Friday, June 12, 2009

Scallion Pancake Obsession

Lately (since preschool ended), I have been lucky enough to attend our North Village Community coffee hours on Monday morning. They are a treasured affair for me.  Free coffee and tea, fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods from my favorite bakery (Henion) and conversation with my diverse neighbors, most of whom are mothers. Since I started working I have not been able to go much and it has since morphed into this frenetic, cooking extravaganza. One week, Maria, from Greece was making spanikopita and this eggplant cassserole thingy. The next week, the Chinese grandmothers were busy making dumplings and this sweet porridge/soup. I love walking into our little community center and being enveloped by delicious smells and dimpled children from all over the world. And I love the fact that with gestures, smiles and food, surfaces the realization that we are essentially all the same.

This last week the Chinese grandmothers and some daughters (there are probably more Chinese in my community than Americans) were making scallion pancakes. I have been lucky enough to have sampled these deliciously simple crepe-like treasures a few times. After having one at H2  our community center, I realized that I could not wait to have another! I simply must make some myself. I got busy looking for recipes on the internet. None of the recipes online required ladling the mixture into the pan ( like the folks who made them for H2) so I took the matter in my own hands. I knew they required flour, eggs (although eggs can be optional), water and salt. I basically adjusted a standard pancake recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything book (adding some more liquid to make them thinner, omitting sugar and adding soy sauce). Then I chopped up some scallions (to add to the pancakes while they were cooking), seasoned some ground turkey with garlic, ginger and soy sauce, tore up some crunchy romaine, sliced some red peppers and placed bowls of all of the accoutrements on the table. The result was so delicious and quite easy. I made all the pancakes ahead of time and kept them warm in the oven. I also made a sauce with soy sauce , grated ginger, garlic, honey and vinegar. Any bottled teriyaki sauce would work here. We sprinkled the sauce on top of the fillings. 

At H2 the pancakes were filled with romaine and beansprouts and that was quite yummy but I remembered having lettuce wraps at an Asian restaurant once with seasoned ground pork inside and I wanted to try to use that idea.  Sorry I don't have a proper recipe here but hopefully you can be creative and figure it out with a bit of tasting and experimenting....


Constantina said...

Ooo, thanks. The Korean version (probably very much the same) is a staple in our house. When are you coming to dinner. xoxox.

p.s. Yes, I hacked some E. Gorey. Don't tell anyone...

Jen said...

You are so creative to have re-created this recipe from scratch, and make something that looks so DELISH! :o)



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