These paleo scallion pancakes are pretty much indistinguishable from the ones I used to order at my favorite Mandarin breakfast joints—only mine are vegan, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, and fried in healthy fats! These crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside flatbreads filled with minced scallions are delicious!

An overhead shot of Paleo Scallion Pancakes cut into wedges on a black background what sliced scallions scattered around them.

What are Chinese Scallion Pancakes?

Never heard of scallion pancakes? You may know them as green onion pancakes, or chong yao beng (葱油饼). These irresistibly crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside flatbreads are folded with minced scallions and sesame oil, and then cooked on a pan or griddle. They’re unleavened, and unlike the pancakes you order at IHOP, they’re savory and made from dough—not batter. Served both as a restaurant dish and a street food snack, scallion pancakes are usually eaten with breakfast.

To be honest with you, I’ve been dying to make these for a while now, but something’s always held me back. I think I was afraid I wouldn’t ever be able to make a paleo version of scallion pancakes that does justice to the real thing.

An overhead shot of a crispy Paleo and gluten-free Scallion Pancakes on a wire cooling rack.

Paleo, Gluten-free, and Vegan Scallion Pancakes!

It took some elbow grease and a lot of experimentation, but I came up with a paleo, gluten-free, and vegan version that tastes pretty close to the real thing! But don’t just take my word for it; these paleo scallion pancakes got huge thumbs up from both Ollie (my picky younger son) AND my discerning and oh-so-blunt parents. My dad’s only feedback: Don’t skimp on the scallions, eat these pancakes while they’re piping hot (so the crunchy texture isn’t compromised), and enjoy them with a mug of strong Chinese tea so it helps aid with digestion. Thanks, Pop!

A closeup shot of someone thinly slicing scallions to make Paleo and gluten-free Scallion Pancakes

Cassava flour FTW!

This recipe uses cassava flour, which is not the same thing as tapioca flour/starch, and arrowroot powder, which is starch extracted from the roots of the arrowroot plant. You can read more about cassava flour here, and about arrowroot powder here. And by the way, I definitely recommend using a kitchen scale to measure out the flours for consistency!

A caveat: As I mentioned in my Paleo Curried Meat Pies recipe, I’m no paleo baking expert. So before you ask: I have no idea what happens if you substitute another flour for the cassava flour or arrowroot flour. If you successfully experiment with other flours or fats, please let us all know in the comments so we can benefit from your experience!

Time to make Paleo Scallion Pancakes!

Makes 8 (8-inch) pancakes

Ingredients:

Equipment:

Method:

Measure out the cassava flour, arrowroot powder, and 1 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt into a large bowl.

Measuring out the dry ingredients for Paleo Scallion Pancakes and putting them in a large glass bowl.

Whisk well to combine.

Whisking the dry ingredients in a glass bowl to make nut-free, gluten-free, Paleo Scallion Pancakes

Add about 1 cup of the boiling water and mix well with a spoon (or your hands if your nerve endings are gone like mine). Slowly add the rest of the boiling water and knead well…

Adding hot water to the form the dough for Paleo Scallion Pancakes and kneading them by hand.

…until you form a spring-y, not-sticky dough. If it seems extra dry, add a touch more water, but watch out—you don’t want a wet, soft dough, or you’ll have trouble working with it. If it gets too wet, knead in a bit more cassava flour.

Forming the dough for Paleo Scallion Pancakes into a round ball.

Divide the dough in half, and then in half again. Next, divide the dough in half one more time. If you followed my instructions correctly, you should end up with 8 equal-sized portions. Roll ’em into balls with your hands.

Rolling smaller balls of dough to make Paleo Scallion Pancakes

Grab one dough ball, making sure to keep the rest of the balls covered. (I just pop a silicone lid or damp kitchen towel over the bowl.) Smush down the piece of dough with your fingers, and then flatten it between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten it until it’s very thin—about ⅛-inch.

A four step shot of how to flatten the paleo scallion pancake dough between parchment paper and a rolling pin.

Brush on a thin layer of toasted sesame oil.

Brushing sesame oil on a flattened piece of cassava flour dough to make vegan and paleo scallion pancakes

Add ¼ cup of the minced scallions in a single layer to the flattened dough. Sprinkle on some salt as well.

Sprinkling scallions and salt on a flattened piece of cassava flour dough to make Paleo Scallion Pancakes

Carefully roll the dough up into it looks like a scallion cigar. Then, take one end and tuck it in. Coil the cigar around…

A four-step shot that shows someone rolling up the Paleo Scallion Pancake dough into a cigar shape and then wrapping it around like a cinnamon roll.

