Scallion Pancake Heaven

IMG_6181Hazzah, the holiday season is upon us!  The jewish holiday season, that is…

September is dotted with so many Jewish holidays it is impressive anyone gets anything done at all. For some it is a time for deep reflection, but for most it is a time for eating. That’s right.  Pure, unadulterated gigundo meals of insane proportions.

Each family will be gathered together at least half a dozen times this month to share in an overwhelming amount of food, whether you like it or not.  It is less about the meaning of the holiday and more about force-feeding your loved ones. Minus the whole ‘fasting on Yom Kippur’ thing, which is basically menial pause in the endless chain of eating endlessly.

Strangely enough, I’ve been dealing with a week-long stomach virus, so my meal of choice right now is white rice and toast.  I will probably do my share of tasting what hits the table tonight, but I’m confident that if I don’t partake in the meal festivities today I will have many an opportunity later this month.IMG_6130

Luckliy, I made, (long before this stomach virus got me), some greasy and delicious scallion pancakes that were a hit machine, (as far as my mouth is concerned.)  They rivaled the piping hot ones I used to pick up while strolling through Chinatown in NY. Are those suckers still $1 a pop?   Nothing compares to that sweet sesame flavor and perfect chewiness when you are looking for a cheap snack on the go.  I’m glad that these lil babies exist in the world…although I think I will wait until long after this month of eating is over to try my hand at them again.

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So while we are all eating our apples dipped in honey, I highly suggest you cut the sweetness of the new year with some scallion pancakes dipped in soy.  Amen and Shana Tova, my lovelies.

Scallion Pancakes

2 cups flour
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup sesame oil
bunch of scallions chopped
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
small pinch of salt
big pinch salt
pinch white sugar
pinch chili flakes
vegetable oil

Start by combining the flour, a small pinch of salt, and water in a bowl. Mix until a dough begins to form – then dump it on the counter and kneed until the dough becomes smooth and pliable.  Place and an oiled bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime make a small bowl of what will become the mixture you brush on in between the layers. Place the sesame oil, oyster sauce, big pinch of salt, sugar and chili flakes in a bowl and swirl to combine. Set aside.

Separate the dough into 4 equal sized balls.  Start with one ball and roll it out into a nice thin disc roughly 8″ in diameter. Brush the surface with your mixture that you put together during the break.  Then roll the pancake up like a cigar, tightly. Take the cigar shape and roll it up on itself like a snail.  This is the coiling process you will repeat again soon.

Using your rolling pin, flatten the coiled snail out until it is a 8″ disk again. Brush with the mixture and this time distribute a handful of scallions over the surface.  Begin the coiling process again, (roll like a cigar, coil like a snail). Flatten one more time using your rolling pin. I was not able to get mine 8″ big at this stage every time. But as long as your pancake is back in disk form it is ready for frying!

Heat a small pan (cast iron is best!) with a swig of vegetable oil until shiny. Place your pancake gently in the pan and swirl it around.  Allow it to brown completely on one side before flipping.  Once both sides are deep golden brown remove from the pan.  Throw together a dipping sauce of soy, ginger, garlic, chili, a touch of sugar and have yourself a feast of epic proportions.

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