Gluten-Free Cornmeal Lemon Pancakes

Happy Sunday Melonoat readers!

Ever since discovering the mister has a gluten allergy, I have been searching and testing gluten-free recipes from around the web to see if any really stand up to the challenge.  This is one that clearly rises above the rest for fluffy cornmeal pancakes.  I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour’s website and we have made this at least a dozen times now.   As a challenge one time, I made a batch of regular buttermilk pancakes and a batch of these gluten-free ones for some visiting friends.  Guess which batch everyone unanimously picked? The gluten-free ones!

A few substitutions can even be made- The buttermilk can be substituted with milk, the lemon zest can be  substituted for orange or lime for a different flavor, and xanthan gum can be replaced with guar gum.

Time: 20-30 minutes
Quantity: ~20 small pancakes


dry ingredients

  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (whole-grain preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

wet ingredients

    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted) or vegetable oil
    • 3/4 to 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons grated lemon rind or ½ teaspoon lemon oil

Pour in a large mixing bowl, the potato starch, cornmeal, sugar, baking power, salt, guar gum.
potato starch cornmeal sugar

baking powder salt guar gum

Now prepare the wet ingredients. Add the eggs to another small mixing bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave (I usually melt at power 2 for ~45 seconds) and add with eggs. Add milk or buttermilk, lemon zest, and mix.
two eggs unsalted butter melt butter

milk lemon zest

Pour wet ingredients into the dry bowl and mix together. Do not over mix- lumps are ok. Let this mix sit for a few minutes while you warm up the pan or griddle to med to low heat. You will see additional bubbles forming from the baking soda.. this is good and will make your pancakes fluffy!
wet dry mix bubbles

Once your pan is warm it’s time to make the pancakes. I like to use a small cookie batter scooper to measure out the batter into the pan. If not, estimate ~2-3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. When you see the sides start to dry, bubbles begin to form, and the bottom start to brown, it should be ready to flip (~1-2 min per side). Do the same with the other side and cool on a wire rack until all are completed.
scooper pour batter flip

Enjoy as is, with syrup, or top with your favorite fruit!
pancakes_fruit pancakes_fruit_syrup
pancakes_fork pancakes_bite

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Well, it’s been a while folks. My work travels have finally ended and now I am back in the kitchen. However there have been a few drastic changes that have completely changed the way we cook and eat. Oat of melonoat has a gluten, tapioca, and soy allergy! That means no flour, no gluten-free premixed flour (since most contain tapioca flour) and no soy sauce.

Yea, big changes in the kitchen. We’ve had to get creative in our recipes and cooking since this, but Oat has been feeling healthier and happier since this discovery and change.

So many of the upcoming recipes will be gluten/soy/tapioca free as we explore new ways to cook our favorite foods.

Let us know if you have any food allergies that have changed the way you cook at home?

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Green Onion Pancake – 蔥油饼 – cōng yóu bǐng – Version #2

Well well. melonoat is still alive! it’s been a long time folks, but it’s worth the wait. I’ve spent my precious Saturday working on this post for you.

This version of green onion/scallion pancakes is my uncle’s. He actually used to own and operate a restaurant in Taiwan selling this stuff! I learned this recipe from my uncle during a previous trip to Taiwan. This might be my favorite green onion pancake recipe… shhh don’t tell my grandma. I hope you enjoy!!


1 kg All purpose flour (~ 7 cups)
1 egg
300 cc warm water (~1.25 cups) (hot to touch but where you are able to put your finger in)
1 tbsp oil
chopped green onions (make sure these are dry and do not have too much water from washing)

Normal mix:
pork oil
2 tbsp sesame oil

Vegetarian mix:
vegetable oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
white pepper

optional- ground pork, season with salt, soysauce, pepper


1. In a large mixing bowl, pour the flour in and made a well in the center. Add the water in slowly while mixing the flour. Add in the egg. Add 1 tbsp oil. You may need to add a little bit of water if it is too dry and the ingredients don’t mix thoroughly. The dough should be a little hard once completed, as it will soften as it sits.
flourflour and watermix flour and water
add eggmix eggmixed dough
2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit ~5 minutes. Knead the dough 3-4 times. Do this a total of 5 times every 5 minutes.
knead dough
Now, it is time to prep the sauce that goes on the dough before spreading out the green onions. There are 2 versions to choose from:
3a. Vegetarian/Healthier version: Mix the flour, sesame oil and white pepper in a bowl.
veggie version saucemix sauce
3b. Regular-Non Vegetarian version: Pork fat, sesame oil, white pepper and a little flour
pork fat sauce

