Ep20: Cut up the scallions! | Kā tshang-á tshiat tsò tshang-á-tsu 共蔥仔切做蔥仔珠!

Ep20: Cut up the scallions! | Kā tshang-á tshiat tsò tshang-á-tsu 共蔥仔切做蔥仔珠!

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In this episode, we’ve talked about cooking, the recipe for scallion pancakes, and one of the uses of “hōo” in Taiwanese.

(These show notes use tables and rich formatting. Please visit the episode webpage for an optimal viewing experience.)

iā-tshī-á night market
tshài-tshī-á traditional market
si̍t-phóo recipe
tshang-á-piánn scallion pancakes
tsâi-liāu ingredients
kin a Taiwanese catty, about 600grams or 1 ⅓ pounds
tsi̍t kin mī-hún one catty of wheat flour
kong-kin kilogram
kong-khik grams
sì hun tsi sann ¾
sann hun tsi it
tsi̍t pé tshang-á a bunch of scallions
nn̄g pah sì-tsa̍p cc ê sio-tsuí 240cc of hot water
cc cubic centimeters (= milliliters, mL)

Pronunciation note: pronounced as “1-si1

puànn pue líng-tsuí half a cup of cold water
khok-á round or square containers, like a cup without a handle or a box without a lid, often used to ladle out or measure something, or to contain something temporarily; “khok” can also be used as a measure word like a “cup” of or a “ladle” of
liōng-kî-iok-á approximate, as appropriate, according to taste
liōng-kî-iok-á cooking oil as appropriate
iâm liōng-kî-iok-á salt according to taste
kóo-tsá- traditional taste; old-school
ti- lard
mī-tshè (wheat flour) dough
kiáu to mix in or stir in an ingredient
tsiâu-ûn even; continuously, regularly, evenly
khiū chewy, rubbery
nuá to knead
khàm to cover
gíng to grind with a mortar and pestle; to roll flat with a rolling pin
so to rub on or to smear on; to roll the dough by using the palms of your hands
tshiat to cut
suah to sprinkle seasonings
iā  to sprinkle (general) 
kauh to roll up or wrap something with a filling; a wrap
lūn-piánn / lūn-piánn-kauh fresh spring rolls
kńg to roll up onto itself or to roll up with something inside
tsian to pan-fry
ke-kńg “chicken roll”, a dish made of pork or fishpaste rolled in beancurd skin and deep-fried.
tshiah-tshiah (pan-fried food) to be golden brown

*Syllables that have been greyed out require a tone change


Tsò tshang-á-piánn, lán tio̍h ài:

To make scallion pancakes, we need:



1 kin mī-hún 1 catty of flour
1 pé tshang-á 1 bunch of scallions
sio tsuí 240 (nn̄g pah sì-tsa̍p) cc 240cc of hot water, (240cc = 1 cup)
líng tsuí 120 (tsi̍t pah jī-tsa̍p) cc 120cc of cold water (120cc = 1/2 cup)
iû, liōng-kî-iok-á cooking oil, as appropriate
iâm, liōng-kî-iok-á salt, according to taste


How to make it:

1. Sing kā mī-hún khǹg tiàm uánn-á-lāi. Kā sio-tsuí tò--ji̍p-khì.
First, put the flour into a bowl. Pour in hot water.

2. Koh lâi, īng tī kiáu-kiáu hōo (i) tsiâu-ûn.
Next, use chopsticks to mix it in until you have an even mixture.

3. Koh lâi, ta̍uh-ta̍uh-á kā líng-tsuí ka--ji̍p-khì. Kiáu kah tsuí uân-tsuân khì hōo mī-hún soh--khì.
Then, gradually add cold water. Stir in water until absorbed.

4. Suà--lo̍h-lâi, kā mī-tshè nuá tsò tsi̍t uân. Tsha-put-to ài sì-gōo-hun.
Next, knead the dough into a ball. About 4-5 minutes.

5. Bué-á, kā (i) khàm--khí-lâi, hōo (i) khǹg puànn tiám-tsing kàu tsi̍t-tiám-tsing.
Finally, cover and let rest for half-an-hour to an hour.

6. Kā tshang-á tshiat tsò tshang-á-tsu.
Chop up the scallions.

7. Kā hit uân mī-tshè so tsò tsi̍t tiâu, tshiat tsò peh tè. Ta̍klóng kā (i) gíng hōo pênn.
Roll the dough ball into a strip. Cut into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece until flat.

7. Ta̍klóng kā so iû. Suah tsi̍t-tiám-á iâm.
Spread oil onto each piece. Sprinkle on some salt.

9. tsi̍t-kuá tshang-á-tsu.
Sprinkle on some scallions.

10. Kā (i) kauh--khí-lâi, pìnn-tsò tsi̍t tiâu. Koh kā (i) kńg--khí-lâi, tsiah-koh gíng hōo pênn.
Roll up each piece into a strip. Then roll the strip up onto itself. Roll it out flat.

11. Tsian hōo nn̄g pîng sió-khuá tshiah-tshiah.
Pan-fry in oil until both sides are golden brown.

Enjoy your tshang-á-piánn!

The sentence patterns with “”, “hōo”, and “verb + tsò” pop up quite a lot in our cooking directions. For more about the grammar, be sure to check out our workbook. It also gives you some additional vocabulary, culture and pronunciation notes, and great exercises to reinforce what you’ve learned in this episode.


Our One Bite Challenge this week is a Taiwanese saying:

Kāng-khuán, bô kāng sai-hū!

Let’s break down the sentence:

kāng-khuán same, the same (literally: same-sort/look)
kāng different, not the same
sai- master, craftsman, artisan

Literally, it means: “It’s the same but (made by) different masters or craftsmen.” But the meaning is that two things may look or seem the same at first glance, but if you look more closely you’ll see that they’re different.

This saying is often used when someone says “kāng-khuán”, but another person thinks it’s actually not the same at all.

Some people suggest that “kāng-khuán” sounds similar to “kāng kuán”, which gives rise to the second part about “masters”. “Kuán” is a building for specific purposes like tê-kuán (teahouse), i-sing-kuán (traditional name for clinics or hospitals) or kûn-thâu-kuán (martial art house, which often offers chiropractic and folk medicine). Even “in the same institute”, or “kāng kuán”, there are different masters and craftsmen and their skill levels may differ. Supposedly that’s how the second part “bô kāng sai-” came about.



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