Lazy Sourdough Discard "Pancakes" with Spring Onions

and sesame oil

This recipe is not for everyone, but I find it bizarrely addictive! I think of these as the ultimate “lazy” pancake. It came about because I wanted a seriously easy way to use up sourdough starter discard without wasting it, that didn’t even require so much as breaking eggs or adding milk for a batter. You can scale it up or down to suit the amount you need to discard.

If I’m feeding my starter the night before baking with it or the morning of, these little savoury pancakes are a great nibble while I’m cooking dinner or brunch. If you’re going to be doing a lot of baking and don’t feel like starting on another recipe just in order to use up your sourdough discard, this is a great halfway house option.

It is essentially watered down, fried sourdough starter with spring onions, sesame oil and that’s about it – I love the naturally sour flavour of this, which I haven’t found to be too strong although if you don’t like that sort of thing, this one won’t be for you.

Additional flavours that work are a teaspoon of tamari, or a pinch of chilli flakes to add to the batter. Garlicky buttery ones are also delicious.

Makes 10 mini pancakes


  • 6 tbsp (150g) sourdough starter
  • 2 tbsp lukewarm water (50g)
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped into rounds
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • salt and black pepper to season
  • knob of butter, or olive oil, for frying


Measure out your sourdough discard into a medium bowl.

(If it’s been in the fridge for a while e.g. several days to a week, feed it two teaspoons of flour and two teaspoons of lukewarm water to get it a little more active, and leave it on the side for 20 minutes to half an hour. If you’ve been using it regularly and it’s quite creamy and active, you don’t need to do this.)

Add two tablespoons of lukewarm water, the chopped spring onion, sesame oil, and stir to combine evenly. Season with salt and black pepper.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat a knob of butter or a drizzle of olive oil over a medium heat. Drop a tablespoon of batter in per pancake and fry until bubbles start to form on the surface. At this point, flip them over and cook for a further 30-60 seconds, until golden.

Serve immediately.