Gluten-free Scallion Pancakes


Gluten-Free Scallion Pancakes-1

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.

Gluten-Free Scallion Pancakes-1

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?

Gluten-Free Scallion Pancakes Prep

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.

GF Scallion Pancakes KneadGluten Free Scallion Pancakes Dough

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).

Gluten-Free Scallion Pancakes GIF

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.

GF Scallion Pancakes

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!

Chickpea Scallion Pancakes - Gluten-free

5 gluten-free soups to serve with a side of scallion pancakes:

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Gluten-free Scallion Pancakes
Yields: 4 scallion pancakes
  1. Sift together the chickpea flour, brown rice flour, and sweet rice flour in a medium bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Brush the surface with sesame oil and sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon of salt.
  5. 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.
  6. Coil the snake up into a small bun (as seen in the gif above).
  7. Lightly flour your surface and rolling pin once more and roll the coil into a long narrow oval again (approximately 3x6 inches).
  8. Brush the surface with sesame oil and sprinkle ¼ cup chopped scallions evenly over the surface.
  9. 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.
  10. Coil the snake up into a small bun once more.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Cut into fourths and serve warm with tamari or soy sauce for dipping.
I regularly double this recipe, keeping the pancakes warm in a 200°F oven while I cook the others.

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  1. June Burns says:

    That looks wonderful! I’m sure those pancakes would go great with hummus or something :)

  2. Sarah, you are da Bomb (I always wondered where snixy came from). Just look at these pancakes… and that GIF! Wowh! Love it! I laugh each time I make a recipe over and over again… my husband looks at me as if I’m crazy. Lately I try to at least put a week in between testing, but sometimes, you just gotta know… is it going to work if I tweak this one thing…. oh the agony! Fabulous recipe! Thank you for this!

  3. Oh you are too funny. Like “How am I suppose to know what these taste like if I’ve never tasted them before!”. Ha ha. They look great. And if Alanna says they are good, then it must be true! XO

  4. Min says:

    Yes, Snix describes you perfectly!! You are a snix through and through ;). And I absolutely adore scallion pancakes! On rainy days, I either crave kimchijeon or pajeon (a Korean word of it). Always. I wish I was your taste tester and you can look at me with eager eyes all you want ;). Just get in my belly!! Oh, and I’m loving the step by step instruction slide thingy…what is it? I’m making dumplings and I’d love to incorporate this ;) Thanks!!

    • Awww – thanks Min! Hehe. Ohhh – the step by step thing is an animated gif that I made using photoshop! It’s pretty easy to make, so if you want to google hangout, we can screenshare and I’ll show you how I made it! Just send me an e-mail!

  5. You are absolutely the bomb, Sarah! I haven’t even met you and I’d say you’re one cool chick. One cool chick who makes some kick-ass scallion pancakes. They look perfect!

  6. Snix! I love it! How appropriate :)
    And you recipe tested these babies 10 times? You’re practically a scallion pancake pro by now!

  7. First of all, these sound so good! I’ve never had scallion pancakes either – yay for mystery recipes! Second, I love that gif. And lastly, also love that your nickname has an awesome urban dictionary definition. Perfection.

  8. Amanda Paa says:

    You are EXACTLY that urban dictionary definition. I love it. These sound great, I love socca and it seems like they’d be very similar. I only wish I could have been one of the friends you pawned off the test batches too :) xo

  9. I’ve never had a scallion pancake, but I can only imagine that these would be the BEST, and as always your photos are stunning

  10. Jenna says:

    I’ve never used rice flour before, is it just like regular flour? I’ve never had a scallion pancake before either. They look good. :)

    • Rice flour is much finer than all-purpose flour, so it can’t be swapped one to one. The sweet rice flour adds a bit of the sticky starchy element you get from all-purpose flour and the chickpea flour adds some protein to help hold it all together. You could also substitute all of the flour for all-purpose flour if you’re not needing it to be gluten-free (I’ll make a note of that in the recipe – thanks for the idea!)

  11. I love the definition of snix! You are so snix! How perfect. And these scallion pancakes look perfect. So impressed you made this recipe “blind”. Makes it even more special.

  12. Kirbie says:

    I adore scallion pancakes but I’ve never had gluten free ones. Yours sound delicious though! I want to be a taste tester!

  13. Sheri says:

    These would be a great appetizer for our Superbowl party!

  14. cynthia says:

    OMG WHAT gluten-free scallion pancakes?! These are a feat of absolute genius, Sarah!!! They look insanely good. I would have loooved to be a taste-tester for these. Bring on the crazy eyes :) So amazing, lady — and bahah YES! You are the ULTIMATE snix.

