Looking for sourdough discard recipes? Sourdough scallion pancakes are a great, savory way to use up unfed sourdough starter. They disappear as quickly as they come together.
Why we love this recipe
Creating and maintaining a sourdough starter is rewarding in so many ways. But it can be challenging to use up the unfed portion (also called discard) instead of wasting it, especially when creating a new starter.
These scallion pancakes quickly turn half a cup of unfed starter into a crave-able, savory snack. They're:
- Flexible (add sautéed cabbage, kimchi, or diced pickles!)
- Great with a fried egg on top
- Ready in about 10 minutes
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Sourdough discard (also called unfed or unripe sourdough starter). You can make this recipe with discard from any starter. Mine is made with some pretty intense rye flour and still turns out a good pancake. If your starter is made from a lighter flour, the texture will be even better. If your starter is not 100% hydration (maintained with equal parts flour and water by weight), you may want to add a bit more liquid to the recipe to balance it out.
- Cornstarch helps crisp things up a bit. If you don't have it, you could substitute rice flour or even all-purpose flour.
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make sourdough scallion pancakes. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, soy sauce, and cornstarch until perfectly smooth.
- Stir in the starter and then the scallions.
- Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for a couple of minutes, until starting to soften and become translucent. Spread the shallot evenly over the surface of the pan before proceeding.
- Pour the batter onto the pan and use a spatula to coax it into a rough round shape. Cook until the underside is lightly browned and the top is starting to look drier and has bubbles breaking the surface. Then flip and continue cooking until no raw batter remains. Let cool slightly, cut into wedges, and drizzle with toasted sesame oil, sriracha, and Japanese mayo.
Expert tips and FAQs
Absolutely not. If you'd like to learn to make the scallion pancakes that often grace the dim sum table, click here. Sourdough scallion pancakes make a delicious and convenient savory treat, but they lack the texture and technique of the original.
Sure thing. First up, if you'd like them to rise a bit, you can add 1 teaspoon baking powder when you add the cornstarch.
In terms of additional fillings, diced sour pickles, kimchi, or shredded cabbage (sauté with the shallot) would be a great move. Or experiment on your own. This is definitely not a place for rules.
Yes! Substitute your favorite plant milk, water, or veggie broth for the milk and use vegan butter, safflower oil, or another neutral-tasting oil instead of the butter. Use vegan mayo for topping. (This version is dairy-free, too.)
I wouldn't bother. They're best straight off the griddle and only take about 10 minutes from start to finish. That said, you can store leftovers (without the toppings) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and reheat in the toaster oven if you like.
More sourdough resources
- How to create and maintain a starter
- A perfect loaf of sourdough rye bread
- Life-changing bagels
- My favorite crackers (uses discard)
- Sourdough banana bread (uses discard)
For the pancake
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lower-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup (40 grams) cornstarch
- ½ cup (112 grams) unfed sourdough starter
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Toasted sesame oil
- Japanese mayo
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, soy sauce, and cornstarch until completely smooth.
- Stir in the sourdough starter and then the scallions.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a 10-inch nonstick pan, cast-iron skillet, or crepe pan.
- Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften and turn translucent, about two minutes. Spread the shallot evenly over the surface of the pan before proceeding.
- Pour the batter onto the skillet and coax into a rough circle with a spatula.
- Cook for three minutes or so, regulating the heat if necessary, until the underside is lightly browned and the top is starting to look drier and has bubbles breaking the surface.
- Flip and cook for another couple of minutes, until cooked through. Depending on your starter, the texture will vary from a little more crisp to still fairly soft.
- Let cool slightly. Cut into wedges and drizzle with toasted sesame oil, sriracha, and Japanese mayo.
- If your starter is not 100% hydration (made with equal parts flour and water by weight), you may want to add a bit more liquid to the recipe to balance things out.
- Cornstarch helps crisp things up. If you prefer, you can substitute rice flour or even all-purpose flour.
- If you'd like the pancake to rise a bit, you can add 1 teaspoon of baking powder when you whisk in the cornstarch.
- For a vegan and dairy-free version, substitute your favorite plant milk, water, or veggie broth for the milk // use vegan butter or safflower oil in place of the butter // and use vegan mayo.
- For a delicious twist, add some sautéed cabbage, minced pickles, or kimchi.
- This recipe is best straight off the griddle, so I don't recommend making it in advance. If you have leftovers, you can store them (without toppings) in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and reheat in the toaster oven before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 564mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 7g