Saturday, April 25, 2020

Scallion Pancakes...Next Level

Tim and I love green onions. It is a regular staple on our grocery list and so we often pick some up even when we do not have any definitive plans of what to make with them. Last week, I found our latest bunch of sad, neglected scallions sitting in our refrigerator vegetable tray looking like they were on their last legs. I popped them in some water to give them a little life and then set to make scallion pancakes.

Scallion pancakes are among my favorite savory Asian snacks. Fluffy, crispy and delicious, I usually just munch on them as-is but occasionally, I dip them in hoisin sauce. I love that they are so easy to make! There are a lot of recipes available online which teach you how to make them. This happens to be the one that I used when I made my first batch: I have varied the amount of water slightly over time based on the feel of the dough with each batch. Most recipes call for two to two-and-a-half cups of flour which yields a lot of dough; too much for when I just want a snack. I usually only use one cup of flour to produce four decent sized pancakes.

Although delicious pan-fried, I do still like ordering them in restaurants since some places deep fry, or at least shallow fry, them, giving the pancakes an extra crispiness. Tim and I enjoyed munching on the pancakes so much last week, we decided to make more for breakfast this morning… but crank it up a notch. COVID19 physical distancing is clearly affecting our judgement these days.

I made the pancakes as I usually did but this time, we decided to try deep frying them ourselves (It was supposed to be a shallow fry but considering how flat and thin the pancakes are, “shallow” and “deep” are essentially the same thing in this case). The outside was beautifully bubbly, brown and crispy while the inside was soft and oniony. But we did not stop there. Last night, Tim had taken out a piece of roast pork from our freezer to thaw. We popped it in the oven to heat and crisp it back up. A few slices of pork, a drizzle of hoisin, a sprinkle of fresh scallions, a second pancake and… voila!

It. Was. Delicious. So unhealthy, I am sure, but delicious. It reminded me very strongly of Asian street food so in a way, we got to enjoy a little homemade “travel experience” in the comfort of our own kitchen. It would have been perfect with soya milk but unfortunately, we had to make do with just some Nestle ice tea. Oh well, there is always next time. 

The Easiest Start to an Herb Garden

Whenever I use scallions, I save the white bulbs with roots so that I can stick them in water to allow them to grow again. It is so simple and I can easily get at least one more free crop of scallions. It takes about two weeks or more before the green shoots become long enough for a decent harvest. As someone who is a terrible gardener, I love the satisfaction of producing something edible with minimal chance of failure.

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