We still have like 5 bunches of uneaten green onions left. Good luck, Roommate N! Please eat all of the green onions for us!
So what are we going to do with all the green onions? Make green onion pancakes, of course!
What is a green onion pancake? It sounds nasty.
First, some disclaimers: green onion pancakes are not sweet. That would actually be nasty. They’re not actually pancakes either, just pancake-shaped. Commonly sold by street vendors, the name of this savory snack in Chinese (蔥油餅 or, in simplified, 葱油饼) literally translates to “scallion oil flatbread”. This is a pretty accurate description of what they actually are. This sounds delicious now, right?
So, how do we make it?
First, obtain a clean surface, flour, and very small amounts of water. Mix the flour and water together with hands/fancy expensive mixing machine until you obtain a dough. Remember, not a batter! The pancake part is a lie. (The difference between a dough and a batter is that doughs are squishable by hand while batters are liquidy and…not squishable by hand.
After that, oil the surface and put a blob of dough on it. Flatten the dough as much as possible–doesn’t matter what shape it is right now since you’ll roll it up later. On top of your flat dough, put on a thin layer of oil, some salt, and as much green onion as you want. Then, roll it up! It’s hard to take photos when your hands are covered by green onion pancakes, so please look on the internet for pictures…
There’s two ways of folding the green onion pancake after you finish rolling it up. The first way is to roll it up again so it looks like a coiled snake–the internet has photos…. However, I prefer to just fold the two long sides in because the first way tends to make all the green onions go to the edges of the pancake for some reason. The first way gives it a better texture though… Anyhow, experiment and pick your favorite.
After that, flatten the pancake with the palm of your hand. If you do it with a rolling pin, all the green onions will get squished out.
Now it’s time to cook it! Heat up oil in a pan in medium-high (the most generic temperature; when in doubt, assume medium high) until the oil is hot/you’re too lazy to wait, then stick the pancake in:
Flip when the bottom is slightly burnt/it looks cooked argh why is it not becoming slightly burnt.
(Protip: If it’s not becoming slightly burnt, turn the heat up a little. Or squish the pancake with your spatula.)
Final Verdict: 9/10 why can I never get the texture correct (it’s delicious though)
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:
The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.