Monday, August 9, 2010

Scallion Pancakes and the Single Life


The hubster was out of town for work this past week.  As soon as my mother found out, she frantically began searching for a flight to come out and stay with me.  Why?  Because she was afraid I'd either a) be kidnapped or b) die of loneliness in the hubster's absence.  After much convincing (and more than one reminder that I was almost thirty years old), she agreed to stay home but only if I called the second I set foot in the door every night.  And she meant it too.  The one night I forgot to call, my mother almost summoned the National Guard.

Me?  I was perfectly content to spend a week home alone.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the hubster.  He is my best friend and partner in crime for gyro and french fry making adventures.  He makes sure I don't eat biscotti for dinner every night or watch back-to-back Real Housewives of New York marathons.  In short, the hubster is awesome.  But sometimes, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  And in my world, that means vegging, shopping, crafting, cooking, and most importantly, eating.


See, when you're cooking for and eating with someone, there's an unstated pressure to measure up.  You can't serve grilled cheese for dinner every night.  At least not without a homemade soup or side of veggies.  Otherwise, you just feel inadequate.  It doesn't matter if you're married to the most understanding man who would be perfectly content eating a grilled cheese with a bag of Lays.  No, there's an ever-present pressure to be a good wife.  Cue 1950's music here.  I imagine this is what mothers feel like, always striving to do what's best and expected for their kids while their kids would be perfectly happy (if not happier) eating an Eggo waffle for dinner.


And yup, as soon as the hubster left, I had a grilled cheese for dinner.  With a side of flamin' hot Cheetos.  While watching a Real Housewives of New York marathon.  'Cause I'm classy like that.  The next night, I spread out my scrapbooking supplies and made a fugly scrapbook documenting our last vacation.  I swear, the thing is truly hideous.  And yet, while I was gluing flowers on plaid paper (told ya it was ugly) and listening to Eminem and Rihanna's Love the Way You Lie on repeat, I felt like Marth Stewart.  The night after that, I went out for fro yo with my girlfriends and we chatted and giggled for hours about absolutely nothing.  Afterward, I went to Sur La Table and pawed all their shiny, new gadgets and bought a cookbook.  Ok, two cookbooks.  Fine, three cookbooks, two squeeze bottles, and some pie weights.  And then, for the three nights after that, I had scallion pancakes for dinner.  Not scallion pancakes with grilled chicken or shrimp stir fry.  Nope, scallion pancakes by themselves.  In all their crispy, flaky glory.  Dipped into sticky, sweet soy dipping sauce.  'Cause I was cooking for and eating by myself.


And today, after a week of Azmina time, I'm kinda, sorta, maybe glad that my best friend is coming home tonight.  I'm tired of eating by myself and rumor has it, he too, likes scallion pancakes.  Oh, and he doesn't mind that I spilled glitter glue on the living room carpet.  Right, honey?


PS:  MasterChef is on tomorrow on FOX (or CTV for those in Canada).



Scallion Pancakes


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup ginger dipping sauce, recipe to follow


In a bowl, sift flour. Slowly add water in a steady stream while mixing with a wooden spoon. Keep adding water until a ball is formed. With the same procedure, one can use a food processor with a metal blade. Let ball of dough >relax for about 30 minutes and cover with damp cloth.

On a floured surface, roll out dough into a thin rectangle. Brush on oil mixture, cover with scallion and season with salt and pepper. Carefully roll dough like a sponge cake. Cut into 4 pieces. Take one piece and twist 3 times. Make a spiral out of this and roll again and flatten to achieve a 5 to 6 inch pancake. In a hot non-stick pan, coat with canola oil and pan sear both sides until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with dipping sauce.



Dipping Sauce


1/4 cup thin soy sauce
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar


Combine all ingredients.  Thin out with a little bit of water if flavor is too strong.


Adapted from Food Network

53 comments:

  1. I love how you made them paper thin. I've seen them kind of thick and almost cake-like. That's much too doughy and not as yummy. These look gooood. Just like you can get them in Hong Kong! YERM!

