I love green onion pancakes
with lots of salt and lots of saké
first time I had them was in a Chinese
restaurant and I became addict
to them, so I tried making them myself. There was something not right with
the recipe and they turned out like cracker
s. Not good. So I started
buying frozen green onion pancakes.
The problem with frozen green onion pancakes is that they usually don’t
come packaged with waxed paper to separate the layers, so they stick
together and are very hard to pry apart. Defrosted, they’re too sticky to handle.
One afternoon, I tried to disassemble a stack of frozen pancakes using a metal spatula, a metal scraper, and a dinner knife, among
other things, but nothing worked. The metal was too thick and the pancakes
kept breaking. So without thinking about it, I reached for a carving
One of the most common (and severe) kitchen injuries results from trying to
separate frozen foods with a carving knife. I didn’t think of that at the time. I had handled really big, really sharp knives
for years while doing kitchen work and it didn’t occur to me that this might not be a good idea. So I wedged the tip between the layers and gave the
knife a good push. The next thing I knew, I had a ten inch carving knife
imbedded in my left palm with the tip extending through the back of my hand.
I’m one of those people who unintentionally becomes very calm when something
goes wrong. I simply said, “Oh oh” and pulled it out. There was someone
in the kitchen with me at the time, but I didn’t want to frighten them, so I hid my
hand behind my back, went to the sink and turned on the cold water
tap. Cold water may seem to work well for burns, but it doesn’t help much
when you slice through an artery and it’s spurting blood. In short order I realized that I this was not something I was going to be able to fix, so I reached for a
dishtowel and a wooden spoon, fashioned a tourniquet and announced that we
were going to the hospital.
After an hour’s wait in Emergency and many blood soaked towels, a plastic surgeon reconnected the
artery and as many severed nerves as he was able to find. It took him a couple of hours. Then I went home, where I was
greeted with a freshly cooked stack of salty, crunchy, green onion pancakes
and lots of saké. Lots and lots of saké.
If you haven’t tried green onion pancakes, please do - they’re wonderful. But if you buy them (or anything else) frozen, please don’t even think about using
a carving knife to separate the layers, okay?
I raise a cup of saké with my now fully functional left hand to Dman for
noding the recipe. No more frozen pancakes!
Note: Green onions are also called scallions, spring onions, and stone leeks. They have a slim white bulb at the base and long green stems. They are believed to have been first cultivated in Siberia and Mongolia and have been used in Chinese and Japanese cooking for centuries.