…until you end up with something that kinda looks like a pinwheel or a cinnamon bun.

Someone holding a Paleo Scallion Pancake dough that has been formed to look like a cinnamon roll.

Place the “cinnamon bun” between two pieces of parchment paper, and either flatten it into a thin circular pancake with a tortilla press (which helps give your pancake a nice circular shape)…

A four-step shot of someone flattening the Paleo Scallion Pancake dough in a tortilla press

…or roll it out by hand with a rolling dowel. I usually do both: I smush mine with a tortilla press and then roll it out even thinner with a rolling dowel ’cause I like my scallion pancakes extra crispy. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and roll out as many as you feel like serving.

A shot of someone rolling out the Paleo Scallion pancake dough between parchment paper with a rolling pin.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add enough fat so it covers the bottom of the pan. Carefully transfer a pancake to the pan and cook for 5 minutes on one side (or until nicely browned). Right before you’re ready to flip it, brush on some hot oil on the un-fried side.

A four-step shot of someone frying a Paleo Scallion Pancake in a large cast iron skillet.

Then, fry on the other side for about 3 minutes or until crispy and browned.

A closeup shot of a crispy Paleo Scallion Pancake in a cast iron skillet.

Transfer the cooked pancake to a wire rack to cool a bit while you fry up more cakes.

An overhead shot of two Paleo Scallion Pancakes on a wire cooling rack.

Don’t wait too long before cutting and eating. As my pop said, serve these pancakes while they’re warm, and with some strong hot tea!

An overhead shot of a Paleo Scallion Pancake cut into wedges.

If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can form the “cinnamon buns” and wrap those up individually (with plastic wrap or parchment paper) and store them in a freezer bag for up to 4 months. Thaw the “buns” in the fridge overnight and roll them out before frying. The frozen uncooked pancakes are pretty delicate, so it is best to roll them out right before you fry them.


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Paleo Scallion Pancakes

4.80 from 25 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 pancakes
These paleo scallion pancakes are pretty much indistinguishable from the ones I used to order at my favorite Mandarin breakfast joints—only mine are vegan, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, and fried in good fats! These crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside flatbreads filled with minced scallions are delicious!

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Measure out the cassava flour, arrowroot powder, and 1 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt into a large bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  • Add about 1 cup of the boiling water and mix well with a spoon (or your hands if your nerve endings are gone like mine). Slowly add the rest of the boiling water and knead well until you form a spring-y, not-sticky dough. If it seems extra dry, add a touch more water, but watch out—you don’t want a wet, soft dough, or you’ll have trouble working with it. If it gets too wet, knead in a bit more cassava flour.
  • Divide the dough in half, and then in half again. Next, divide the dough in half one more time. If you followed my instructions correctly, you should end up with 8 equal-sized portions. Roll ’em into balls with your hands.
  • Grab one dough ball, making sure to keep the rest of the balls covered. (I just pop a silicone lid or damp kitchen towel over the bowl.) Smush down the piece of dough with your fingers, and then flatten it between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten it until it’s very thin—about ⅛-inch.
  • Brush on a thin layer of toasted sesame oil. Add ¼ cup of the minced scallions in a single layer to the flattened dough. Sprinkle on some salt as well.
  • Carefully roll the dough up into it looks like a scallion cigar. Then, take one end and tuck it in. Coil the cigar around until you end up with something that kinda looks like a pinwheel or a cinnamon bun.
  • Place the “cinnamon bun” between two pieces of parchment paper, and either flatten it into a thin circular pancake with a tortilla press (which helps give your pancake a nice circular shape) or roll it out by hand with a rolling dowel. I usually do both: I smush mine with a tortilla press and then roll it out even thinner with a rolling dowel ’cause I like my scallion pancakes extra crispy. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and roll out as many as you feel like serving.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add enough fat so it covers the bottom of the pan. Carefully transfer a pancake to the pan and cook for 5 minutes on one side (or until nicely browned).
  • Right before you’re ready to flip it, brush on some hot oil on the un-fried side. Then, fry on the other side for about 3 minutes or until crispy and browned.
  • Transfer the cooked pancake to a wire rack to cool a bit while you fry up more cakes. 
  • Don’t wait too long before cutting and eating. As my pop said, serve these pancakes while they’re warm, and with some strong hot tea!

Video

Notes

If you want to make the dough ahead of time, you can form the "cinnamon buns" and wrap those up individually (with plastic wrap or parchment paper) and store them in a freezer bag for up to 4 months. Thaw the "buns" in the fridge overnight and roll them out before frying. The frozen uncooked pancakes are pretty delicate, so it is best to roll them out right before you fry them.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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