    • Thanks so much, Cynthia! Come visit California sometime and you can definitely taste test (and also cook for me- buahahaha:)! (We have a spare room…also it’s a lot warmer here than NYC right now…just sayin’).

  15. Haha that’s awesome! You are totally snix! These gluten free scallion pancakes just prove it even more!!! And I seriously had the BIGGEST craving for these the other day and I am in awe that you made them gluten free too! They look amazing!!!

  16. Erika says:

    Omg I couldn’t help it–definitely clicked on that third description and almost died laughing. How rude. Definitely agree on the first definition as more fitting for your awesome self ;) So these pancakes: ARE SO AMAZING!!! They totally look better than the real deal (not quite as gonna-put-you-in-a-carb-coma-for-dayyyyys-doughy)–so beautifully crisp and brown! This is like a January miracle! I cannot wait to put my chickpea flour to use in these! I’M SUPER EXCITED IN CASE YOU CAN’T TELL!!!! Absolutely gorgeous photos/light/styling!! <333

  17. I totally know what you mean about recipes popping into your head out of nowhere! I love your photography, especially you action shots :)

  18. Alanna says:

    These scallion pancakes (and you!) are indeed da bomb!! I’ve had a few scallion pancakes in my time and these are hands down my favorite version. Even with all that amazing food on Sunday, these were my favorite course! Jay almost plotzed with envy when I told him what he’d missed. I’m so glad you posted the recipe so I can make them ASAP. And these photos are GORGEOUS!!! You can put a plate in front of me and stare with crazy eyes any time. :)

  19. Kira says:

    I had the pleasure of sampling these and they were amazing! Thank you Sarah!

  20. The first definition of ‘snix’ totally applies to you, Sarah. :)

    I have tried many Scallion Pancakes, but not GF ones, and definitely not this thin. I actually think I will like yours more because of the crispiness. I would totally eat A LOT of it in one sitting because they look so delicious :)

    • I would love to try the super thick ones someday too! The pictures seem to show some of each. Next time we cook together at my house, I’ll make you some scallion pancakes to snack on! :)

  21. Girrrlll you had me at scallion! Okay, and at pancake too. I love any savory cakes with pungent and onion-y flavors….And I commend you for gluten-freefying so nicely. I can imagine how wonderful your food tastes with the addition of glutinous flour :D Oh great…now I got my Asian food craving back, lol!

  22. Sarah, I could have told you you were da bomb the first time I met you in San Jose. All you had to do was ask! ;)
    Also, I cannot believe you have NEVER had a scallion pancake. Alex says he feels sorry for you. Anyway, I think yours looks absolutely perfect. They look so crispy and I just want to dip them in a bowl of spicy braised beef noodle soup.

    • Aww shucks! Tell Alex I feel sorry for myself too. Ask him what other delicious foods I’m missing out on for me, will ya?

      Also – doooooood – spicy braised beef noodle soup would be a brilliant pairing!

  23. Okay, you have absolutely convinced me to give these a go! I’m seriously in LOVE with all your photos and that gif! So dern cool! These look veeeery addicting, but that’s okay because they’re gluten-free which means they’re healthy right?! ;)

  24. Sarah, you must secretly be half Korean because these and bibimbap are Korean. . and are two of my fave things ever!!!! in Korean, we call these “pajeon” – “pa” = green onions, scallions, whatever you want to call them. . LOVE this so much!

  25. I’ve been meaning to try to make scallion pancakes for ages. I love your gluten free version and that slideshow tutorial is awesome. Thank you!

  26. I love scallion pancakes! They’re one of my favorite appetizers, and my mom makes them at home regularly. You have no idea how excited I am to try your gluten free version.

  27. Urban Dictionary just basically confirmed what we’ve all known all along… you are super cool! And holy crap these pancakes look amazing!! Like, I really wish I was local, because then I could have gotten in on all that taste-testing goodness! Pinning so I remember to try this (I actually just bought rice four and sweet rice flour last week so I’m super pumped!!!)

  28. Urban Dictionary is the best…like I seriously sometimes have to use it when I overhear teenagers using slang that I am apparently too old to understand. And, can we just talk about these pancakes for a sec? I’m loving the gif and the recipe. Pinned!

  29. Absolutely love how this looks. I’m always on the lookout for ways to use chickpea flour!

  30. YUM! These pancakes look delish, Sarah! Love the addition of chopped scallions, very tasty. Definitely going to try these out soon!

  31. I’ve always been intrigued by scallion pancakes, after seeing them on restaurant menus, but I had never been able to try them given the gluten-free thing. I’m so excited to make these! Yay for successful kitchen experiments!

    Also the third definition on urban dictionary – too funny!

