain into the bowl with the pep­per flakes, stir to com­bine and set aside to cool. Once cool, cover, and set aside (at room tem­per­a­ture) overnight to steep fur­ther.
  • In a large bowl, add flour and salt, and whisk to com­bine. Add sesame oil and hot water to the bowl and stir to com­bine, form­ing a rough shaggy’ dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured, clean work sur­face, and knead for 5 min­utes or until the dough is smooth (adding more flour, if needed, if the dough is to sticky). Wrap the dough in plas­tic wrap and let rest at room tem­per­a­ture for 1 hour. 
  • Once rested, divide the dough into 8 even pieces. Roll out the por­tioned dough, work­ing one piece at a time, into thin cir­cles. Brush with about 2 tea­spoons of olive oil and sprin­kle with approx. 1/4 cup of chopped scal­lions. Roll the dough into a cylin­der, then roll that cylin­der into a cin­na­mon roll-like coil. Cover with plas­tic wrap and repeat with the remain­ing dough por­tions. Let rest at room tem­per­a­ture for 15 – 20 min­utes.
  • Once rested and, again, work­ing with one piece at a time, press (using the heel of your hand) and roll into a thin pan­cake, about 5 – 6 inches round. 
  • Heat 1 table­spoon of olive oil in a large skil­let over medium heat. Place one pan­cake into the hot skil­let and fry for 4 – 6 min­utes, flip­ping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy. Remove the pan­cake from the skil­let and set it aside on a wire rack to drain. Repeat with the remain­ing pan­cakes.
  • Serve pan­cakes with chili oil for dip­ping.

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