4. Put a little sesame oil on your working surface area so the dough does not stick. Roll out the dough into a circle where the outside edges are a little thinner than the center.
5. Pour enough flour/oil/pepper mixture onto the dough to completely cover. Spread the mixture making sure there is more in the center than on the edges. Sprinkle salt over. If the mixture is too runny, add some flour over to thicken so.
pour saucepour sauce 2add flour to sauce
spread saucepour saucespread sauce
6. Spread the green onions over the dough and mixture, again making sure there is more in the center than the outer sides. Be very generous and pile it on, as this dough will be stretched out and separated into 8-10 individual pancakes.
add onionsadd more onions

6b. optional- For you meat lovers, you can take some ground meat (flavored with some soy sauce, wine) and spread over the rolled out dough after spreading the sauce and before the green onions.

7. Sprinkle a layer of flour over the green onion to soak up any remaining excess water off the green onions.
add flour to green onions

8. Now starting from the sides, pull the dough up so it doesn’t stick to the surface.

9. Starting from the bottom left corner, pull the dough out towards you so that it becomes thinner (careful not to rip the dough). I think I pulled it out 5-6 inches. Start rolling the dough inward as you are pulling out. Keep pulling and rolling from the bottom up in the shape of the dough (a curved shape). The stretchier your dough is, the better it is!

10. Now once it is completed rolled, tuck in the ends so that the insides (onions and mixture) don’t come out.
rolled dough

11. Pull into small balls (~3-4 inches) and dip bottom in flour/oil mixture so it won’t stick when place on tray. You can brush a little sesame oil over the sides and top so they don’t stick to each other in the tray. Cover the tray and let sit ~1 hour at room temp. If it is hot (like in Taiwan..), you can let the dough rest in the fridge for ~2-3 hours. *If the dough doesn’t rest it won’t turn a lovely golden brown color when you pan fry.

12. When ~1hr is up, roll out each ball into a circle using a rolling pin (this time the outside edges thicker than the center).

13. Pan fry each rolled panked in oil until browned.

13a. Alternatively you can roll out the ball, press the top into sesame seeds, and bake at 425F for ~10 minutes or browned on top!

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Upcoming FoodBuzz Festival 10/19-10/20

We are really excited to be attending our 3rd FoodBuzz Festival this year 10/19-20 in San Francisco! One more week to go until a food filled weekend. The agenda looks great and I’ve already booked reservations Friday night at Acquerello .

Hope to meet some more bloggers and reconnect with those of you we’ve met in the past!

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Honey Nut Cereal Chicken Sticks

Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I come home after a long day’s work is to cook so I can eat. However, I discovered this quick 30 minute recipe watching Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals one day on TV. I could easily take frozen chicken, a few ingredients from my pantry and a few spices and have a delicious (and healthy) meal in 30 minutes! Thanks rayray! By the way, these go awesomely well with the Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce. Use leftovers in a sandwich for lunch!


2 pounds chicken tenders
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
A splash milk
2 cups honey nut flavored cereal, or honey corn flakes (recommended: Honey Nut Corn Flakes) or I use whatever corn flakes cereal I have on hand.
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Seasoning)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, eyeball it


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper.

3. Combine cereal, bread crumbs, paprika, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning and vegetable oil in food processor.

4. Pulse until mixed and there are no large pieces. Transfer breading to a shallow dish.

5. Place flour in a large shallow dish. Beat eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Line up the dishes with the flour, egg/milk mixture, and then breading.

6. Place a nonstick baking sheet covered in aluminum foil near chicken breading station.

7. Coat chicken in flour. In batches, take flour coated chicken and coat in eggs then in breading and place on nonstick cookie sheet.

