Bonus: The recipe comes together quickly, too.

By Bridget Hallinan
June 23, 2020

If you have any green beans sitting in your fridge, Food & Wine Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple has the perfect way to use them up. In this new episode of Mad Genius: Home Edition, he walks viewers through his unconventional but delicious version of a Chinese scallion pancake, using a batter leavened with club soda and baking powder (rather than the traditional dough) and adding green beans for a little extra heft. As he cooks, he also shares some helpful advice, including a few other vegetables that would work and how to pull off flipping the pancake, too. Read on for his key tips.

Swap Out Green Beans If You Don’t Have Them

Even if you don't have green beans, you can still make this recipe. It's easily adaptable, and Justin says you can also use asparagus, or any kind of bell peppers—“the possibilities are endless.”

Don’t Forget the Club Soda

Using chilled club soda in the batter makes the pancake light and fluffy, and the baking powder helps it poof up, too.

Stick with Canola or Vegetable Oil

These two oils can withstand a lot of heat without smoking, and will allow you to get color on the vegetables when you cook them. (You want the scallions and green beans to reach a crisp-tender texture.)

Jalapeños Work, Too

While the recipe’s ingredient list calls for one fresh hot red chile—Justin typically likes to use a Fresno chile—he only has a jalapeño on hand in the video and ends up using that instead. Either way, you’ll be adding a little heat to the dish.

Invert the Pancake

The trickiest part of this recipe is flipping the pancake. In the video, Justin slides it onto a serving board—you can also use the lid of the pan or a large plate—and uses the board to invert the pancake back into the pan. Make sure you cut the heat on the stove when you take the pan off to flip.

Dig In

Once the pancake is golden brown on both sides, you’re good to go. Cut it up into wedges, and serve with a garnish of sliced scallions and a little bowl of soy sauce on the side for dipping.