Scallion Pancakes

There are certain foods that I obsess over, that I like to revisit and savor. Scallion pancakes are one of those obsessions. To be honest, the obsession began with this hole in the wall Chinese restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown. King Fung Garden. Martin and I came across it through Phantom Gourmet and we try to return every time we’re in Boston. The whole experience is fantastic. Once you’re seated you immediately receive hot jasmine tea (which is wonderful on a chilly Boston evening). There has rarely been a line, but people are always coming in picking up orders. The atmosphere is cozy and more than likely you will be seated near a group of kids from one of the many universities in the area. We even overheard a conversation about high calcium intake causing kidney stones in men. Needless to say that was the last day Martin snuck in one of my chocolate calcium chews.

Anyways, we always start of a meal with an order of scallion pancakes. Not surprisingly, they are amazing. What better way to start off a meal of hand stretched noodles? Recently, New York magazine featured a recipe for scallion pancakes and there was an urgent need to make them.

Gut Reaction: These turned out really well and they are sooo easy to make. Now if only I can figure out how to make hand stretched noodles!

Recipe:

Hooni Kim’s Pajeon

For the Batter:
1 cup AP flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup club soda
1 tsp. garlic, grated
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt and pepper

For the Pancakes:
1 bunch scallions
Vegetable oil

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the batter and let cool in the refrigerator or freezer until very cold. (The colder the batter, the crisper the pancake.) Trim the ends off the scallions, and (1) cut into 1-inch pieces. (2) If the white ends are thick, split them lengthwise before cutting them into pieces. Add the scallions to the cold batter. Heat a medium sauté pan over high heat, and add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil until very hot. (3) Using a 2-ounce ladle, add the batter to the pan, cooking 1 pancake at a time, and reduce heat to medium. Cook until bottom is golden brown and crisp. Flip pancake, and sauté until cooked through. Remove to paper towel to absorb some of the grease. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil as needed. Cut pancakes into quarters and serve with a dipping sauce made from a mixture of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon each of rice vinegar and mirin, and 3 drops of sesame oil.

Recipe Notes:

I followed the recipe as is and they were perfect. Just be sure to have your heat on high so they turn out crisp and not soggy. Lastly, I believe mirin is some sort of rice wine, so we just skipped it. Our dipping sauce consisted of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. It was a bit on the salty side – so maybe add a touch of sugar if it’s a little too salty for you.

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