8. When all the chicken has been coated, transfer to oven and bake 15 minutes, until evenly brown and cooked through.

9. Enjoy! This chicken may be served hot or cold. Goes great with the the Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce. In this picture I used some pesto and a sriracha aioli as my dipping sauces. Good ol’ BBQ sauce or a honey dijon mustard works too!

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Turnip pastry (蘿蔔絲餅)

I love eating these tasty, flaky, savory turnip pastries. You can often find them in the Chinatown bakeries just waiting to be eaten. But nothing comes close to a freshly baked pastry still steaming when you take that first bite. *drool*

One of my mom’s friends, Johanna would often make these when I visit my parents LA. I asked her one time to teach me how to make them so I could make them when I was back home in SF. This post is the culmination of that lesson. You won’t be disappointed by these. You can store these in the refrigerator and bake them again to warm them up when you want to enjoy later.

Turnip filling

1 large turnip (~3-4 cups shredded)
2-3 small pieces (3-4 tbsp) of Chinese cured and smoked ham (fatty pieces are good)
1-2 bunches of green onion (~1 cup chopped)
3 tbsp salt
diced ginger (~1 tsp)
1 tbsp sesame oil
white pepper
cilantro (optional)

Pastry Ingredients
7 cups of all purpose flour (4 cups for the outer pastry, 3 cups for the inner pastry)
16oz crisco (2 cups)
2 cups of water
sesame seeds for outside coating

Other kitchen items needed:
Stand mixer
Large measuring glass
Food scale
2 large ziplock bags
Kitchen gloves (for handling turnips)

Start with turnip filling

**Warning: Some people are sensitive to raw turnip and your skin may get itchy. I wore some gloves to help prevent the itchiness afterwards **
1. Peel the skin of the turnip and shred the turnip. I used a food processor with the shredding blade for faster results.

2. Add salt to the shredded turnip and let sit for ~5 min to extract out the water. Mix and squeeze out the water in batches using your hands to make sure the turnip is dry.

3. Dice the green onions and ginger. Add to bowl with shredded turnip.

4. Dice the meat finely (I used a food processor) and remove any tough parts/tendon. Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil to the meat, and a pinch of white pepper for taste. Mix together. Pour out to same bowl as turnip mixture with green onions and ginger.

5. Mix the turnips, meat, green onions and ginger together so that all ingredients have been incorporated.

Prepare the pastry
Now there are 2 parts to the pastry layer (a wet outer layer/水油皮 and a dry inner layer/油皮) in order to get that flakey outside crust.
6. For the outer layer (wet layer/水油皮), add 4 cups of all purpose flour to a standing mixer.

7. Now, we need 1 cup of Crisco and 1 cup of water to add to the flour. (Now, I hate that the crisco gets stuck to whatever measuring cup i use, so I use this method instead. Using a large measuring bowl, I’ll add in 2 cups of water, and add in crisco until the level reaches 3 cups and then dump out 1 cup of water. You could just start with 1 cup of water and add in crisco until the level reaches 2, but I find that it’s easier to see the 2 cups to 3 cups markings.)

8. Use a dough hook in the standing mixer to mix all ingredients. The dough should be very soft, so if it is too hard, add more water. (I ended up adding ~1/4 cup water over two times)

9. When the dough is smooth and soft, put it in a large zip lock bag and let sit.

10. For the inner layer (dry layer/油皮), add 3 cups of all purpose flour to a standing mixer with 1 cup of Crisco (I was short a little Crisco when I took the picture.. :P ). There is no water in this mixture- only add the Crisco to the flour.

11. Mix in stand mixer and put into other ziplock bag.

12. Preheat oven to 375F

13. Make sure you have a large flat working surface. Measure out 2oz of the wet dough and 1 oz of the dry dough.

14. For the wet dough use a rolling pin to flatten. Roll the 1oz dry dough into a ball with your hands and place in the middle of the flat wet dough. Flip both sides over the ball and flatten with rolling pin. Roll up lengthwise and flatten again with rolling pin.

15. Roll up one more time, but instead of rolling flat, hold both ends of the pastry in your hands. Now press both ends towards each other so that you now have a rounded (smushed) pastry in your hands. Roll this into a circle.

16. Now add in the mixture to the middle of the pastry. In a circular motion, starting with one side, gather the dough, pinching each piece with the previous, until all sides are closed and you have a closed pastry with filling. The side with the closed seams will be the bottom of the pastry. See video below too!

