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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Scallion Pancakes

I was pretty excited when I found this recipe. I love scallion pancakes but never thought about making them at home. It was even better that I found the recipe in Cuisine Light, suggesting that they were about 18,000 calories less than the Chinese take-out version.

Scallion Pancakes

2 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sliced scallions
2 tsp vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 cup sliced scallions

1. Prepare dipping sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking together. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, water and eggs until smooth. Add scallions and stir.

3. Heat vegetable oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add batter; cook 7-8 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for an additional 7-8 minutes.

4. Cut pancake in 8 wedges and serve with dipping sauce.

The Verdict: Don't throw away your take out menus quite yet.

While the pancakes were good, they weren't like the ones you get at a Chinese restaurant. They were quite eggy and spongy which is not how I think of a scallion pancake. My husband, who isn't a giant fan of Chinese food and therefore isn't as knowledgeable about the menu, thought they were just fine.

As I'd predicted while preparing them, they aren't much without the dipping sauce so make sure to accompany them with it.

Like the name implies, a scallion pancake is...well, a pancake. And everyone knows about the first pancake that it's your tester. You need to figure out what heat you need before you create something that's golden and fluffy. Unfortunately, with this recipe, you're making one. (In my case, I doubled the recipe and made two.) Err on the side of caution and flip around the 6 minute mark. Even if you feel like it isn't thoroughly cooked, you can always flip it again for another minute or two.

I served the pancakes with fried vegetable brown rice, a recipe you can find in this blog. I tried to make a link for you, but the link caused all kinds of formatting disasters. I write in this recipe that the best fried rice is made from at least day-old rice. Well, guess who forgot to make rice for tonight's dinner? If you guessed me, give yourself two points. If you find yourself in the same predicament, don't fret. Take this tip from chef Ming Tsai: make a batch of rice and freeze it for 25-30 minutes. (Incidentally, if you're going to cook with tofu as a meat substitute, do the same, though you may need to increase the freezing time. It changes the tofu's consistency from creamy to rough; giving it a meatier texture as well as a texture that your other ingredients more easily sticks to.)

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