This scallion shaobing (蔥燒餅) has a crunchy outer layer contrasted by the slight bite of the bread within. On top of all that is the combination of the aromas of scallion and toasted white sesame. All these elements combine to make this shaobing irresistible.
Scallion shaobing (蔥燒餅) is a kind of baked flatbread filled with flavorful scallion and loaded with toasted sesame on top. It's not as commonplace as the scallion pancake or the breakfast shaobing that I've posted before. It's usually sold at more traditional shaobing vendors alongside many other different kinds of shaobing. It is something that people in Taiwan enjoy for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
A lot of work went into this recipe, but it's definitely paid off. In addition to experimenting with different versions myself, I even asked my mom (who's in Taiwan right now) to ask a popular shaobing vendor about the secret of making delicious scallion shaobing. Ultimately, I am very satisfied with the results from this final recipe, and if you like scallion pancakes, I believe you will like this recipe as well.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
- I incorporated the professional tips from the vendor in Taiwan to make this scallion shaobing better than other shaobing recipes out there.
- If you like the taste of Shaobing, this recipe is a more flavorful version that you must try!
- The ingredients are very common and easy to find.
- It's quicker and easier to make than most of Chinese buns and breads, particularly with the step by step pictures and clear instructions.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Flour - I use both all purpose flour and bread flour to create the perfect texture.
- Yeast - I like to use instant yeast because it's more convenient, but you can also use active dry yeast if you prefer.
- Lard - Lard is what the vendors in Taiwan use to enhance the flavor, you can also use chicken fat or duck fat. Use sesame oil if you want to make this vegan/vegetarian.
- Chicken base - I use organic better than bouillon chicken base as another secret ingredient to add umami to this recipe. You can also replace it with chicken bouillon powder like the vendors in Taiwan use.
- Sesame seeds - Use toasted white sesame seeds. I also add a small handful of black sesame seeds for presentation, but that's optional.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Make a sponge dough the night before.
A sponge is very easy to make, all you need to do is combine flour, water, salt and yeast, cover and let it sit on your counter overnight and add it into the main bread dough when you make it the next day.
2. Prepare scallion and sugar water. On the next day, chop the scallion and let it dry on the chopping board. Mix sugar and water and set it aside to allow the sugar to dissolve.
3. Now make the dough.
Simply combine the sponge dough along with all other dough ingredients and knead until a dough ball is formed. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) when the dough is done resting.
5. Transfer the dough on a floured working surface, roll the dough into an approximately 10" by 17" rectangle with long edge closer to you.
6. Make the scallion filling. Mix the lard and chicken base before mixing with chopped scallion, and then stir in salt and pepper.
7. Place the the scallion mixture in the middle part of the rolled out dough and fold the top ¼ down and bottom ⅓ up.
8. Brush the top and sides of the dough with sugar water and spread a thick layer of the sesame seeds on the surface.
9. Cut the dough into 6-8 even pieces and transfer them onto a lined baking sheet (it will be easier to do it with a turner spatula).
10. Bake the shaobings for 16-18 minutes until the top and sides are golden brown.
Apart from enjoying the shaobing by itself, you can also try the following ways:
- With an egg. In Taiwan, when you buy scallion shaobing, they will provide the option of adding an egg in your shaobing. You can either add an omelet, scrambled eggs or a fried egg, and your shaobing experience will be better regardless of which option you choose.
- With cream cheese. This is my daughter's favorite way of enjoying these shaobings. Simply cut open the shaobing and spread some cream cheese on top the the scallion filling.
Tips & Tricks
- It usually takes about 8-12 hours for the sponge to be ready to use. If you are not using it right away, make sure you store the sponge in the fridge with cover and use it within 24 hours.
- It's very important that you mix the scallion filling right before adding into the dough. If you mix it too early, the salt will begin to drawn moisture out of the scallions causing the mixture to become more wet. As a result, the scallion mixture will be more difficult to use in assembly.
- If you plan to add egg in your shaobing, cut the shaobing into six pieces instead of eight, as that will leave more room for the egg.
