Scallion pancakes are a beloved Chinese dish that can be enjoyed as an appetizer, side dish, or even a main course.
The savory flavor of the scallions combined with the crunchy texture of the pancake is simply irresistible.
But what really makes this dish stand out is its signature sauce!
Whether you’re looking for something sweet and sour, spicy and tangy, or nutty and garlicky – there’s sure to be a perfect sauce for your scallion pancakes.
In this article, I’ll share my top six favorite sauces that pair perfectly with scallion pancakes.
So let’s get started!
Why Use A Sauce with Scallion Pancakes?
A sauce is often served alongside scallion pancakes to add flavor and texture contrast.
Here are three reasons why using a sauce with scallion pancakes can be beneficial:
- Flavor Enhancement – Sauces like soy sauce, hoisin, or chili oil can help bring out the flavors of the scallions in the pancake while adding an extra layer of flavor complexity to the dish.
- Texture Contrast – The crispiness of the fried pancake pairs nicely with a smooth, creamy sauce which adds another dimension to each bite.
- Visual Appeal – Serving sauces alongside scallion pancakes helps make them look more appetizing by providing color contrast on your plate as well as making it easier for diners to dip their food into something flavorful before eating it!
The 6 Best Sauces for Scallion Pancakes
Scallion pancakes are a delicious Asian dish but can be made even more flavorful with the right sauce.
Here are six of the best sauces to pair with scallion pancakes, each offering a unique flavor profile:
1. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark-colored condiment made from fermented soybeans, garlic, chilies, and various spices.
It has a sweet and savory flavor with hints of smokiness.
The name hoisin comes from the Chinese words for ‘seafood‘ (海鮮) and ‘sauce’ (沙茶).
- To Make It: To make hoisin sauce at home, combine 1/4 cup of soy sauce with 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar or white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of five-spice powder or ground ginger, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Simmer the mixture over low heat until it thickens slightly.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have hoisin sauce on hand but need to use it in a recipe, there are several substitutes that can be used instead. These include oyster sauce (which is similar in flavor), barbecue sauce (which will add sweetness to the dish), teriyaki sauce (which will add sweetness as well as saltiness), plum sauce (which will add sweetness and tartness), or even ketchup mixed with Worcestershire Sauce.
- Common Uses: Hoisin sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce for appetizers, a marinade for meats, or a glaze for vegetables. It is also used in Chinese dishes such as Peking Duck, steamed spare ribs, and stir-fries.
2. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a dark, salty liquid made from fermented soybeans and wheat.
It is an essential condiment in many Asian cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai.
The flavor of soy sauce can range from light to dark and sweet to salty depending on the type of fermentation process used.
- To Make It: Traditional soy sauce is made by fermenting cooked soybeans with roasted wheat flour and salt for several months. This mixture is then pressed to extract the liquid which becomes the finished product.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to traditional soy sauce, there are some alternatives that can be used as substitutes such as tamari or coconut aminos. Tamari has a similar flavor profile but it does not contain any wheat while coconut aminos are made from fermented coconut sap instead of soybeans and wheat.
- Common Uses: Soy sauce is most commonly used as a condiment for dishes like sushi or ramen noodles but it can also be used in marinades or sauces for meats and vegetables. It’s also often added to stir-fries or soups for extra flavor.
3. Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce is a condiment made from a combination of sweet and sour ingredients, such as sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings.
It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine to add flavor to dishes like egg rolls or scallion pancakes.
- To Make It: To make sweet and sour sauce at home you will need the following ingredients: 1/2 cup white sugar; 1/4 cup white vinegar; 2 tablespoons ketchup; 2 tablespoons soy sauce; 1 teaspoon minced garlic; 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root; and salt to taste. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand for making sweet and sour sauce at home, there are some substitutions that can be made. For example, if you don’t have white sugar on hand you can use brown sugar instead. You can also substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar if desired. Additionally, honey or maple syrup can be used in place of ketchup for added sweetness.
- Common Uses: Sweet and sour sauce is most commonly served with fried foods like egg rolls or scallion pancakes but it can also be used as a dipping sauce for vegetables or meats such as chicken wings or pork chops. The versatile condiment can also be used as an ingredient in marinades or stir-fry dishes.
4. Chili Oil
Chili oil is a condiment made from vegetable or peanut oil that has been infused with chili peppers.
It can be used as a cooking ingredient, as well as a topping for dishes such as noodles and rice.
- To Make It: To make chili oil, start by heating the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it reaches about 350°F (177°C). Then add your desired amount of dried chilies to the hot oil and let them steep for 5 minutes. Once the chilies have steeped, remove them from the pan and strain out any remaining solids using cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer. The resulting chili-infused oil should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature away from direct sunlight.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to chili peppers, you can substitute other spices such as cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give your chili oil some heat. You can also use garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander seeds or ground ginger to add flavor to your chili oil.
- Common Uses: Chili Oil is commonly used in Asian cuisine such as stir-fries and noodle dishes like ramen and lo mein. It’s also great on top of fried foods like tempura or scallion pancakes for added flavor and spice.
5. Ponzu Sauce
Ponzu sauce is a citrus-based Japanese condiment made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin (sweet rice wine), and katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
It has a tart flavor with hints of sweetness and umami.
- To Make It: To make ponzu sauce, combine equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of mirin for every 2 tablespoons of the soy-vinegar mixture. Finally, add 1 teaspoon of katsuobushi for every 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Stir until all ingredients are combined and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have access to katsuobushi or mirin, you can substitute them with other ingredients such as dried seaweed flakes or sake respectively. You can also use lemon juice instead of rice vinegar if desired.
- Common Uses: Ponzu sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce for sashimi or tempura dishes, but it can also be used as an ingredient in marinades or dressings for salads and vegetables. It’s also great when drizzled over grilled meats like steak or chicken.
6. Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce is a condiment made from ground peanuts, garlic, and other spices.
It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine as a dipping sauce or to add flavor to dishes such as noodles and salads.
- To Make It: To make peanut sauce, you will need roasted peanuts, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar or honey for sweetness, chili paste for heat (optional), and water. Start by grinding the peanuts into a paste using either a food processor or mortar and pestle. Then mix together the remaining ingredients until they are well combined. Adjust the seasoning to taste with more salt or sugar if desired.
- Substitutions: If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand to make peanut sauce from scratch, there are some substitutions that can be made. Almond butter can be used instead of peanut butter; coconut milk can be substituted for water; and rice vinegar can replace soy sauce if needed.
- Common Uses: Peanut sauce is most commonly served as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or scallion pancakes but it also makes an excellent addition to noodle dishes like pad thai or stir-fries. It’s also great as a marinade for grilled meats like chicken satay skewers or tofu cubes before cooking them on the grill or in the oven.
In conclusion, scallion pancakes are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed with a variety of sauces.
The best sauces for scallion pancakes are hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, chili oil, ponzu sauce, and peanut sauce. Each of these sauces offers a unique flavor that will bring out the best in the scallion pancakes.
When it comes to sauces, the possibilities are endless.
Experiment with different combinations of these sauces to find the perfect flavor for your scallion pancakes.
The 6 Best Sauces for Scallion Pancakes
- Hoisin Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Chili Oil
- Ponzu Sauce
- Peanut Sauce
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a sauce recipe in 30 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.