  32. I am so in the mood for these now, and I’ve never had one before… But like you – these are “da bomb”!

  33. Melanie says:

    What an absolutely cool idea. Especially with miso on the side.

  34. Diane says:

    I made these 2 nights ago. They are not hard to make at all. At first I was a little daunted by the directions but once you do it, it is so easy. I did change the flours around, I used garbanzo bean flour, oat flour and semolina. That last one took it out of asian but they were delicious and fried up very nicely. I will definitely make again. Maybe with the right flours next time. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Thank you so much for coming back to tell me! I bet the substitutions you made tasted delicious. Garbanzo bean flour is the same as chickpea flour, so you had the base flour perfect! You just made my day by coming back to let me know they turned out and that you found it easy! Thank you:)

  35. YUM! I love scallion pancakes! Such a great compliment to a wide variety of meals. They’re TOTALLY snix.

  36. Ambee Jacoby says:

    I am also on a gluten free diet so I’m eating gluten free foods. Your recipe is great. I’m gonna try it too.

  37. robin says:

    I’m super excited to try these… just wondering if you think the chickpea flour is essential… I’ve baked gluten free for 5 years, have a wide assortment of gf flours and starches available at all times but I’m not a fan of bean flours.
    Same with the Bob’s Red mill gf blend… i just don’t care for it, (bean flour… blech!)

    thoughts…?? Substitutions?


    • I’m with you – I also hate bean flours for baking – it really just doesn’t pair well with sweets or breads! These scallion pancakes however have the perfect flavor for chickpea flour – it makes them crispy and a little chewy and the savory bean flavor isn’t so strong when there’s sesame oil, scallions, and tamari sauce involved. I’d recommend trying it with the chickpea flour first to see if you like it in a savory dish! I’ve never tried to make it with another flour, so I’m just not sure what other flours might give it the same perfect texture. Maybe a combination of oat/millet/sweet rice?

      • robin says:

        Thanks for your thoughts. I bought some dry chickpeas and will grind them in my mill for flour. If I try with another flour, I’ll let you know how they turn out! ^__^


  38. Sheryl says:

    I teach an agronomy class at an elementary school and we had an abundance of scallions growing in our school garden. I’ve been dying to make scallion pancakes. I thought I must be crazy to try these GF scallion pancakes, but they were a big hit and so delish. I didn’t have to make them GF, but I didn’t want the few Kindergarten and 1st grade kids that were GF to feel left out. One note, I couldn’t find sweet rice flour on short notice (I decided to do this last night!) so I substituted Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF baking flour and it worked great. Thank you again for creating this recipe, my husband is GF and he hasn’t had one of these for 5 years – he was my taste tester!

    • Oh my goodness! This just made my day – thank you so much for coming back to tell me that you made them and loved them! I’m so glad your husband got to taste them too:)

  39. Melissa says:

    Such a beautiful recipe and such a disaster I made! I have some very specific questions. 1) I didn’t have sweet rice flour so substituted xanthium gum. Was that a horrible idea?
    2) My dough did NOT adhere in the nice smooth ball yours made (which looks like a gluten-flour dough, smooth and elastic). I added water so it would stick together, then kneaded (longer than you indicated), then added flour so it wasn’t too sticky, then added water cuz it was too dry, kneading all the while… finally I got what I thought was an okay ball and let it sit covered. So: should I have considered the first dough which didn’t stick together at all as okay, and let it sit? Did I over-knead?
    3) I could NOT roll out the dough into something even as large as 3″x6″. It was too rubbery. When I faked it (cuz I was so determined to get these in the fry-pan!), the bun part just separated and all of the scallions poured out.
    Finally: I will definitely try the recipe as-is; other than that, any tips for next time?
    Thank you!!

    • Somehow I totally missed this comment and I’m SO SORRY! In this case, xanthan gum would not be a suitable substitute for sweet rice flour. Sweet rice flour helps with the stickiness – getting the dough to adhere together (xanthan gum will make it gummy and also, I have no idea what THAT much xathan gum would do, but definitely not happy things:). I think that’s actually the whole issue you had there! Good luck next time!

  40. Theresa P. says:

    These look and sound real yum! Is the sesame oil you used toasted sesame seed oil OR untoasted sesame seed oil? The toasted oil has a more intense flavor. Thanks, for sharing

  41. Mikko says:

    Hi Sarah
    I was wondering why you have to roll and coil three times for each of the four dough pieces? Can I just do it once and put the scallions in?

    • Hi Mikko! The reason you roll and coil the dough each time is to create those flakey layers. Each time you roll, you get a little oil on it to separate the layers as it cooks. Hope this helps!


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