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  2. Hilarious, as always. Alone time gets even more precious when you have kids! Can't wait for MasterChef tomorrow :-)

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  3. I so enjoy reading your posts !! Agree with FrenchPressMemos after kids alone time becomes priceless. I still revert to eating cereal or grill cheese sandwhiches when the hubby travels

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  4. I love the days that Ali isn't home for dinner...I literally mix up all the leftovers in the fridge, add some salsa, pour myself a glass of sparkling water (cause I'm classy like that) and sit in front of the TV. Ignoring Maya of course. Those are the best nights!

    What on earth are pie weights? I am Sur la Table ignorant.

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  5. You can't even imagine how much more you crave for that girl time once you have a child and when she's an 11 month old like mine you would do anything to run away!
    Will give your recipe a try. It looks good!

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  6. I know exactly what you mean...I will admit that I totally look forward to when there are only enough leftovers for my guy, that way I can eat my dinner of choice - usually cheese and crackers, and maybe some other random odds and ends!

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  7. Ever since I saw a recipe for these in Family Fun magazine I have been craving these. When I lived in Thailand as a little girl, we used to buy something like these from a street vendor. They were so wonderful and I had completely repressed that memory. Now with your great tutorial, I am ready to release my inner child and eat, eat, eat!

    I know what you mean about enjoying alone time. I haven't had any since about 1992. That's what kids do for you.

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  8. I love the feeling of not having to worry about cooking for another person, eating/making whatever you want for dinner, and just living the single life. You said it Azmina, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Although I have to admit, I do have a love-hate relationship with the times hubby is away. I mean, who doesn't love letting out the beast in yourself once in a while? I just hate not having anyone to kick in the butt, push out the bedroom door (while locking it behind him with cell in hand ready to dial 911) in the middle of the night after hearing strange banging noises downstairs (wink). Glad you were able to enjoy some alone time.

    At first I actually read scallop pancakes and thought, where are the scallops. Then realised it was scallion pancakes, teehee. Either way, I love this! I could totally eat these for dinner, and lunch, and breakfast. Not to mention, snacking while watching MasterChef too (smile). Thank you for sharing the recipe. Have a wonderful week!

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  9. YUM!!! I want to eat these :) Great job... and I'm so with you. I love it when Honey is gone and I have my 'me' time. That usually involves trolling the internet, wine sipping, trashy tv watching... ok. basically what you did! Take a picture of your scrapbook... I bet it's not as bad as you think; although, aren't scrapbooks supposed to be slightly fugly?? :)

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  10. I LOVE scallion pancakes. my grandma use to make some amazing scallion pancakes and i'd eat them everyday! i use to also wrap them in stufff even tho and eat them with the main dishes instead of rice. my parents would look at me weird but its so0o0o delicious! i miss my grandmas scallion pancakes. The ones i get here in the US are always too thick for my liking. i like the thinner flakier ones vs the super thick ones

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  11. I am there with you! Though I have two toddlers to add to the mix, but once they are asleep, it's party time for me! I could have kimchi and a bowl of rice every night and have had some sort of savory pancakes for dinner as well. My guilty pleasure is the whole REAL HOUSEWIVES franchise while reading Us Magazine. :-) ha!

    Your pancakes look great! Must try them sometime!

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  12. One question; were you singing at the top of your lungs while scrapbooking? Because that's what I would do.
    These scallion pancakes look very yummy!

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  13. LOL! You cracked me up with being classy with the grilled cheese, flamin' hot Cheetos and Real Housewives! Sounds like my kind of meal.

    The grilled cheese reminds me of the time I made grilled cheese for my husband's birthday dinner when we were first married. My Mom thought I was horrible and could've done better. I was in a hurry, it was a week night and people were coming over for dessert. I've made a big dinner for him ever since!

    I've never heard of scallion pancakes and will be trying it as it sounds delicious.

    Funny with your mom also. I remember those days when he was out of town. Great post! I'm new here and know I will be back as I'm sure you'll make me laugh out loud again!

