Friday, July 2, 2010

Scallion Pancakes

After weeks of filling my fridge with organic, nutrient-rich, green vegetables that I minimally processed for dinner, all I could think about when I saw the scallions at the farm stand during Week 5 was scallion pancakes. This is a great way to make a nutritious vegetable less nutritious by adding white flour. But no matter. I had to have these. After a little searching, I found this recipe, complete with pictures.

I followed the recipe step-by-step. After I left the dough to rise, things began to unravel. After checking the dough repeatedly, it still hadn't risen. It was getting close to dinnertime, family members would be home soon, and they'd be hungry. So, I took the dough out anyway, and began to work on it. And work on it. And work on it. It was sticky and unmanageable. I couldn't get it to become smooth, dry and elastic (as in the recipe's picture) to roll into a log. The dough had no intention of rolling into a log. If I picked up one end, it would just ooze out of my fingers and refuse to comply. I added flour. And more flour. And even more flour. Each successive addition of flour (by tablespoons) seemed to just disappear into the dough mass after a while. I must have added more than a cup of additional flour before I just threw up my sticky hands. 

I decided to just start cooking them and hope for the best. Instead of cutting off neat disks from a log, I just started tearing gobs of dough from this mass. Rolling was impossible so I just patted each disk with my hand, sprinkled scallions on top, and tried to roll and squish it down as best I could. I prepared all these little "patties" and laid them on a plate to fry. My husband arrived home at this instant and saw the mess and my distress. He dropped his bags on the floor and began to help. He noticed that the patties that were already in the frying pan were puffing up and we were both concerned that they would brown on the outside but remain raw on the inside. He came up with the technique of further mashing these patties into the frying pan with a spatula to make them thinner. As a result, some came out as puffy, little pancakes and some were large and thin. After everything was done, it was the moment of truth.

We all tasted one. They were delicious! Puffy or thin, they all had the same, chewy, delicious taste. Despite the dough not quite working the way it should, they were as good, if not better than, a Chinese restaurant's. They were hands down the best thing I've made with the CSA vegetables so far. Yeah, I know, it's the dough and not the scallions that made this good but hey, it was something I had never made before.

Next time when I make this, I'll try to add less water in one of the early steps. That may have caused the problem. It's also possible that my yeast wasn't as fresh as it could have been (but it wasn't expired) and prevented the dough from rising promptly.


  1. "it was something I had never made before" - not true! we made scallion pancakes at your parents once. didn't turn out too great as i recall, but not inedible...

  2. Sorry that I don't remember. This recipe turned out delicious pancakes though.