Jun 22, 2009
Onion Pancakes

Out of sheer boredom, I decided to make some onion “pancakes” today. Practice makes perfect. You start out with some all-purpose flour, about two handfuls. You add hot water to it and knead it until it becomes soft and elastic. I’ve found using a rolling pin helpful, but this kind of food calls for TLC. Make it right and it’ll taste right (see how I’m BS-ing?).
After letting the dough sit, roll it out like a pizza crust (tsk-tsk, Marco Polo). Rub some oil into the dough (I used sesame seed oil, but you can use what tastes best for you). Then chop up some green onions and sprinkle it on the outstretched dough. Roll that thing back up and roll it out thin (the thinner the better, but we’re not making wafers). That distributes the green onions evenly.
Heat up a frying pan with some oil in it. Put the stretched dough on there and sear it nice like a tortilla. Flip it over and sear the other side. When it’s done, it should be crispy on the outside, but chewy in the middle. This is the same dough used to make pot stickers, also known as wonton wraps.
Don’t forget to salt it unless you like it plain. Otherwise, you can make a salty sauce. I usually concoct a sauce consisting of “chicken fun zew” (you know, the red chili sauce with the rooster on it), fish sauce, and lime juice. However, today we didn’t have that so I made a similar sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice.




The first one I messed up. It was too crispy and became a cracker. The second one I made better because I added more water. It was flakey, aromatic, and satisfying. That must have taken at least 3 hours, which was mainly kneading. As they say, gotta eat!

Jun 22, 2009
Mienh-style liang fen is fun!

After exhausting the search for any mention of Mienh-style liang fen (translated from Chinese means “cold noodles”), I decided the burden was up to me to document one of my favorite home-cooked dishes.

If you do a search for “liang fen” through Google (or Yahoo, sigh), you can find a variety of ways the originators prepare it. Make sure you use the image search for a better idea of the diversity. Apparently, the Chinese don’t eat the liang fen with a soup. It seems they prepare it with a sauce, a dollop of flavor. Methinks that Marco Polo missed this treat so much on his trip to “the Orient” that when he returned home, sa-pa-ghe-tee was born.

Anyway, here’s an idea of similar dish from Southeast Asia:

I’d provide the recipe, but I have no idea how to make it. Only how to eat it. Har.

Jun 20, 2009
Yeo’s Soy Bean Drink: Authentic Asian Drink

I want to avoid calling “thuppo wum” “soymilk” because if my memory serves me correctly, Ming Tsai explained the difference between soymilk and soyjuice distinctly. I can’t quote him on it, but soymilk is when the soy bean is grinded back in with the boiled juice. On the other hand, soy juice is the byproduct of boiling the soy beans in water, then discarding the beans. And having tasted Yeo’s versus the craptastic “healthy” soymilk, I would think that Yeo’s doesn’t serve me any benefit besides satisfying my sweet tooth and that is the one I prefer.
I don’t want to call Yeo’s Soy Bean Drink soymilk because, for the obvious reason, Yeo’s doesn’t call it soymilk. It might technically be processed as soymilk, but that stuff goes down smooth so I don’t think there is a high ratio of beans in there if any. Unlike that nasty Silk, which looks like baby formula and tastes like a mouthful of glue, Yeo’s is sweet and light.
And to make a reference to another Asian drink I enjoy, there’s Vitasoy’s Coconut Soya Drink, which is a blend of cocunut and soy. It’s a creamy, sweet and even blend and for the American taste buds, it’s a refreshing tropical flavor that isn’t too alienating. Is it better than Piña colada? Sometimes. I’m a sucker for either one, as long as you’re paying.