These easy, savory 🤤 scallion pancakes are ready to eat in under 30 minutes! Pan-fried aromatic scallions, bacon 🥓 and seafood 🐙 can be enjoyed as a meal or a snack.
Total carbs 21g, net carbs 18g
I make this recipe every week. It's easy and delicious 😋 and my family 👨🏻👩🏻👦🏻 loves it. We plug in a Japanese-style, portable, table-top griddle from the 80s, that my mother left me, and gather around the table, eyes shining 😍 as we watch the bacon 🥓🥓🥓 and seafood 🐙🦑🦐 sizzle 🔥 away, delicious 🤤 smells wafting around us, while we eagerly wait for dinner to be ready.
This is my take on scallion pancakes. To keep it low-carb, I use lots of scallions, a bit of bacon and seafood, and a scant amount of batter to bind it all together. There are many variations of scallion pancakes. This recipe is a mashup of my favorite pan-fried scallion snacks:
- Chinese scallion pancakes made with dough.
- Korean scallion pancakes, called "pajeon", made with batter and sometimes seafood, kimchi and sliced chili peppers.
- Japanese takoyaki shaped into balls of batter stuffed with octopus, pickled ginger and scallions.
- Japanese okonomiyaki made with an attitude of anything goes, with a base of batter, shredded cabbage, and scallions.
Ingredients you'll need
What are scallions? Scallions are long green onions, sometimes called Spring onions. Since you can eat them raw you only need to cook scallions briefly.
Chop the scallions into bite-sized pieces (1-2 inches) or they can be stringy and not fun to eat.
One large bunch of whole scallions harvested from the field yields 8 cups of chopped scallions. You may need 1-2 bunches of scallions, to yield 8 cups, if you buy them from the store because supermarket scallions have their tops trimmed before they are displayed in the produce aisle.
This recipe uses bacon to add that smoky, rich flavor that goes really well with seafood and scallions. Thick-slab bacon without added sugar is the best choice for this dish. Bacon can be full of sugar, so check the package for "No Sugar Added".
Alternatively you can use sliced, raw, fresh pork belly that is available at Asian groceries.
Use pre-cooked octopus for this recipe. You can buy it frozen in the seafood section of many supermarkets. Or look for it in the sushi section. If you can't find pre-cooked octopus where you are, try ordering octopus sashimi at a sushi restaurant. This octopus is not raw, but pre-cooked.
When you are ready to use the octopus, rinse it under cold running water. This will remove any excess salt that may have been used in the cooking process. Chop it up into tiny pieces.
Is octopus optional? Yes, totally optional.
Why do I add octopus? This dish is inspired by one of my favorite Japanese street-food snacks, takoyaki. Takoyaki is fried balls of batter stuffed with bits of octopus, scallions and ginger. It is savory, creamy, chewy deliciousness.
Feel free to substitute with other fresh seafood such as shrimp, scallops or chopped squid.
Using batter instead of dough helps reduce the total carbs in this recipe by cutting down on flour.
If you have powdered soup stock add some to the batter for a flavor boost. I love adding Hondashi "real broth", which is a powdered form of bonito fish soup stock that is ubiquitous in Japanese cuisine. You can also try powdered chicken bouillon or a splash of amino acids or a splash of fish sauce for extra flavor. If you are vegan you can add powdered seaweed or mushroom stock.
Equipment you'll need
You'll need a large skillet (10-12") or griddle suitable for cooking pancakes, and a spatula.
Can I make it vegan?
You can make this vegan by making the basic recipe of just scallions, flour, water and salt. Use vegetable oil to fry the pancakes.
- I add cooked bacon, octopus and shrimp to mine. This is a winning combination. Feel free to get creative with your combinations.
- I add hondashi (fish stock) to the batter for extra flavor.
- Try shredded carrots, red chili peppers or red bell peppers to add color.
- Try adding kimchi.
- Try adding dried seaweed flakes.
- Try adding a fried egg on top.
- Try adding your favorite meat and seafood. Shrimp, crab, squid, clams, scallops, oysters and octopus are delicious additions.
- You can eat these tasty pancakes as is, hot off the griddle.
- Or dip them in soy sauce.
- Try drizzling them with Worcestershire sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise and pickled red ginger.
- Try them with a side of kimchi.
- Try them with spicy dipping sauce made of soy sauce, vinegar, red chili pepper flakes, toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Get the recipe at Maangchi.
These are good reheated as leftovers and should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in the microwave for a minute. On the stovetop, reheat pancakes in a non-stick skillet over medium heat covered for 2 minutes, then flip them and cook another 2 minutes uncovered or until they warm through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Scallions, also called spring onions or green onions, are in the Allium family of vegetables and related to garlic and onions, with a milder flavor.
If you don't have scallions you can substitute with leeks or chives or even finely sliced onions. I enjoy foraging wild garlic chives and ramps (a type of wild leek) in the Spring and using them in place of scallions when they are available.
You'll love eating your vegetables with these easy, savory scallion pancakes! Pan-fried aromatic scallions, bacon and seafood are ready to eat in under 30 minutes. Enjoy as a meal or a snack.
- ½ cup all-purpose wheat flour
- ¾ cup ice cold water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dashi granules or chicken broth powder (optional)
- 8 cups scallions, sliced diagonally into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 slice bacon (no sugar added) or raw, fresh pork belly, sliced into pieces about an inch wide
- ¼ pound seafood like boiled octopus, raw squid and raw shrimp, chopped into bite-sized pieces (remove the shells and tails from shrimp first and leave them whole)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as canola, avocado, vegetable, bacon fat
- Whisk batter ingredients together. It should be the consistency of runny pancake batter and it is okay if it is lumpy. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Fry bacon over medium-high heat. When bacon is crisp, add chopped octopus. Sauté octopus for a few minutes, stirring constantly to cook off steam.
- When most of the liquid has evaporated, sauté scallions with the bacon and octopus for a minute until the scallions soften and wilt.
- Pour batter over the scallion, bacon, octopus mixture. Loosely stir ingredients together. Push in edges of the mixture with a spatula to form a pancake shape.
- Leave it to cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Lift the edges of the pancake with a spatula to check for browning. When the bottom is browned, the pancake is ready to flip over.
- When it is time to flip the pancake over you have one of two options:
1: If you want to keep the shape of the pancake, wear oven mitts so that the frying oil doesn't drip down and burn you, then place a large plate over the pancake, and while holding the plate in place with one hand, flip the pancake over onto the plate by flipping over the pan with the other hand. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, heat it up, then slide the pancake, uncooked side down, off the plate into the frying pan and cook another 3-5 minutes.
2: OR you can lift part of the pancake up and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Then “cut” the pancake into pieces with your spatula first, before flipping over each piece.
For a good crisp crust just let the pancake cook and don't move it around until it is time to flip it over.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Snack
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Scallion pancakes with bacon and octopus Chinese Japanese Korean low-carb