Pancakes are a staple of many cultures, whether you’re looking for something sweet or savory. There are hundreds of variations to suit every palate, and every one is a little (or a lot) different. From what’s considered the best temp for cooking pancakes to the preferred toppings and choice of flour, every group has its own secret!
A popular breakfast dish, pancakes are made from a batter that is usually poured onto a griddle or pan and cooked until firm enough to flip. They’re also eaten as a snack or dessert with butter and syrup.
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There are many different types of pancakes around the world. In the United States, buttermilk pancakes are popular and in Europe, crepes are widely eaten. In China, blintzes are also a common dish.
In Venezuela, cachapas are thin pancakes that are made with ground corn and cheese. They are cooked on a budare (a clay or iron plate) and are served with butter and fresh Latin cheese. Another version (cachapa de hoja) is wrapped in dry corn leaves and boiled.
These sweet corn pancakes are a great way to use up leftover cooked sweet corn and can be enjoyed year-round. They are super easy to make and don’t require any special ingredients.
They’re a perfect meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can fill them with a variety of toppings including avocado, tomato slices, onions, a fried egg, hot sauce, and cilantro.
Traditionally, these are filled with queso de mano, a Venezuelan soft cheese, but you can substitute other varieties of cheese. In this recipe, we used a generous slice of white, fresh farmers’ cheese.
They are also great paired with a glass of milk and a drizzle of crema. A sprinkle of powdered sugar is a nice finishing touch. These are delicious when they’re freshly made, but they can also be stored for up to 2 or 3 days in the fridge if well wrapped.
Banh xeo is a Vietnamese pancake named for the loud sizzling sound it makes when the batter hits a hot pan. These savory crepes are made with rice flour and stuffed with tasty morsels of meat like pork belly, shrimp, and bean sprouts.
There are several different versions of this dish, ranging from the north where it is smaller and often includes ingredients like manioc in its fillings to Central Vietnam which has a white version without turmeric. All variations of this dish are delicious and worth seeking out when visiting the region.
The batter for these pancakes is a simple mix of rice flour, cornstarch and water. Then it is flavored with turmeric, which gives the batter its golden color and crispness when cooked.
You can buy a commercially available Vietnamese pancake mix or make it at home. You’ll find the clear bags with red writing (Erawan brand) at Asian grocery stores and in your local supermarket’s Asian aisle.
This is an easy recipe to make for yourself or as a gift. You can even freeze the dough and then reheat it for later use.
Traditionally these pancakes are eaten by hand, with a selection of fresh herbs and vegetables served alongside. Common herbs include lettuce, mint, fish mint, sorrel, and Vietnamese perilla. You can also wrap the pancakes in rice paper and roll them up tightly before dipping them in a sweet and sour sauce.
The Ugandan Kabalagala is a small, sweet pancake made with cassava flour and ripe bananas. They are a popular snack, especially among children.
These pancakes can be eaten with jam and whipped cream or they can be served with a cup of tea. They are also often topped with honey and walnuts.
A similar type of pancake can be found in Australia, where they are known as pikelets. In Korea, they are called kimchijeon and they are usually paired with a soy sauce-based dipping sauce. In Ethiopia, a traditional pancake is made with injera, which is a kind of steamed flatbread.
To make these pancakes, simply peel and mash the banana (the riper the better). Sift the cassava flour into the mashed bananas and add water, baking powder, and sugar. Keep mixing until the dough is firm.
Once the dough is firm, dust a work surface with flour and roll it out to about an inch of thickness. Use a glass or cookie cutter to cut out discs.
These little pancakes are a delicious and healthy snack. They are also a good source of iron and Vitamin A. Researchers at Gulu University in Uganda have used a blend of iron-rich beans and Vitamin A-rich orange sweet potatoes to enrich this conventional pancake with key nutrients that can improve the growth and development of young children.
Cong you bing
Cong you bing (scallion pancake) is a Chinese savory, unleavened flatbread folded with oil and minced scallions. Unlike Western pancakes, this version is made with dough instead of batter, which gives it a crisp edge and chewy interior.
It can be stuffed with other ingredients as well, like fennel greens or sesame seeds. It is a popular street food in China and Taiwan. It is served both as a snack and as a main dish in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisines, but it also makes a good breakfast.
Scallion pancakes are a popular snack in Shanghai, China, where they’re known as “Cong (Chong) You Bing.” They’re filled with thinly sliced green onions that make them crisp on the outside. They’re easy to make and are best eaten with a dipping sauce on the side.
To make these crispy and flakey scallion pancakes, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. The first step is to mix together a mixture of flour and salt. Then, stir in hot water until the mixture forms a shaggy dough. Then, form the dough into small balls and coil them until they’re about six inches in diameter.
The next step is to pan-fry the scallion pancakes until they’re crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. You can then eat them right away or freeze them for later. You can also add a dipping sauce to them, such as peanut sauce, honey, or sweet chili sauce.
Injera is a spongy, slightly sour flatbread that’s a staple food of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It’s commonly served with vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes and can be made from a variety of grains, including wheat, barley, and teff flour.
It is fermented in a similar way to sourdough and has a distinctive flavor bouquet. It’s also incredibly nourishing and may help improve gut health.
To make injera, mix flour, salt, and lukewarm water together. Let the mixture rest for 24 hours or more, watching for bubbles and expansion, a tangy smell, and a taste that’s a little sour.
Next, pour the batter onto a skillet or specialized stove that has a hot surface, traditionally a clay plate. As the injera cooks, it develops a porous top and becomes spongy.
Depending on the type of teff flour used and whether or not it contains gluten, the finished injera will be either light or dark. Adding any other flour, including gluten-based ones such as wheat or barley, will change the texture of the injera.
Once cooked, the injera should be thicker than crepes but not as thick as traditional pancakes. It’s best to leave it on the heat long enough to allow the bubbles to pop and steam cook, but if you overcook it, it will become gummy and soggy. To serve, remove the injera from the pan with a spatula and stack it on a plate.
A fried, sweet or savory pancake that’s slightly thicker than crepes, Tiganites have long been a popular breakfast dish across Greece and Cyprus. They can be served hot, drizzled with honey and cinnamon, or topped with cheese, nuts, and fruits.
While the exact recipe for tiganites has been lost, Galen’s “On the Properties of Foodstuffs” contains a clear description of them that makes them seem similar to what we make today, with fewer ingredients. To make them, simply mix flour, water, oil, and honey together.
Once mixed, heat up a few teaspoons of olive oil in a frying pan and pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the hot oil, cook for a minute or two, and flip it over to cook on the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
These mini pancakes are super easy to make and ready in just a few minutes. They’re soft and delicious, a treat that will satisfy both children and adults!
To serve, place a few tiganites on a plate and add your choice of toppings, such as honey, jam, cream, and strawberries or chocolate hazelnut spread. For a savory option, try adding crumbled feta cheese to the batter. You can also enjoy them with milk or clotted cream. And, of course, they’re great with fresh fruit. This simple Greek pancake recipe is perfect for all of your lazy mornings and relaxed Sundays!