Chinese Cong You Bing | Spring Onion Pancakes

Friday 16 October is World Food Day, so at Fitzroy ELC, we’re using the Spring Onions grown in our very own Playground to Plate® Food Garden to make a popular Chinese snack food, ‘Cong You Bing’ or Spring Onion Pancakes.

Throughout this week, Rachel has been making these pancakes with the children as part of the Playground to Plate® Garden Classes and they’ve been a really big hit!!

Spring Onion Pancakes (Cong You Bing, 葱油饼) are a very popular staple food in China. You can find them both at humble street stalls and in high-end restaurants.

They’re easy to make with children and super tasty! Give them a go!


For the Dough:

250g Plain Flour

160ml Boiling Water

For the Filling:

2 tbsp melted butter or ghee (clarified butter)

2 tbsp Plain Flour

1/4 tsp salt

3 Green stems from a Spring Onion, finely chopped

For Frying:

2 tbsp Cooking Oil


Make the dough 

  • Place the flour in a heatproof bowl. Carefully add the boiling water to the bowl. Stir with a pair of chopsticks or a fork until the flour turns lumpy and no more water remains.
  • Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, knead the mixture into a soft, smooth ball of dough. Leave to rest for 30 Minutes with a damp cloth over the bowl.

Prepare the filling 

  • Mix flour, butter and salt together and finely chop the spring onion stems.

Shape the Pancakes

  • Knead the dough again for a further 5 mins.
  • Flatten it with a rolling pin into a thin rectangle shape (as thin as possible), dusting the surface of your bench or board with flour as you go to avoid the dough sticking.
  • Once the dough is rolled out, brush the surface of the dough with the butter/flour/salt mixture
  • Sprinkle the spring onion stems generously across the surface of the dough.
  • Roll up the dough into a long cylinder, then cut the cylinder into 4 equally sized pieces.
  • Take one of the four pieces and roll into a slightly thinner, longer cylinder, then roll together into the shape of a snail.
  • Repeat this process for the remaining three pieces and set ‘snails’ aside to rest, with a damp cloth over them for about 10 mins.
  • After resting, use a rolling pin to flatten the snails so that they are rolled out to a circle about 13cm in diameter, about half a centimetre thick. Set aside for frying.

Fry the Pancakes

  • Heat up oil in a frying pan over a high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, place the pancakes in, one at a time, then turn the heat to medium
  • Flip over 2-3 times. Cook until both sides are golden brown.


  • You can freeze uncooked pancakes. Stack them between pieces of baking paper or cling film, then place them in a sealed plastic bag. When you want to use them, thaw them in the fridge and when soft, pan fry them as above.
  • You can serve them as breakfast or an afternoon snack with your favourite chinese dipping sauce.