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  14. Wow! I would be afraid to tackle this but yours looks great :)

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  15. ha, this post is hilarious! I'm pretty pathetic and stick to the same 2 meals when my hubby's out of town.

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  16. What a lovely, funny post. I also love my husband dearly, but I do enjoy having some "me" time. It sounds like we spend our alone time the same way. And these pancakes? They sound delicious!

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  17. Fun post! I love the looks of these thin pancakes. They look scrumptious!

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  18. We're on the same boat. My husband's with the boys and won't return until tonight. My mom worries endlessly about my being alone and here I was, content to spend the entire day shopping in SF by myself yesterday. It was a great day for me. Of course, I start missing him after a few days but still, it's nice to have those "me" days. And I never cook when my hubby is not around. :-)

    Your scallion pancakes look awesome.

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  19. My hubs is out of town, too. 9 days - in Boston. When he's gone I watch old movies and hardly cook at all. I did make a fennel and orange salad - no cooking involved. I love scallion pancakes, but I would probably order them out from the Chinese restaurant we like :) Thanks for sharing, tho. And congrats on Master Chef!

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  20. yummyyyy! The scallion pancakes look fantastic, the coil reminds me of how you make "Lachcha" paratha.

    I have many nights alone when my husband is on-call and I dish out the cereal and watch stupid youtube videos and plenty of trashy reality TV.

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  21. That's funny about your mom. I love scallion pancakes and love how you rolled them. I hope you didn't watch the DC one...heard that's not...the same as the NY housewives!

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  22. That sounds so good. As I new Mom I have a new understanding of why they always worry!

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  23. I love spending time by myself when the hubby is gone but a few days into it, I am quite bored.

    Love the scallion pancakes.

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  24. I'm guilty of the silly alone suppers, too. I've often made a meal of popcorn and ice cream...

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  25. Never had scallion pancakes before. Must try.. Does your mom read your blog - lol!

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  26. I remember when my mom was like that...and I can also relate to dinner alone...my choice is usually sushi (my hubby is not a fan) with a nice bottle of dry rose =)
    can't wait to try making the pancakes!!! had them at Mua in Oakland and loved them...

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  27. Sounds like you had a perfect weekend - grilled cheese, shopping and a marathon of Real Housewives of NYC - perfect! I have wanted to make these pancakes and will need to try your recipe. Have you checked out the new housewives from DC???

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  28. Clearly not married, but I totally get it--when you cook for other people you feel like you have to give them a balanced meal. This is why I miss living alone -- sometimes I want to eat a waffle for dinner and not be judged.

    Now, as for these pancakes, I was actually discussing them last night. I LOVE these things. I think they'd make a mighty fine dinner. With a side of Crab Rangoon and a Diet Coke.

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  29. Such a cute post :) I do love a little time to myself every now and then, so I can definitely relate. These scallion pancakes would definitely be delicious to come home to!

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  30. One of my co-workers makes these scallion pancakes and I just love the taste! Yours definitely look super thin and completely even, I am very impressed. :)

    And, you just reminded me about two things. First, it has been FAR too long since I had a grilled cheese sandwich. I should do something about that. And second, YAY for MasterChef tomorrow! :D

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  31. Also, I finally added you to my google reader and am 'following' you. Ha, I love how creepy that sounds! I felt like I was missing your posts and that would be sad, so now you are in my reader!

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  32. I swear we were separated at birth except for the fact that we were born in different countries and you're 20 years younger than me. Well, and that you like the city and me the country. And there's the whole successful lawyer and soon-to-be MasterChef vs. stay-at-home mom thing. But other than those things, we were separated at birth.

    Seriously, I love this post. You spoke to my heart about loving your best friend but needing that alone time. I do the exact same things you do when hubby is gone, except it's Lays instead of Cheetos and a House marathon instead of DH. I love scrapbooking too.

    Someone made the scallion pancakes for us long ago and I was hooked instantly. They had stuffed theirs, but I love the look of yours and can't wait to give them a try.

