These more-ish onion pancakes are the perfect side dish for readymade spare ribs – they make the whole meal feel scratch cooked.

Spring onion pancakes are an absolute institution in China, and they’re so delicious we can see why. Known as cong yo bing, they vary by region – sometimes thicker and chewier, sometimes thinner and crisper. These are the thin and crispy kind. They’re a common street food, and also a popular breakfast. Here, we’ve served them with a pack of shop bought spare ribs, reserving a little of the barbecue sauce from the ribs to drizzle over. That probably discounts them as a breakfast option for most people, but we won’t judge if it’s what you fancy. This makes a great main course for Pancake Day, and you can always finish with a classic pancake recipe for pudding.


These are great with a saucy main dish like the spare ribs, but they also make a really nice starter, served with a couple of dips - sweet chilli sauce and satay dressing for example.

If the spring onions are mature, with rounded ends, use only use the green middles and ends of the onions, which cook more quickly that the white parts. You don't need to discard the whites - you can add them to stir fries or sauces as you would any onion.

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  • 1pkt (460g) supermarket, marinated spare ribs
  • For the pancakes:
  • 220g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • 12 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 sweetheart cabbage, finely sliced
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Kimchi (optional) to serve
  • Sesame seeds, to serve


  • Cook the ribs according to packet instructions – keep back a little of the barbecue sauce for drizzling on the end.
  • To make the pancakes, mix the flour with 100ml warm water and salt in an electric mixer using a dough hook, once combined, knead for 5-8mins until elastic. Leave to stand for 10mins, covered, whilst you finely chop the spring onions, divide into 6 portions.
  • Shape the dough into a long log, and divide into 6 individual balls. Spread 1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil on a baking tray. Roll out a ball of the dough into the oil, to make a rough rectangle measuring 20 x 25cm – don’t worry if the dough splits a little. Sprinkle over one portion of the spring onions and another 1 tbsp of the sesame oil, season well with salt.
  • Starting on the longer length of the dough rectangle, roll the dough up into another thin log, then curl the log into a spiral (holding one end and wrapping the long log around). Set aside to rest whilst you make the rest of the pancakes.  When done, take the first spiral and simply press and roll out to a pancake 10-15cm diameter. Heat a heavy based frying, and fry the pancakes in a little peanut oil for 2-3mins a side, until cooked through.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven and take the meat off the bone. Serve the pancakes with the shredded meat, cabbage slices topped with lemon juice, extra BBQ sauce from the ribs and kimchi.
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