I’m a bit ashamed to admit I didn’t realize what a big deal green onion cakes are, and have been for decades, in Edmonton. They’ve become the quintessential market and festival food, introduced to the city back in 1979 by restaurateur Siu To. I’ve been meaning to make a batch using the masses of green onions that nearly took over my garden, and when I finally harvested them all (and replanted the bulbs for next spring), I took his lead to make my own. Yes!
If you’re not familiar with them, green onion cakes are these crispy, doughy savoury cakes cooked in a skillet, made by rolling dough out, sprinkling it with masses of chopped green onion, much like you’d spread cinnamon-sugar over dough for cinnamon buns, then rolling, twisting, squishing – there are as many techniques as there are cooks making them. The process seems complex, but is simple once you get the hang of it—roll, sprinkle, roll, cut, squish, roll—there’s no need for perfection here, it’s all just a matter of distributing loads of green onions more or less evenly throughout the dough.
It can be messy, with melted butter oozing out the ends, so roll them out between pieces of parchment. That way, you won’t incorporate too much extra flour into the dough either. A storm blew in while I was making these, turning the kitchen darker than dusk, so apologies for the possibly helpful but less than beautiful photos.
You can even freeze the uncooked ones, still rolled between layers of parchment, and cook them from frozen as you want them. Yes, it’s like the grown-up version of taking an Eggo out of the freezer and popping it in the toaster.
And look – one more must-make thing off my to-do list! It’s too bad this edible list is so much more fun to tackle than the other ones.