Thursday, July 24, 2008

Getting lost with a scallion pancake.

If I go out on my own in Taiwan, I get lost.

I don't know if it's the indistinguishable buildings, the lack of landmarks, the confusing tangle of streets and alleys, or the fact that every street seems to have a clothing store, penny arcade, and milk-tea shop that looks exactly like the ones on the next street. Whatever the reason- I've basically given up trying to get anywhere on my own.

While lost in downtown Hsinchu, I came across an alley lined with noodle shops and take-away stands. One stand seemed to be particularly popular, so I went to check it out. Coming closer, I saw that he was making scallion pancakes- a street food that I'd been wanting to try since we arrived. I'm still a little nervous ordering food here- partly because I don't have any language basics down. But the vendor was friendly, so I put it in my order by indicating I'd have the same thing he was making for someone else.

Sitting down on a nearby curb, I examined my purchase. Though the English term is 'scallion pancake', the bread is made with a dough, not a batter. With it's toasty golden color and flaky texture, it reminded me of the roti available in Bangkok- only here, the roti is flecked with the dark green of chopped scallions. After toasting the pancake, he'd fried a scrambled egg over it. Before folding it up, he'd seasoned it with a s thick spicy sauce. Once it had cooled, I tried it. The texture combination of the fluffy egg and crispy pancake were perfect- and the slightly sour hot sauce created a great balance the pancake's buttery flavor.

It was so tasty, that I decided I'd have to take Bordeaux to try it- if I can ever find it again.


Pam said...

I have inadequate words for HOW MUCH I LOVE GREEN ONION PANCAKES.

Luckily, we have a place here in Seattle that makes excellent once. Excellent. In fact, I want some right now. For breakfast.

Bordeaux said...

Maybe we should try to find it this weekend. Would love to try it!

michelle said...

Wow. That looks unbelievably yummy. Here's one recipe I found on-line. I can't imagine I'll be in Taiwan soon, so I'll have try to re-create the experience on my own:

tangobaby said...

Boy, does that look delicious. I wonder if I can even find something close to that in SF?!

christel said...

i think i got lost on a daily basis in hsinchu for AT LEAST six months and after that i made it a rule to try and get lost at least once a month. it's good for you. enjoy!