4 reasons we flippin’ love pancakes

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4 reasons we flippin' love pancakes

Pancakes. Flapjacks. Socca. Dosa. Whatever you call them, this versatile food ticks all the right boxes. All that’s left to decide: sweet or savoury?

1. They straddle the line between flatbread and dessert

That means it’s perfectly okay to devour a stack of crêpes for lunch. Make that crêpes Suzette. Because, fruit.

2. They suit all dietary requirements

They can be gluten-free (chickpea, rice, coconut and lentil flours all work), vegan (vegetable oil and baking powder can lend a fluffy consistency), dairy-free (coconut, oat and almond milk are your friends) and carb clever (eggs + squashed banana = deliciousness).

3. They work for brekkie, lunch and dessert

Flapjacks with bacon and maple syrup in the morning; a masala dosa with chutney for lunch, and a savoury prawn-cabbage-studded okonomiyaki for dinner? Challenge accepted.

4. You can dress them up or down

Nothing wrong with a cinnamon-sugar church fete pancake, or a stack sandwiching Nutella and Frangelico liqueur.. Nothing wrong at all.

Batter up: the perfect hopper batter

A well-seasoned pan on a low heat and a bubbly batter are your tickets to hopper heaven

Combine 2 t dried yeast, 3 t sugar and 1⁄4 cup lukewarm water in a small bowl. Stir until well combined, then set aside for 15 minutes until the yeast is bubbly. Place 400 g rice flour in a medium bowl, add the yeast mixture and stir well. Pour in 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
and mix well until the batter has a thick consistency.

Gradually add another can coconut milk, mixing well after each addition, then place the batter in a warm place for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to cook, add 1⁄2 t salt to the batter and stir. Heat a well-seasoned hopper pan or small wok over a low heat, then ladle in 31⁄2 T batter, swirling it around so it comes up the sides of the pan.

Cover and cook for about 2–3 minutes until the edges of the hopper are crispy and the base is cooked but still soft. Carefully slide out using a spatula, then repeat with the remaining batter.

Go global

There’s something really special about eating pancakes sold from a street vendor – even better when you’re devouring them abroad


Depending on the region, the savoury chickpea flour pancakes known as farinata can also be called socca or cecina. The methods for making them also differ – you can fry and flip, or bake them. They’re usually flavoured with rosemary and served as is, but some farinaterias top them with pestos and unaged cheeses.

Try: Socca with warm olive salsa verde


A bit like a mash-up between spring onion pancakes and dumplings, xian bing are northern Chinese hot pockets of flavour. Discs of dough are filled with a variety of combos, including pork and cabbage, or beef and celery heart, before being rolled up, squashed and pan-fried.

Try: Chinese-style pork cabbage stuffed pancakes.


Hottokēki are little sweet, sou é-like hotcakes said to have been introduced to Japan via Hawaii. They get their pillowy bounce thanks to the leavening properties of eggs and buttermilk, and the fact that the batter gets a good dose of aeration in a blender before hitting the pan.

Try: Japanese hotcakes with salty burnt butter


A stint in the oven is what makes Dutch baby pancakes so irresistibly puffy. They’re said to be directly inspired by the German pfannküchen, and got their new moniker in the 1900s in Seattle’s Manca’s Cafe when the owner’s daughter couldn’t pronounce the word “Deutsch”.

Try: Dutch pear pancake


Gold and crispy on one side, and pale with a bit of give on the other, dosas are a south Indian speciality made by frying a batter of fermented rice, black lentils and fenugreek in a flat pan called a tawa. Its most well-known incarnation is the masala dosa, which is served with curried potato and coconut chutney.

Try: Indonesian rendang with super easy chickpea dosas

Spongy, soft and slightly sour, you’ll find injera – fermented teff flour pancakes – in every household in Ethiopia. Like the hopper, it serves as an edible vessel and is piled with an assortment of legumes and meat wot (spicy Ethiopian stews), veggies and salads. It’s the ultimate tear-and-share treat.

Try: Injera

Browse more pancake recipes here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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