- The texture will become chewy and bready after it's completely cooled. Follow the reheating instruction to bring back the crunchiness. The top shell actually becomes extra crunchy after reheating!
- This recipe is developed using grams, so for the best result, please weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale.
In Chinese we call this "old dough", which is basically a pre-fermented dough that adds flavor and improves the texture of your bread when you incorporate it into your bread dough. The same method is used in my mantou recipe.
Yes! All you need to do is mix the yeast with water first and let it sit for 5 minutes before you add other ingredients.
Yes! simply replace lard with sesame oil and omit the chicken base.
Store in an airtight container in you plan to finish within one day, otherwise I would suggest storing in the freezer.
Simply bake it in a 350°F (180°C) oven or air fryer for 3-5 minutes (or 10-12 minutes from frozen) to bring back the crispiness.
I hope you all can give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
Taiwanese Scallion Shaobing (Sesame Flatbread with Scallion Filling)
- 100 g water, a little bit less than ½cup, room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon instant yeast, see note if you use active dry yeast
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 120 g all purpose flour , 1 cup
- sponge dough
- 200 g bread flour , 1½ cup + 2 tbsp
- 80 g water, ⅓ cup
- 20 g vegetable oil , 1½ tbsp
- 20 g sugar, 1½ tbsp
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fine sugar
- 2 tsp water
- 4 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- a small handful black sesame seeds for decoration , optional
Make the sponge the night before
- In a big bowl or container, mix all the sponge ingredients together, stir until combined with no dry flour left in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for 8-14 hours. You can also store it in the fridge after 8 hours and use it within 24 hours.
Prepare the scallion right before making the dough
- Wash the scallions and pat dry with paper towel or dish towel. Chop and let them dry on the chopping board or a shallow plate. We will need 2 full cups of chopped scallion.
Prepare the sugar water for brushing
- Mix sugar and water (preferably hot water) in a small bowl and set it aside to allow it to dissolve.
- In a stand mixer, add all the dough ingredients and knead with medium low speed until the dough is formed, then continue to knead for another 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball by tucking the edges into the bottom. The dough will be very sticky, but after it's formed into a ball, it shouldn't be as sticky when you touch it with a clean hand. If it's too sticky to handle, add a little bread flour and knead for another 1~2 minutes.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. This step will allow the dough to be easier to work with later.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C)
- After the dough is done resting, transfer it onto a floured working surface, roll the dough into an approximately 10" by 17" rectangle with long edge closer to you.
- Mix the lard and chicken base before mixing with chopped scallion, and then stir in salt and pepper. Mixing in oil first will prevent the scallion from becoming too wet and hard to work with. You want to do this step right before you put it in the dough.
- Place the the scallion mixture in the middle part of the rolled out dough and fold the top ¼ down and bottom ⅓ up. Please see the gif in the post for reference.
- Brush the top and sides with sugar water. You will need to use up all the sugar water.
- Spread a thick layer of the sesame seeds on the surface, and use a rolling pin to roll the folded dough a bit flatter to eliminate the air.
- Cut the dough into 6-8 even pieces and transfer them onto a lined baking sheet (it will be easier to do it with a turner spatula). Feel free to use the bottom of the shaobing to pick up any sesame seeds that fell off the shaobing.
- Pick up any scallions that fell out of the shaobing and stuff them back in. Let the shaobings rest in the room temperature for 5-10 minutes before baking. If you prefer a more bready (and less crunchy) texture, then let it sit for 20-30 minutes instead.
- Bake the shaobings for 16-18 minutes until the top and sides are golden brown.
- Transfer the shaobings onto the cooling rack and enjoy while they are warm.
Storing and reheat
- Once the shaobings are cooled, store them in an airtight container if you plan on finishing them within one day, otherwise store in the freezer.
- To reheat, simply bake them in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 3-5 minutes, or 10-12 minutes from frozen. You can also try heating up with a air fryer for the extra crispiness.
Different ways to enjoy
- You can eat it directly or stuff it with a fried egg or omelet, for a perfect breakfast/brunch. My daughter loves spreading some cream cheese in her shaobing, which is also very delicious and satisfying.