Get Cooking has been honoured to welome Siu To into its studio to host a series of Green Onion Cakes cooking classes this Fall. Siu is reputed to be the original Green Onion Cake man – legend has it that he was the first to introduce this delicious snack to our great city. And he recently opened his own shop, where he only serves Green Onion Cakes!
I attended a lunchtime class in September. Guests arrived at the class to a room set up and ready for them each to make their own original green onion cakes.
The class began with Siu cooking up some of his own Green Onion Cakes as a light lunch before the learning began. Siu told attendees the story behind green onion cakes:
“In the winter,” Siu began. “It’s hard to get fresh vegetables. But you can grow green onions inside! These cakes helped fill up active kids before their sports in the evenings.”
The cakes are originally served with sambal hot sauce and soy sauce. This delicious combination gives a bit of a kick to each bite, and compliments the flaky cake nicely.
Siu explained that the best way to cook Green Onion Cakes is to wait until the grilled side of the cake is crispy and brown, and the dough is soft on the other side.
It is also very important to combine vegetable shortening, oil and sesame oil to use in the cakes.
“Some people are afraid of oil,” says Siu. “But it is essential for Green Onion Cakes to get crisp!”Plenty of green onions are also essential to making an aromatic cake!
Start by combining the dough ingredients and the water in small increments until a ball of dough forms. Next, knead the dough, then rest it briefly.
“The dough should feel like your cheek,” explains Sui, his technique for knowing when your dough is ready.
Next, stretch it out using your hands, and a rolling pin. Using your hands, cover the dough with the oil, shortening and sesame oil mixture. Then, spread it all over with freshly-cut green onions.
Siu explains how to roll the dough into a log, and then pinch the ends together so that the green onions don’t spill out. Then you use a knife to cut out individual cakes, which you flatten between sheets of parchment paper.
Separate each cake with a piece of parchment paper and freeze!
Siu To’s Green Onion Cake Recipe:
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
450 ml water
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp salt
2-3 bunches of chopped green onions
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and water in a large bowl.
2. Knead the dough until texture is the same as your cheek.
3. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside.
4. Mix together the shortening, vegetable oil, sesame oil, salt and green onions.
5. Spread out the dough into a circular shape and flatten 1 cm. thin with a rolling pin.
6. Spread out the green onion mixture onto the dough.
7. From bottom, stretch the dough and roll it inwards until it is a long, baguette-like roll.
8. Cut it into eight rectangular pieces.
9. Squeeze and pinch the ends shut.
10. Flatten each into a pancake shape and store between two rectangular sheets of parchment paper.
11. Heat oil in a frying pan.
12. Place cake and pan fry until golden brown on each side.
13. Serve with sambal hot sauce and soy sauce.