17. Add sesame seeds to a flat plate. Press the completed pastry (top flat side) into the sesame seeds, and put completed pastries onto a baking sheet.

18. Bake pastries for 20-25 minutes or until sesame seeds and top are slighty golden. Enjoy and remember to share (only if you really want to)!!

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Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Remember the good ole days at Cal? Remember all the good food? Remember Brazil Cafe on Shattuck? If you haven’t had their tri-tip sandwich, you’ve been missing out. Get in your car and go there right now. Go.

I think the best part of that sandwich is the cilantro yogurt sauce. Tao and I remember talking with the owner saying how much we loved it and he told us what was in it… so after many many attempts in trying to recreate and perfect the sauce (all kinds of yogurt), we’ve done it. You can thank me later. I almost don’t want to share it with you.

This sauce is great in sandwiches, dipping pita chips, eating with chicken sticks, or anything else. It’s awesome.



-Fresh cilantro (generous bunch, washed and the stems trimmed)
-Garlic (2 cloves, more if you love the kick like I do)
-Fage total 2% greek yogurt (at TJs)
-Salt and Pepper
-Lime (optional)

1. Add the garlic to the food processor and give it a whirl until its nicely chopped. I like to use a spatula since the bigger chunks sometimes fly up.

2. Then add the cilantro and blend again until the cilantro is nicely chopped as well.

in the food processor

in the food processor

3. Add in the yogurt, a dash of paprika, salt, pepper, and blend one last time until its a nice green color. Taste and add more salt if needed. Then, enjoy your sauce and be glad I was in a sharing mood.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

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Golden Eggs (黄金蛋)

I love eggs. It doesn’t matter how it is cooked or prepared…over easy, poached, scrambled, hard boiled, soft boiled.. you get the point. To make these golden eggs, you will have to practice a few times to get the timing of the eggs just right. But when you do, the eggs are hardboiled, with a golden, partially runny yolk on the inside. YUM! You just have to be a hawk when watching the water boil with the eggs. The worse part is seeing the eggs in the fridge but having to wait 3 days to get just the right flavor and color. A true test of willpower… (that I have failed many times).

Prep time: 20-30 min Marinade time: 3-4 days

eggs, at room temperature
ginger, 1 inch piece
3 stalks green onions
1 cup chinese cooking rice wine
1 cup soy sauce
3 cups water
rock sugar, roughly 1 inch piece
1 anise star
egg perfect egg timer, optional (works pretty well- I picked mine up at sur la table). If you don’t have one, make sure you have a timer handy.

1. In a large pot, add room temperature eggs and enough water to cover eggs. Place the egg perfect egg timer in the middle of the eggs in the pot.

2. Prepare a bowl/pot of cold water nearby to cool the eggs once they cook.

3. On medium heat, start heating the water. Make sure you are watching the pot closely.
-If you are using the egg perfect egg timer, you want to watch to see when the black increases up to the “soft” line.
-If you you are using a regular timer, once the water start to boil (like consistent bubbling covering the whole surface), set a timer for 3 minutes.

4. Once it reaches that point (either the “soft” line or 3 minutes), immediately scoop out the eggs and put them into the cool ice bath on the side (or rinse in cold water like I did…).

5. Gently, crack some of the eggs just a little to help in the cooling and make the peeling easier for later. Keep in cold water.

6. Next, prepare the marinade for the eggs. Slice the ginger into large discs and cut green onion into large pieces.

7. Heat a large deep skillet/wok, with no oil, over low/med heat. Break the anise star into pieces and add in to release the oils for 1-2 min, stirring. Add in the ginger and green onion until starting to brown.

8. Add in the water, soy sauce, wine and rock sugar to the skillet. Heat for ~3-5min while stirring until the rock sugar has complete dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.

9. Peel now cooled eggs and return to empty bowl.

10. Once the sauce has completely cooled, add into bowl with eggs, cover bowl, and put in refrigerator to let marinade for 3 days. After a day or so, flip the eggs to let all sides marinade evenly.

11. Once three days are up.. or before if you’re like me and can’t wait, scoop eggs out and enjoy!

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