So there's this food, but it's no ordinary food. It's an amazingly tasty food, but it's no ordinary amazingly tasty food. It's a special kind of amazingly tasty, a tasty that I have grown up with my entire life. My family refers to this special kind of tasty as: scallion pancakes, those pizza-slice-lookin'-thingies-with-onions, the best food ever. Mostly, however, we call this dish 葱油饼 (No, I do not speak nor write Chinese, but I feel all fancy-shmancy writing those Chinese characters!) It's kinda pronounced tsun-jou-pin, but for a large majority of my life, I called it "tone-yo-bean", causing my poor Nai-Nai to cringe as I consistently butchered the correct tones and intonations.
I love 葱油饼, and I herald it as the greatest food ever. When I was young (I know I'm young, but I mean younger), my Nai-Nai would come to Pennsylvania to visit us. She is an amazing cook, and I'm not just saying this just because she's my grandma. Seriously, she ought to open a restaurant, and I would turn into a fat pastry cake from eating there for every single meal Every time she visited, she made the mother-load of 葱油饼, and I would happily consume slice after slice after slice. Nai-Nai's health started to decline, though, so her visits were less frequent. I asked my mom to make 葱油饼 but she said that she could never recreate Nai-Nai's masterpiece. Nai-Nai didn't use a recipe.
Well...yesterday, I did some snooping online, and I found a recipe from Ming Tsai for scallion pancakes. I showed my mom, and she said it was remarkably similar to Nai-Nai's methods, so we gave it a try. I tell ya... there was magic in the kitchen. Mom started to follow the recipe, but then she changed it up, remembering Nai-Nai's tricks and tips. After a couple of batches, we created the spankin'-good-amazing special kind of tasty, and it was just as I remembered. And now... I'm an expert at making 葱油饼, and I cannot believe how easy it is! The recipe consists of only flour, water, scallions, salt, and sesame oil. It sounds almost boringly simple, but it is so good, and it's a food that fits any type of budget.
So now, I'll make it all the time, and I'll never get tired of the special kind of tasty. The next time my family visits California, I will go to my Nai-Nai's house, and I will make a batch of 葱油饼 just for her. And guess what... I don't need a recipe, either.