trying to satisfy my cravings in the middle of a pandemic

She Swallow’s Kitchen | San Francisco, CA

I’m an actual whore for 油饼 or congyoubing or Chinese scallions pancakes.

Back home in Los Angeles, we ordered it at every restaurant that offered it. When I went to Taiwan, I walked almost four miles to go to a little place to get them. Not all scallion pancakes are made the same, and that’s fine. Some are flakey, some are doughy, some are both. Luckily for me, I haven’t tried a 油饼 that I didn’t like. Until I tried them somewhere in San Francisco and it fell short. Heartbroken is an understatement. I rather have my heart broken by a boy then have bad Chinese food and I’m deadass. There are probably tons of places in SF that have good 油饼, but it’s hard to find in the middle of a pandemic. Sure, I can order it but it’s not going to be fresh. This was a craving I would have to satisfy myself.

When I was in Taiwan, I seriously went to Daede’s Spring Onion Pancake almost every day. His were flaky with just the right amount of doughy and every bite was *chef’s kiss* seasoned to perfection. Since I went so many times, I was able to watch him prep and cook it. My dad talked to him since my Chinese is no bueno. He’s been doing it for years so watching him was like art. If you broke it down, it looked achievable. Maybe not to my boy’s Daede standards, but doable.

My cousin actually made these not too long ago and she sent me a recipe to follow. Please keep in mind that mine did not look like the recipes at all. Unlike other cooking trials, I either winged it or didn’t have all the ingredients. This time I planned for this. I had everything ready so there would be no excuse for it to taste bad.

What you’re going to need is:

  • 2 cup unshifted all-purpose flour (nearly 300g)
  • ¾ cup water (1/2 hot boiling water + ⅓ cold water) + 10ml for adjusting
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 cup chopped scallion (use green part only)
  • ½ tsp. salt

The first step is to miss the flour and salt together. After mixing, make a small hole in the middle and pour the hot ass water in the middle. Wait ten minutes then add the cold water and vegetable oil in. Then you’re going to make it into a ball.

Cue the “what I ordered online versus what actually came in” jokes.

This is what it was supposed to look like versus what it actually looked like…

Mine was so lumpy, dude. I added a little water and it helped a lot and it eventually became smooth. Tbh, I’m not too sure if I was supposed to add hot water, cold water, or Processed with VSCO with l4 presetoil but I just used cold water. Even now, I don’t know if that was the best choice but it worked for the time being.

Let your ball kick it for 20-30 minutes. While the dough was chilling off to the side, I was cutting the scallions. I can’t express how much I hate cutting any type of onions. My eyes are so sensitive, I start crying immediately. Little bitch eyes, I tell you. I’ve tried different tricks like chewing gum or having a piece of bread in your mouth. Nothing really helps so I just have to power through. First world problems.

The next steps called for making the big ball into four smaller balls and rolling them out. I think my biggest downfall in this whole process was assemble-the-pancakenot having one of those roller thingies.  This what it was supposed to look like after you add some oil, seasoning, and onions, and roll them up into little snails. Asdfghjkl, please don’t make fun of my little snails. Admittedly, I made them too thick. Too thick for their own good. I thought this wouldn’t be a big deal since I would still have to make into a pancake later on and it would flatten out. I may or may have not been a little too optimistic there.

After you make it into a snail, throw a wet towel on top and have it rest for around 15 minutes. Once the snails are done with their little nap, squish them into a flat pancake. I realized my snails were really big so I split them up and only made three for my first batch. Make sure you put some oil on your pan and just start cooking them.

I know what you’re thinking… dem boiz thicc. As much as I tried to squish them down with my hands, it just wasn’t working. Taste-wise, they were bomb. It might be one of my top ten treats I’ve made. Despite the appearance they were tasty. The outside was crispy and the inside was the right amount of doughy. Even though the steps are pretty easy, I’m very proud of myself for making these. They satisfied my cravings and I think Daede himself would be impressed.

I only used half the dough because I wanted to try again after letting the dough rest. The next day the dough was a lot easier to flatten. They were still a little thick but they looked a lot better.

Final takeaways,

  • I will be making this again.
  • Maybe the next time, I’ll air-fry them.
  • I’ve added a rolling thingy to my cart.
  • This one looks like a lil poop

Processed with VSCO with l4 preset

 

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