Sometimes a recipe idea pops in my head seemingly from nowhere at all (the recipe gods?). Take these gluten-free scallion pancakes, for example. I’d never eaten a scallion pancake. Not once in my whole life. In fact, I’m not even sure I’d ever even seen a picture of scallion pancakes when I decided they were my next conquest. This blind recipe testing is not a new phenomena for me – I did the same thing when I set out to make spicy pork bibimbap two years ago. There’s something about the mystery of it all.
On the one hand, this sets the bar pretty low since I have nothing to compare them against. On the other hand, how will I know if the scallion pancakes turn out like…scallion pancakes?
The solution: Recipe test them 10+ times, feeding them to as many friends as possible, polling the outcome at the end of each meal. Here’s where you imagine me plopping down a platter of scallion pancakes and fixating on you with crazy eyes as you eat the entire platter, eagerly waiting for approval.
C’mon guys, I’m way more cool than that!
You need proof? I accidentally googled “Snix” last week when my blog url didn’t autofill and up popped this definition of my nickname from Urban Dictionary: “A kick-ass nickname for someone who’s da bomb. An all-around, genuine, cool person.”
Before you ask: No, I didn’t submit the definition myself and no, I didn’t pay someone else to write it either. Someone out there thinks I’m “da bomb” and that’s enough of an ego boost to last for a while (or at least until I scroll down to the third definition listed).
The results of the super scientific taste test? Usually I double the recipe shared here when serving them as a side to miso soup or a smoked salmon soba bowl. Each time, I set the teetering stack of scallion pancake slices on the table to the uniformly-agreed tune of, “the four of us could never possibly eat all of these.” And each time, we do just that.
I nervously made a small appetizer batch during a sushi extravaganza with Alanna and Amelia this weekend, and as the greatest compliment, Alanna said, “better than any scallion pancake I’ve ever had.” If that’s not a gold seal of approval, then I don’t know what is. I consider these gluten-free scallion pancakes da bomb.
Unlike the pillowy breakfast pancakes you might serve with maple syrup in the morning, these scallion pancakes are a traditional Chinese savory dish made with a simple unleavened dough. Spirals rolled out with sesame oil and scallions rolled up between them make the layers peel apart at the coil. Most like the texture of flatbread, these gluten-free scallion pancakes are incredibly crispy with a slightly chewy bite. Here’s to more I’ve-never-tried-that mystery recipes in my kitchen in 2015!
5 gluten-free soups to serve with a side of scallion pancakes:
- Vegetarian Miso Ramen with Rice Noodles, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Sesame Broccolini from The Bojon Gourmet
- Turmeric-Miso Soup with Shiitakes, Turnips, and Soba Noodles from Dolly and Oatmeal
- Shiitake Miso Soup with Silken Tofu from Snixy Kitchen
- Sweet Potato Noodle Pho from Reclaiming Yesterday
- Magic Healing Soup from The First Mess
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- ½ cup chickpea/garbanzo flour, plus more for rolling (or ½ cup Bob’s Redmill Gluten-free All Purpose Flour)
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ¼ cup sweet rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour)
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- About 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 bunch small scallions, chopped, about 1 cup
- About ¼ cup vegetable oil, for frying
- For serving: Gluten-free Tamari (or soy sauce)
- Sift together the chickpea flour, brown rice flour, and sweet rice flour in a medium bowl.
- Pour the hot water over the flour and mix it with a fork to combine. Use your hands to knead the it into a dough. You want a dough about the texture of playdough, so add up to a tablespoon more water, if necessary. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball, cover the ball in plastic wrap, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Cut the dough into four pieces. Roll one piece into a long narrow oval (approximately 3x6 inches) on a surface lightly floured with chickpea flour (be sure to flour your rolling pin too so it doesn't get sticky!), reserving the other two pieces in plastic wrap while you work.
- Brush the surface with sesame oil and sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon of salt.
- Starting from the long edge, roll the oval into a long skinny snake, using a pastry cutter or a knife to help you lift the dough from the surface.
- Coil the snake up into a small bun (as seen in the gif above).
- Lightly flour your surface and rolling pin once more and roll the coil into a long narrow oval again (approximately 3x6 inches).
- Brush the surface with sesame oil and sprinkle ¼ cup chopped scallions evenly over the surface.
- For a second time, starting from the long edge, roll the oval into a long skinny snake, using a pastry cutter or a knife to help you lift the dough from the surface.
- Coil the snake up into a small bun once more.
- Lightly flour your surface and rolling pin again and roll the coil into a 7-inch circle. Use a pastry cutter or a knife to help lift the pancake from the surface and set it on a baking sheet while you repeat with the 3 other pieces of dough.
- In a cast-iron skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once the oil sizzles, gently add one pancake to the skillet (tip: use a splash screen to keep oil from spitting everywhere). Cook for about 1.5-3 minutes (or until the edges start to look golden brown). Flip and repeat until both sides are lightly golden brown. Transfer to a paper-toweled lined plate to rest while you cook the other 3 pancakes.
- Cut into fourths and serve warm with tamari or soy sauce for dipping.