Monday, May 24, 2010

Green Onion Pancakes: a love story

Divided by fate and longitude, these two lovers grew up in different worlds. She, a wild, independent spirit from the untamed American West; he, a silent, strong but tender warrior from the rugged shores of Formosa. But fate could not long separate two souls whose heartflames had been kindled in the same primordial love furnace.

And so it was that Montana Rose crossed an ocean, embarking on a new life for herself and destiny threw her in the path of Cong Zhua Bing, the passionate mute warrior of the Far East.

He met her that first fateful day, unknowing, untrusting. His two cups of flour, pinch of sea salt and a cup of warm water were about to be transformed into nothing he had ever dared believe in; all with the touch of her tender hands. And some sesame oil.

Kneaded into a tender dough and slathered in oil...

um... you know what? The trashy romance novel* narrative was really funny for about 30 seconds but I think I'm gonna just stop right there.

On that note, let's dice some green onions.

These aren't quite green onions; they're one of the other green onion cousins that hang out here in Asia but you know what? I think they're just dandy. Also, for this recipe there are too many of them. Even if they are your rugged soulmate you really only need so many.

This is my tiny little kitchen that I love.

I rolled the dough out into a 10" log

And sliced it into six pieces

Then roll each slice into a rectangle and brush it with sesame oil (not too much!) and sprinkle it with 1/6 of your green onions. Loverboy.

Roll it all up as tight as you can,

And then roll the whole tube into a spiral. Then you roll this out as flat as you can get it. If you have some measure of skill you won't bust open all the dough and get the green onions spilling out and the excess oil squirting all over your rolling surface and generally making your life hard. I, of course, have all sorts of measures of skill. No doubt.

I stacked them on plastic wrap to freeze four of them because I could only eat two for breakfast that day.

Fry them up in a little vegetable oil until they're lovely, tan and ready to do whatever you ask of them. At this point it's also quite lovely to fry an egg on top.

Drizzle them with some soy sauce paste (it's like soy sauce, but he means it.)

And all those years of waiting, yearning for your one true love will have been worth it as he takes you in his muscular arms and . . . shoves a piece of green onion pancake in your mouth.

* I do NOT read trashy romance novels. However, I had a friend in high school who did and I perfected the art of stealing them off her desk and reading the synopsis off the back in a very dramatic voice. There's quite the formula to success: name your heroine after a flower or a semi-precious gemstone, make her live somewhere exotic and forbidding (the Mojave desert, the wind-whipped Scottish highlands, the murky rivers of Abyssinia, Queens) and give her a wild independent temperament, never to be tamed. Also, her eyes should be the color of a semi-precious gemstone NOT the same as her first name. The guy has to be stoic and silent, unwilling to settle down until he is tamed by that one wild heart with the tender hands and topaz eyes of fire. Also, use the word rogue at least once. Magic! Heart-pounding literary magic!


  1. Haha, I love it. My dad would call this Chinese Pizza!

  2. Morgan--you are just the best part of my day! Loved the blushing at "slathered in oil". And I think that narrative was way to good to have just come from reading the back of those novels. Oh--and you make this concoction sound almost good enough to try and I try to avoid onions at almost any cost..

  3. Ummm...I LOVE reading the backs of those books. But it got me into trouble at work once. The woman who was buying the books seemed to think I was making fun of her...can't imagine why

  4. And I thought I was the only one who used to make fun of these books that way! Hilarious! I like the pancake. But for a moment, I thought you were going to make a cinnamon roll a la onion pancake.