These vegan and gluten free scallion pancakes (green onion cakes) are the perfect salty appetizer for any party. They’re loaded with green onions and jalapeños and have an ADDICTIVE dipping sauce.
I ran my fingers around the edge of the to-go container both quickly and delicately. The crinkling of the foil tapping up against the paper lid only made the anticipation stronger. It was like unwrapping a Christmas gift, after a certain point you just want to tear that thing open.
Then the lid flew off and I got the warm and beautiful wift of Chinese scallion pancakes!
I’ve loved Chinese take-out scallion pancakes every since I was a kid. Actually, as Tim can attest, anytime we see scallion pancakes on a menu, I always suggest that we order it. There could be 50 other delicious sounding apps, but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I say “Oh, scallion pancakes sound good!”.
This gluten free scallion pancake recipe is essentially a mix between the Chinese scallion pancake style and Jamaican fried dumplings.
And if you’ve never had Jamaican fried dumplings, well…
- you’re missing out
- go get some!
- they’re similar to carnival fried dough (but savory)
Over the years I’ve fallen in love with more varieties of scallion pancakes, like pajeon (Korean scallion pancakes) and French style spring onion crepes. Fun Fact: My first job ever was actually at a crepe shop!
Trader Joe’s actually makes a pretty good Korean style scallion pancake in their frozen section. It’s not as good as a homemade version, but it’s pretty darn close. Korean scallion pancakes, are a bit softer and fluffier in the middle with crispy edges, like breakfast pancakes. Chinese scallion pancakes on the other hand have croissant like flaky layers but also have a nice chew to them.
How to make scallion pancakes (a.k.a. green onion cakes):
- 1: Separate the dough into 6 even size balls
- 2: Flatten each ball with your palm, then fill with 1 tsp of scallion filling
- 3: Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal (see pic below)
- 4: Gently flatten the sealed dough, and reshape into a 1/4 inch thick circle (see pic below)
Should you go gluten free?
When gluten is removed from dough, the baking concern is about texture. Gluten provides elasticity and chew in standard green onion cakes; it’s what sets most freshly baked bread apart from the stuff that’s been sitting around.
Removing gluten is necessary for those with Celiac disease, since gluten can produce a dangerous allergic reaction for them. If you don’t have celiac disease or a known gluten sensitivity though, there isn’t a huge need to remove it from your diet.
The gluten free trend is still going strong, with plenty of diet plans to chose from. The biggest takeaway is not that gluten itself is harmful (unless you’re allergic) but that most glutenous foods tend to be laden with sugar, butter and fat. So gluten gets a bad rap, but cutting it usually means that you get to cut all the other culprits of weight gain.
Don’t Forget: Just because something is labeled gluten free, it doesn’t mean that it’s innately better for you. In order to compensate for the loss of textural qualities that gluten provides, many companies amp up sugars and fats. When you’re making gluten free foods at home you have more control over that, but for packaged goods (even the healthy ones) always be sure to read the nutrition label.
Addictive scallion pancake sauce:
This green onion cake sauce is similar to boiled or pan fried dumpling dipping sauce, but it has a tropical twist. The sauce is also gluten free because I use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. It tastes similar to soy but it’s less salty and a tad sweeter, which I love!
While this dip is for scallion pancakes, you could also use it as a:
- fish or shrimp marinade
- stir fry sauce
- coating for noodles
Just to give you fair warning, you’re going to want to drink this dipping sauce! That also means that these pancakes will magically disappear into your belly.
If you need some more finger food recipes to go with these green onion cakes, try:
Scallion Pancake Dough
- 1 cup cassava flour I used Otto's brand
- 1/8 cup garbanzo or chickpea flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup + 2 tbs warm water
- 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
Scallion Pancake Filling
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 jalepeno, chopped and seeds removed leave the seeds in if you want it spicy
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbs leftover scallion filling
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 lime, juice only
- pinch salt and pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- In a large bowl stir together the cassava flour, chickpea flour and salt. In a separate bowl mix the olive oil with the warm water. Gradually pour to water/oil mixture into the dry ingredients while gently pressing it together the form a dough. Once all of the water is added, roll the combined ingredients into 1 large dough ball.
- In a separate bowl stir together all of the scallion pancake filling ingredients.
- Sprinkle a counter or durable cutting board with a little cassava flour (to keep the dough from sticking). Separate the dough into 6 even size balls. Flatten each ball with your palm, then fill each with 1 tsp of scallion filling (do this one at a time). Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal (see pic in post). Gently flatten the sealed dough, and reshape into a 1/4 inch thick circle (see pic in post).
- Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add in enough olive oil to coat the pan (about 2 tbs). Add all of the stuffed pancakes to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Place all of the cooked pancakes on a paper towel lined plate, and sprinkle them with 2 pinches of salt while they are still warm.
- In the bowl with the leftover scallion filling, add all of the dipping sauce ingredients. Stir together with a whisk or a fork. Dip away and enjoy!
- If your kitchen is really hot, your dough might be sticky. Add a couple sprinkles of cassava flour so help it come together.
- If your kitchen is really cold or dry, you might need to add extra warm water. Add it 1 tbs at a time until the dough comes together.
- If you're multi-tasking in the kitchen and the dough balls are sitting out for a while, be sure to cover them with a dampened (with water) kitchen towel until you are ready to use them.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.