For almost every carb there is a complementary, liquid counterpart... call 'em BFF's. For example, the perfect pairing for a warm chocolate chip cookie is... an ice, cold glass of milk, of course! How about an evenly glazed morning doughnut? It's hard to imagine that without an equally fresh, steaming cup of Joe. Cornbread, you say? Arguably, it just might be a bowl of chili.
The complementary, liquid counterpart for my thousand-layered, hand-pulled shredded pancake (手抓餅) is the simple bowl of stewed beef soup. If you can dunk a doughnut into your coffee at breakfast, and if your cookies can take a dive into your milk after dinner, then you can surely dip the shredded pancake into a savory beef soup.
Like a bloomin' onion, each piece of the pull-apart pancake can picked off... and like string cheese, each shred can be torn away to its roots... if you try hard enough. And as each piece of the pan-fried pancake sinks into the soup, each drop of soy-sauced soup ascends each fiber of the pancake... and the chili oil from the soup surface obediently follows its leader... remember chemistry class when you tested pH balance by watching the chemicals travel up Litmus paper?
And just when the pancake is holding its own weight in beef soup, it shows you that it has absorbed more than a Bounty paper towel by descending the soup back down the same fibers it's traveled up. Xylem... up. Phloem... down. I hope you have a spoon handy. And if not you had better be holding your recently drenched pancake over the bowl of soup.
Drip... drip... drip... MUNCH. After three drips the pancake was at the zenith of perfect balance: when the soaked innards of the white carbohydrates had softened... and the crisp, brown exterior had just started to crumble under the pressure of osmosis. I just couldn't hold back any longer.
Sometimes I take more pleasure in submerging the shredded pancake into the soup than splashing a classic French-dipped sandwich into au jus. Ha, you can't spell au jus without A&J. One of my favorite carb/liquid pairings can be found at A&J Restaurant (半畝園). What's your favorite pairing, and where do you get it? Until next time, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.