Home » Culture » Where to find the best scallion pancakes in Keelung – an illustrated guide.

Where to find the best scallion pancakes in Keelung – an illustrated guide.

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Scallion Pancakes/ Cōng yóu Bǐng

Scallions are an abundant vegetable in Taiwan and not left underutilised. If you don’t consider yourself much of a pancake person, hear me out – scallion pancakes, or Cōng yóu Bǐng, are a savoury Taiwanese delicacy that satisfies everyone’s taste. 

What do scallion pancakes taste like?

The pancakes consist of a crisp golden fried outer shell, laminated sheets of soft chewy goodness within and a sharp onion taste that balances nicely with chilli sauce.

Process of making scallion pancakes

The recipe involves many steps, but is not impossible for an amateur cook to make in their home kitchen. All it requires – additional to the hero ingredient, scallions, – is flour, sea salt, water, lard (or unsalted butter) and canola oil (or soybean). Minced scallions need to be air-dried for at least 30 minutes before combining with ingredients in a particular sequence of steps that ensure the iconic layering texture is achieved. With a skillet set to medium heat, the process from there is simply to cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, adding a touch more oil on each flip.

scallion pancakes

The origins of the scallion pancake are not well known, but it is believed to have first become popular in Shanghai. Regardless, this savoury flatbread holds firm ground within both Taiwanese and Chinese cultural landscapes, dating back many generations ago, with slightly varying recipes and methods handed down the family lineage.

Must-try Scallion Pancakes in Keelung

For tourists visiting Keelung, scallion pancakes are simply a must-try!

There are a number of eateries around Keelung that locals visit on their walk to work for this ultimate on-the-go breakfast. Most open early, from around 7 am in the morning. Here are just some of the best places in Keelung to find them if you have $10-20 NTD to spare. And if you’re like me, you may want to bring along ink pens and a pocket sketchbook to record the memory.

(Note, many eateries will not have English menus, but hand gestures and online searched images are a universal language).

1. Keelung Da Lu Bing Cōng yóu Bǐng / 基隆大陸餅蔥油餅

Address: 200 No.42 Rener Rd, Ren’ai District.

It’s 7 am on Rener Road. Traffic is minimal, apartment residents still starting to wake. There’s a sound of a knife breaking through the flesh of a bunch of scallions, hitting a solid board, leaving the hairy ends discarded in a pile. An older woman hacks away, by her side, baskets full of scallions for the day’s batches.

基隆大陸餅蔥油餅, Scallion Pancakes/ Cōng yóu Bǐng, @_savagehannah

2. Chen Jia Zao Dian/ 陳家早點

Address: No. 316 Zhongzheng Road, Zhongzheng District

This gem is tucked away on a busy street of Zhongzheng district. They really do petite here. For just $10 you get a wee round stone of crisp scallion goodness, still piping hot from the oven. Delivery motorcyclists are in constant flow here. You know it must be good if the locals can’t get enough!

Scallion Pancakes/ Cōng yóu Bǐng, 陳家早點, @_savagehannah

3. Wei Jia Cong Zi Bing/ 魏家蔥仔餅

Address: No 49, Xiao 3rd Rd, Ren’ai District

Not far from Renai Market, you’ll find this nestled in the perfect spot for your early morning takeaway pick up en route to a coffee shop – and just $30 for two! They come so fresh from the oven, so be careful not to burn your tongue.

Scallion Pancakes/ Cōng yóu Bǐng, 魏家蔥仔餅, @_savagehannah

4. Dong Jia Guan/ 東家館

Address: No. 76, Xiding Rd, Zhongshan District

Your walk uphill will be rewarded with some energy-fueling carbohydrates (not that you need to work to earn this energy food).

Scallion Pancakes/ Cōng yóu Bǐng,東家館, @_savagehannah

5. Zhou jia Cōng yóu Bǐng/ 周家蔥油餅

Address: No. 309, Xin’er Rd, Zhongzheng District.

Last but not least, some locals argue this is the no 1. spot in Keelung for a scallion pancake. On any given morning there’s a queue down the street, so our advice is to skip the wait and sit inside at a table. You’ll be served much faster and get to experience the exciting goings-on inside a small taiwanese eatery – the hurried pace of taking food out of ovens and packaging takeaway food, the other diners conversing. Pancakes are served up on painted ceramic plates by a team of friendly staff.

 

All illustrations are originals by Hannah Morgan Savage (Instagram: @_savagehannah).

 

More about Keelung's breakfast/ scallion pancakes:
Taking a Dip into Keelung’s Bustling Breakfast Scene
A Taiwanese-Style Western Breakfast in Keelung
A Breakfast of Scallion Pancakes from Zhou Jia Soy Milk Store

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