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  33. Love the post, very funny, isn't alone time great?
    Yes it is! The scallion pancakes look so good and they would be fun to share with a loved one or not;-)

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  34. These look fabulous.. and I love the run down of your "single life" it sounds a lot like mine when Mountain Man is out of town.. I totally get sucked into any of the Housewives its like watching a train wreck! Oh and I recently purchased 8 cookbooks.. there's no harm in extending your collection :)

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  35. Azmina, you are seriously the most awesome person EVER. I love how you spent your "me" time (especially the Real Housewives marathon, though I would probably have gone with something a little more high-brow... like Jersey Shore), and I love how your mother makes my MIL look downright neglectful by comparison (which, let me tell you, is quite the achievement... that woman has turned irrational worrying into an art form). :)
    Oh, and the scallion pancakes look pretty awesome too... I always always always have to have an order of these when I see them on the dim sum menu.

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  36. I love "me" time, too. Lars and I have already requested it and we have been living together for less than 2 weeks.

    Also, I love love love scallion pancakes.

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  37. Hmmm so this is why I should appreciate being single. So that I can watch Real Housewives constantly. On repeat. Throw glitter everywhere. And eat scallion pancakes to my heart's content.

    I can be okay with that.

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  38. you're still a rock star in our book!!!
    keep blogging and don't give up your day job =)

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  39. Those look wonderful... Sur La Table, the grown up foodie Toys R US :) Great use of your "me time"...

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  40. Those look fantastic!!!! Love love love scallion pancakes. Can't wait to try these!

    I used to secretly love my hub's business trips -- license to misbehave and have scrambled eggs for dinner every night! The baby changed all that (well, not my love for scrambled eggs for dinner... :)

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  41. I totally agree!! I don't get women who won't let their men go out without them. I absolutely love when my bf is with me, but sometimes a night (or 2) alone is sooo needed.

    I love scallion pancakes and these look fantastic!!

    Sues

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  42. I watch reality tv as well, but only when the boyfriends out!

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  43. Alone time is great and I do take-out when my hubby travels, or I eat canned soup. :) I love green onion pancakes and I love how your pancakes are so thin and flakey-looking. I can't get mine this thin... I don't put the elbow grease in to flatten them! lol.

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  44. It is fun to be alone once in a while...I'm still waiting for my hubby to go somewhere so I can have "me" time...sigh

    Love your recipe for the scallion pancakes, I must try them this weekend.

    p.s. I also love that show...Real Housewives of NY! :) ......and I also buy cookbooks like there no tomorrow! lol

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  45. Whoa, these look outstanding. Hehe your mom is cute!

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  46. Hilarious! And yes, when I'm home alone all I want to do is eat toast with jam for dinner. But these pancakes look fabulous! I'll have to find some scallions at the farmers market.

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  47. my hub's been away a few times this month. so impressed you made scallion pancakes....i would've gotten them in takeout form!

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  48. Never thought of making scallion pancakes at home. They are for eating at Chinese restaurants. Recipes looks YUM!! Thanks!

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  49. Hahaha! You made me laugh so much. My mom is exactly the same and naturally, I'm on your side. Hiding away from everyone and making the fun stuff you just CAN'T make for the rest because it just "wouldn't be right". :)

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  50. I forgot to say, your recipe is great and I'm bookmarking it for my rare nights alone, which I almost always feel guilty for enjoying because I feel the same as you towards my husband. :)

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  51. This is exactly what I want this week. Can't agree more a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Don't get me wrong, my hubster is a sweetheart but I won't mind grill cheese sandwich nights. With television time which I haven't had in years. Now that I have to find a way to send my husband away. Any ideas?

    Besides isn't this the chini paratha ;) it is in my desi books. I love scallions. I promise if you come up with an idea to send him away for a week, I'll make it for the days. LOL.

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  52. Is ginger missing from the "Ginger Dipping Sauce"?

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  53. I was looking for something like this…I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs….Keep sharing.

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