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 all different shapes, tastes and sizes as you skip from country to country.
So if you want to try out something new today, get a mouthful of these:
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 (which you can try while exploring Ethiopia on our new Hike For Hope Simien Mountains Trek) 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.
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 definitely a contrast to our sweet treats in the UK - and you can gorge on them, along with other, more flavourful Chinese dishes, on our bucket-list challenge trekking or cycling along the iconic Great Wall of China.
All you need to make bing at home is a frying pan and the following ingredients:
Vegetable oil (in this recipe, they use canola)
Roti - 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 beautiful coast to coast cycling challenge from the spicy Mumbai to the salt-washed sandy beaches of Goa.
For this simple, sugar-free 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 in 2019, 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 a non-stick frying pan and the following ingredients:
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 (which we recommend you do on our Women V Cancer coast to coast cycling challenge), you’ll find Chorreadas on the menu for snack shops and restaurants.
But you can make it in cold and frosty England with a frying pan and 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! You’ll have a chance to enjoy these when we arrive in Sweden on our Husky Sled Challenge 2019 - a great way to warm up after five days in the snow!
For today, you can replicate them in the comfort of your own kitchen with a sauce-pan, griddle and the following ingredients:
Pinch of salt
Butter for frying
Farinata - Italy
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. And you have not lived until you’ve tried the crêpes fresh in Paris, made even more enjoyable after 3 days of cycling from London to the city of love (and crêppey deliciousness!).
Make them now using only a frying pan and these ingredients:
Make it vegan
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.
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.