Food has long been an effective and economical healing resource of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). From the TCM perspective, every food has a special essence that conveys a healing energy to a particular organ, or in some cases, to several organs. Throughout the ages, TCM doctors have prescribed specific foods to help restore balance to an ailing organ system. TCM wisdom also advises following the seasons when selecting foods. This means regularly including foods in your diet that support the organ system in predominance at any given time.

Every season has a corresponding taste, according to Five-Element Theory, and sour is the taste associated with spring. There are many foods—broccoli, dandelion greens, eggplant, garlic, and pickles, among them—that nurture the Liver and Gallbladder, the organs related to Spring. Yet the humble scallion holds pride of place because of its tremendous healing benefits and effectiveness in a wide range of medicinal uses. Its warm essence travels to the Liver and Stomach meridians, helping to nourish and balance those organs.

Try these delicious, easy-to-make scallion pancakes. Then check out our recipe section for some other Liver-benefitting recipes.




1 cup flour

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten well

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

3 medium-sized scallions, washed, dried, and trimmed

Vegetable oil for frying



Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the water, milk, egg, salt and sugar. Whisk all ingredients together, taking care to press smooth any lumps in the batter.

Cut the scallions vertically down the center. Then chop them on the diagonal into 1/4” pieces. Fold the scallions into the batter.

Put some oil into a pan and heat on medium-high to high heat. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake.

Cook the first side about 3 to 4 minutes (the edges of the pancakes will begin to turn translucent). Flip and cook the other side until slightly browned.

Serve your scallion pancakes hot with your favorite soy-based dipping sauce.

This recipe makes about six 4-inch pancakes

Five Elements, Food
2 Responses to Scallion Power
  1. For those who prefer to avoid wheat, are there other options for flour other than wheat flour?


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