Happy Pancake Day!
In celebration of this delicious day, we thought we’d mix up the lemon and sugar for some international inspiration. True, Pancake Day isn’t celebrated everywhere around the world, but pancakes themselves certainly are. And the best thing is, they take different shapes, tastes and sizes as you skip from country to country.
Get a mouthful of these:
Canadian Pancakes - don't forget the maple syrup!
We are buzzing to be trekking in the Land of Maple Syrup in 2022, so we had to kick off with a Canadian Pancake recipe!
There's no doubt you'll have some opportunities to tuck into the authentic sweet sauce as we explore the Canadian Rockies, but why not treat yourself now and drizzle some over a stack of fluffy, homemade pancakes?
The mix turns out best when blitzed, so simply pop the following ingredients in your blender and fry:
Find the full recipe on the Canadian Family's website here.
Make it vegan:
To keep these plant-based, simply use vegetable oil or non-dairy margarine (like Pure or Vitalite) and swap the egg for apple sauce or mashed banana (use 1/3 cup of apple sauce or 1/4 cup mashed banana for one egg). Use your preferred plant-based milk, but soya is probably more dependable for baking than a more watery one like almond.
Pönnukökur- Pancakes from Iceland
Did you know that pancakes have been a big part of the food culture in Iceland since the 17th Century?
It's believed that the common Icelandic people of the past kept their pancakes thin like crepes, as they couldn't afford the butter needed to make them fat and fluffy.
We don't need to feel too naughty then as we try these tasty sweet treats on our trek in 2022! Saying that, we should feel no guilt no matter what we eat there - we will sweat it all off hiking through the mountains for five days!
Let Iceland inspire you this Pancake Day and rustle up a few Pönnukökurs of your own with the following ingredients:
Get the full recipe, plus loads more Icelandic inspiration, from Your Friend in Reykjavik here.
Make it vegan:
Again, the best egg substitute to use for crepes is apple sauce or banana, which will add a tad of sweetness too. Then just swap the milk for soya milk and opt for vegan margarine, instead of butter, for frying. Also remember to make sure you use a vegan vanilla extract as some brand like to add animal-derived ingredients.
Kenyan Style Pancakes
These Kenyan-style pancakes are much like the ones we have in the UK: a cross between the American and the French crêpe, except with a touch of cinnamon or cardamom thrown into the mix for extra flavour.
Perhaps we’ll come across some of these while trekking or cycling in the land of the Lion King, but they’re easy to make yourself today.
All you need is:
Egg (or applesauce/mashed banana for vegans)
Milk (or a plant-based alternative, like soya)
And optional extras:
Ground cardamom or cinnamon (optional)
Get the full recipe from Simba’s Jiko
Pancakes from the Valley of the Incas
We've found an easy and delicious pancake recipe straight from the Valley of the Incas!
We'll spend some time exploring Ollantaytambo, so if you get a chance, why not visit the chocolate museum to taste the real deal?
Right now, you can make them at home with these basic pancake ingredients:
Butter or margarine (for frying)
Eggs (or mashed banana/apple sauce for vegans)
Whole milk (or a plant-based alternative, like soya)
*Optional: banana or other fruit slices
*Optional: Sugar or spices on top
Gambir - Mongolian Pancakes
If you're a jam fan, you need to try the Gambir in Mongolia! These doughy pancakes, filled with butter and sugar and served jam will give you ample energy for even the toughest days of our trek.
As a signature sweet dish in Mongolia, we're excited to taste real Gambir as we venture through their homeland, but you can make them today with traditional pancake ingredients. The difference is in the way you make it, as you actually roll the butter and sugar into the dough.
Grab your pan, mixing bowl, rolling pin and these simple ingredients:
Now don't forget to serve your Gambir with jam after following the recipe on the Mongol Food website here.
Roti - Nepal and India
You probably know the Indian and Nepalese Roti. Halfway between a flatbread and a pancake, these thin, wheat wonders are traditionally used to scoop up curry, but as there’s no distinct flavour, they can go with everything, sweet or savoury.
You’ll be sure to come across rotis on our challenges in this part of the world, cycling through Rajasthan and from Mumbai to Goa, Walking on the Wild Side in Kerala, trekking the Nepalese Himalayas and all the way to the iconic Everest Base Camp.
For this simple, sugar-free and vegan recipe, all you need is a frying pan and the following ingredients:
Plain flour – white, wholemeal or half and half
Banh Xeo - Vietnam
Vietnam is a country full of amazing cuisine. From the steaming hot bowls of Pho (noodle soup) to spicy stir fries and curries to the best coffee in the world, if you’re a foody, you need to visit this place! And we get to taste the country and culture in the best way, by cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia on an epic challenge that burns off the calories as we consume them!
For now, you can throw some Vietnamese Banh Xeo pancakes together in your own kitchen. This eggless omelette-type pancake is typically mixed with pork, shrimps and onions; but to keep the crêpes super simple and vegan, you only need the following ingredients:
Peanut Pancakes - Malaysia
Before you settle for crepes with peanut butter, get your peanut dose from these tasty Malaysian crepe-style pancakes. You can discover a new favourite food and think ahead to our trek through Borneo!
Go ape in the kitchen with the following ingredients:
Veggie oil for frying
Cream of sweet corn
Roasted & grounded peanuts
Sugar for sprinkling
Palačinke – Croatia
The pancakes in Croatia, known as palačinke (pah-lah-CHEEN-keh) are a pancake party pleaser, because they suit all tastes.
