Several months ago, Canadian food blogger kslobodian (who was also the subject of my second Nyam interview) posted a recipe for Green Onion pancakes. Green onion pancakes (or scallion pancakes as I know them) were something that I was introduced to during my college years in Massachusetts. They quickly became a staple of each visit that I (and my good friend Shyama) would make to our town’s best Asian restaurant Taipei Tokyo. We would take the wedges (that alternated between crispy and chewy all in the same bite) and drizzle, almost ceremoniously, our soy sauce before taking simultaneous bites. It was heaven!
Then I moved back to Trinidad and, as the years passed on, the memories of that simple pleasure faded. That is until I saw kslobodian’s post and they all came flooding back. I -had- to have some! I don’t know why scallion pancakes are not a staple of Chinese offerings here but they aren’t. When I asked mom if she knew of them growing up in Jamaica, she had no clue what I was making mention of. I was determined to convert her to the simple divinity that is the scallion pancake.
I rounded up several recipes besides kslobodian’s in an attempt to see which would best capture my university experience. Well sad to say but the first two were disappointing. It was not that they were ‘bad’ … it was just that each time something seemed a little bit ‘off’, as if they were mere facsimiles of an elusive original. Then I turned my attention to kslobodian’s version and gave it a go. Can I just say that that first bite was like teleporting into my past. Once I recovered I quickly chucked the other recipes (both tried and untried) and offered it to my mother who was immediately hooked and has requested its making several times since! As far as I am concerned I have found my definitive blueprint, and by making it part of this month’s Blog Party #24, I hope that many more will get a chance to taste it
One of the requirements of each month’s Blog Party challenge is to come up with a complementary drink for the featured appetizer. I remembered that at Taipei Tokyo Shyama and I were always served small cups of hot tea alongside our pancakes. That was the inspiration for my Sparkling Green Tea. In this version the ‘sparkle’ is provided with club soda, however if you wish to imbibe some alcohol feel free to replace the club soda with beer, if you are hosting a casual affair. If the occasion calls for something a little more formal, bring out the champagne!
Sarina’s Sparkling Green Tea
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup sliced ginger
2 green tea bags
1 20 oz. bottle club soda (ice cold)
1. Bring ginger, sugar and water to a boil.
2. Take off heat and let steep for an hour (add the tea bags at this point but remove them after 8 – 10 minutes)
3. Strain into a pitcher
4. Add an additional cup of water and chill
5. To serve, fill glasses halfway with tea ‘syrup’, fill glasses rest of the way with club soda
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