Scallion Pancakes and Sort of Pad See Ew

9 Jun

You may have noticed, in the many months now that I’ve been running this blog, that I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about sustainable architecture in China and all the research I’m doing on that subject.  I spent a long time hammering out a paper on SA and then presented that paper at a conference and now I am here to tell you that shit just got even more real.

I know.

How could it?  What could possibly even mean?

This little paper of mine about some buildings I like is getting published!  It was selected as the PSC department’s choice, beating out a whole bunch of probably tremendously excellent papers by my very talented peers, to be published in the school’s undergrad research journal.

I was beyond excited to get the news and am still in awe that my paper made it, and I am greatly looking forward to getting a copy of the journal sometime later this summer and seeing something I labored very hard over on fancy printed pages!  Talk about a rewarding experience, my god!

So that’s my news, and also I have been cooking and baking up a storm, so as the quarter ends in the coming week I will have many, many recipes to share.  To begin with: some bastardized pad see ew.

I say bastardized.  Really I just used a different kind of noodle because it’s what I happened to have on hand.

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Also, I’ve got scallion pancakes to share with you all, which makes me very, very happy because I have the fondest feelings for scallion pancakes.  They were THE thing my family always got with our food when we went to this fantastic Chinese restaurant in New York called Ollie’s, which sadly closed for good recently.  I’ve never had scallion pancakes even approaching the quality of the ones at Ollie’s, but it makes me very happy that I can make them on my own now.

The scallion pancakes recipe is from my new favorite blog, Appetite for China, and the pad see ew recipe is from Chow Hound.

Ingredients:

For the pad see ew:

  • 14 oz dried noodles.  I used chow fun noodles, which I don’t actually like, but you should probably use  wide rice noodles
  • 14 oz (1 block) firm tofu, pressed and diced
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb broccoli, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

For the pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 tbsp oil, plus more if need be (for frying)
  • 3 scallions
  • a pinch of salt

To make the pad see ew:

In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water until soft, about 30 minutes.

Stir together the soy sauce, 1/4 cup of the water, and sugar in a small bowl.  Take the rest of the water and heat it in a large frying pan until it starts to simmer.  Add the broccoli and steam for about 2 minutes.

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Stop steaming and just cook the broccoli for another two minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the broccoli is piercable by fork but still crunchy.  Move to a plate and set aside.

Back in the frying pan, add the oil and heat on medium-high until simmering.  Throw in the tofu and sear for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.

Turn down the heat a bit and add the garlic, then the soy sauce mixture and the noodles.  Toss until well-coated in the sauce and cook until everything has blended together and warmed through.

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Now, for the pancakes.  These were fun to make, and I hope to make more soon if only because they make excellent egg sandwich material.  Also, if you want more detailed instructions then I highly recommend the video on Appetite for China, which I found really helpful.

Oil a mixing bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, mix the flour and water together.  Dump the dough on your working surface and knead for about five minutes, until the ingredients are well-combined.  Put the dough in the oiled mixing bowl and toss it around until lightly coated in oil.  Cover that with a dish towel and let it rest for half an hour.

Once the dough has rested, roll it out into a cylinder and chop up the cylinder into 2-in.-long segments.  Roll out each segment into a circle about 1/8 in. thick.

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Brush the top of each circle with oil.  Chop up the scallions very finely.

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Sprinkle the scallions on top of the circle and roll it up like you would a poster.  Coil the roll like a cinnamon bun.

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This is where her video really helped, because those instructions are hella vague, sorry.  Now, smash the little dough snail with a rolling pin until you form another circle.  Things will get greasy as the scallions pop out of the dough.

Lay them out separately or stack them with paper towels between each pancake.  In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil and pan fry each pancake until golden-brown and crispy, for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Press down on the pancake with the back of a spatula to ensure the whole thing cooks evenly, and be careful of burning them.

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Eat with soy sauce or piled high with eggs, scallions, and kimchi as I did the next day.

 

So aside from recommending Appetite for China (which I do, highly), I’m going to recommend a new TV show today.  I don’t watch a lot of TV, and certainly not the very popular shows because I have peculiar and specific tastes.  But Hannibal?  I’m all over that.  It’s on NBC, contributing the the mysterious rise of quality shows on network TV.  It’s sort of obvious what it’s about, I think, but what I love about it is that it subverts the overly popular trope of the crime investigator who knows everything and is haughty, arrogant, and aloof like certain Sherlock Holmes portrayals (which I also love!  But enough already!)  The main character goes absolutely batshit over the course of the show because of the things he sees in investigations, and it’s just really great to see a character–a male character!–experiencing really debilitating emotions instead of disowning those emotions as a sign of Strength.

Also, the show really shoots the idea of romanticizing violence in the knee caps–something I very, very strongly object to in popular culture.  There’s a really crazy and intense culture of idealized violence particularly in American media, and I’m well sick of it.

Finally, the art direction is off the charts.  Hot damn.  You should probably go watch this show, because that is what I’m about to do.  Until next time!

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