They're very thin like French crêpes and you can have them as a sweet or savoury dish. We're hoping to taste these delights when we cycle along the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.
To keep it a little bit healthier we’re sharing the savoury version, but to make it sweet, you literally just add sugar and vanilla to the mix.
To make these very thin, Croatian crepes, all you need is:
Butter and oil for frying
Make it vegan:
Again, the best egg substitute to use for crepes is apple sauce or banana, but please be aware that these will make your palačinke sweet, rather than savoury. Then just swap the milk for soya milk and opt for oil, instead of butter, for frying.
Farinata - Italy
Italy isn’t all pizza and pasta! You can enjoy some delicious (and delightfully simple) pancakes in this country, too, ideally to reward the burn in your muscles after cycling from Milan to Venice on our exquisite bike ride in 2022.
Chickpea flour, olive oil and water are all you need for this mix - and as you bake rather than fry them, they’re guilt-free in every way: vegan, gluten free and low in fat! Just mix the ingredients together with water and a pinch of salt, let it sit and then bake.
All you need is a pan and the following ingredients:
Ground black pepper
(Optional) Onion and rosemary
Crêpe - France
We cannot write a blog post about pancakes without mentioning the exquisite French crêpe. Not the healthiest of options, but ooh-la-la, are they delicious.
Make them now using only a frying pan and these ingredients:
Eggs (or apple sauce or mashed banana)
Butter (either dairy or vegan)
Make it vegan
As with the recipes above, to keep it free from animal products, just swap the milk for soy milk and the eggs for apple sauce or mashed banana.
Fancy a healthier, plant-based spin on the traditional crêpe? We've just stumbled across this vegan recipe from Jen Reviews and it's to die for!
Jen's Water Spinach Crêpes with Coconut Cream Sauce are not only delicious but they're also packed full of veggie goodness - so guilt-free in every way. You can gorge on these and get your fix of anti-oxidants, iron, magnesium and much more.
Bing - China
A healthy, zesty mini pancake from China is called the Bing, made from just flour, salt, veggie oil, water and spring onions.
It’s more of a dough than a batter, which means you use only minimal oil to fry them. Traditionally served with soy sauce, this is a contrast to our sweet treats in the UK.
All you need to make bing at home is a frying pan and the following ingredients:
Vegetable oil (in this recipe, they use canola)
Chorreadas - Costa Rica
Costa Rica loves its corn, the sacred food of the Maya, Inca and Aztecs. So it comes as no surprise that the Costa Rican pancakes are made from the delicious, golden plant. If you’re lucky enough to travel the gorgeous country as we have done on several stunning cycling challenges in the past, you’ll find Chorreadas on the menu for snack shops and restaurants.
But you can make it in cold and frosty England with the following ingredients:
Fresh sweet corn on the cob
Yellow corn meal or corn flour (masa)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Raggmunk - Sweden
Skip the chips and get your potato fix with these thick Swedish potato pancakes. Not the healthiest of options, but by spud, they are good!
Replicate them in the comfort of your own kitchen following the below recipe. To keep it simple, we've found a recipe with minimum ingredients.
These can be made both vegan or non-vegan with these ingredients:
Raw grated potato
Non-dairy milk (or cow's milk if you prefer)
Margarine (either dairy or plant-based)
Injera - Ethiopia
In Africa’s Ethiopia, home to the stunning Simien Mountains, the spongy, savoury Injera pancake is the staple for most meals, enjoyed with stews and eaten with your hands. The real deal is made from teff flour and fermented for several days. But as with most recipes, you can cheat and make a quick and simple alternative.
All you need is a skillet and the following ingredients:
Teff or whole-wheat flour (a finely milled type, like whole-wheat pastry flour, works well)
Unbleached white flour
Get the full recipe from Exploratorium.
Thai Coconut Pancake
We’ll come across many a coconut on many of our exotic challenges, but why wait till then to go coconuts?
These Thai-style pancakes will bring you a little bit of sunshine today.
Of course, to make these, you’ll need to add a bit of coconut to your average pancake ingredients:
Eggs (or mashed banana/apple sauce for vegans)
Coconut oil or melted butter
Oil for frying
Fluffy Japanese pancakes
If you fancy a thicker pancake today, why not try out these small and fluffy pancakes from Japan? Made with self-raising flour and baking powder, these tall pancakes should jiggle if you get them right.
To make these jiggly pancakes, all you need is:
Golden caster sugar
Having trouble flipping?
Wherever on Earth you are flipping pancakes, having the right pan makes the world of difference. From skillets to sauté pans, pretty much anything will do. Yet a good griddle can really help make your life easier..
Griddle pans are defined by their flat surfaces and very low sides, so low they are more lip than side. This makes them unsuitable for cooking with lots of liquid as it will spill over! But the low lips are perfect for getting a turner under your pancake, helping you flip it or lift it onto a plate.
The low sides also let you cook your pancakes close to the edge, and still be able to use a turner—giving you more space to prepare more at once. Now, being able to prepare two pancakes instead of one can be a lifesaver when you have family or friends waiting, impatiently, for breakfast.
Have a delicious day
We hope you have fun making these global pancakes in the comfort of your own kitchen. But as we well know, international dishes always taste better when you try them in their country of origin! When in Rome, do as the Romans do and all that!
All our overseas challenges give you the amazing opportunity to not only taste the local food, but they also give you a real feel for the local lifestyle, trekking or cycling off the beaten track to quaint countryside, sleepy towns and rural villages.