Yunnan, an exotic land of former kingdoms which borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam and Laos, is the most bio-diverse province in China.

Spring Onion Pancakes


4 tbsp finely chopped spring onions

200 g/7 oz plain flour

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

400 ml/14 fl oz milk

200 ml/7 oz water

3 tbsp oil

Oil, for frying


  1. Heat a little oil in a pan and stir-fry the spring onion until beginning to soften. Remove and set aside.
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Beat the eggs with the egg yolks, and mix into the flour.
  3. Slowly add the milk and water, beating vigorously, until the batter is creamy. Stir in 3 tbsp of oil and continue beating. Stir in the spring onions.
  4. Into a hot pan, pour in about 1 tbsp of the batter and cook until set but not browned. Turn (optional).

Crispy Spring Onion Cakes


450 g/1 lb plain flour

1 tsp salt

300 ml/ ½ pint boiling water

1 tbsp cold water

50 g/1 ¾ oz lard

150 g/5 ½ oz spring onions, roughly chopped

Sea salt, for sprinkling

Oil, for frying 


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, stir in the boiling water. Add the cold water and, when sufficiently cool, knead the dough until thick and smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and leave for at least 20 minutes
  2. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and divide into 12 pieces. Roll out each piece until thin. Smear with lard, dot with spring onion, and sprinkle with sea salt. Reform into a ball, and roll out again in a 10 cm/4 in diameter circle
  3. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan, and fry one pancake at a time for 3 minutes on each side until beginning to brown, gently squashing it into the oil to ensure a smooth surface. Shake the pan from time to time. Serve immediately.

Thanks to Annabel Jackson for contributing the recipe.
The first of these recipes come from The Yunnan Cookbook - Recipes from China's Land of Ethnic Diversity (2014). Hong Kong: Blacksmith Books
Photo by Chris Pople.