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[Photographts: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A couple of years ago, the idea of combining gooey, melted cheese with East Asian food would have seemed odd to me, to say the least. Since then, I've been turned on to bulgogi hoagies piled high with shaved ribeye, melted cheese, and kimchi, or kimchi quesadillas from those Korean taco trucks. I've even heard that honest-to-goodness Koreans like to melt a slice of cheese on top of their kimchi ramen. Whoah!

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So it was a pretty natural jump to create this quick mashup when I was rummaging through my fridge and found a whole slew of leftover scallions from my scallion pancake testing, along with a block of extra-sharp cheddar (just finished off the mac and cheese recipe for my upcoming book). I put two and two together in the form of a Cheddar Scallion Pancake.

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Once you've got the basic scallion pancake rolling method down, it's really easy to customize. In this case, I decided to saute the scallions first along with a few thinly sliced shallots to get rid of some of their bulk—the cheese needs some space. I also changed out the traditional toasted sesame seed oil for neutral canola oil—sesame oil and cheese seemed a bit much.

Rolled up, twisted, flattened into a pancake and fried, it comes out something like fried quesadilla, but with the flaky, light layers of a scallion pancake.

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If you're looking for mega ooze factor, try adding more cheese, but it quickly gets unwieldy.

It actually reminds me a whole lot of Salvadorian pupusas in that thin-dough-around-thin-layer-of-filling type way, which makes me think, I'll have to try this again stuffed with pork belly. Drool...

To make these, follow the Extra-Flaky Scallion Pancake recipe. While the dough is resting after step one, saute the scallions in a tablespoon of canola oil along with two thinly sliced shallots. Replace the sesame oil with canola oil and add a few tablespoons of grated cheese to each pancake, spreading it on top of the scallion-shallot mixture before rolling.

You won't be able to roll these quite as thin as a normal scallion pancake, so they'll take a couple extra minutes per side to cook through.

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