The American and Canadian cuisines usually know pancakes as a breakfast item that is paired with jams, syrups, and other sweet additions. But in the rest of the world, pancakes are enjoyed as sweet or savory variations depending on the toppings they are served with. Importantly, these pancakes are not deemed as a solely breakfast item. These pancake recipes from 10 different regions are served as sweet or savory for brunch, lunch and dinner and any-time in between.
Deruny are made with finely grated potato and onion, pan fried with seasonings, and served with a sprinkle of dill and a side of sour cream. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, you can use them in this recipe instead of the grated potatoes. Variations of this dish add cheese for a creamy cheese pull and stuff them with meat for a more hardy meal.
Kartoffelpuffer is a German potato pancake that is similar to Ukrainian deruny but despite their similar ingredients, there are distinct differences in preparation. The potato is grated on a large setting (not finely) to create long strands of potato, then the pancakes are parboiled to ensure thorough cooking. The pancakes are then combined with onion and optional bacon and cheese, and finally pan fried until golden brown. German potato pancakes can be served sweet by serving them with applesauce or dusted with powdered sugar, or served savory with yogurt-herb sauce or with meat.
Pajeon is made using scallions (“pa” means scallion in Korean) as the prominent ingredient. Variations of the dish include other ingredients such as beef, pork, kimchi, or seafood (shellfish, shrimp, octopus, etc.). If you have leftover vegetables in the fridge, making a vegetable pancake is a fast and delicious way of enjoying them. Pajeon is eaten as a snack with a sauce or served as a side dish.
Although these Chinese scallion pancakes vary in preparation depending on the region, this simplified northern recipe makes this beloved street food dish easy to enjoy at home. Chinese pan-fried pancakes are typically made from dough (not batter like the previous recipes), and are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and are served with a soy sauce dipping sauce for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anytime in-between.
Pannukakku is a Finnish pancake that is baked in a thick layer that results in crispy edges and a custardy interior. If you’re familiar with Netherland’s recipe for Dutch baby, know the recipe is nearly identical. Pannukakku utilizes the blender to combine familiar pancake batter ingredients and poured straight from the blender into a baking dish. Half an hour in the oven is all that is needed before served with favorite toppings.
Blini are an in-between the thinness of French crêpes and the thickness of American buttermilk pancakes. Blini are traditionally made using buckwheat flour which allows them to be more versatile for sweet and savory enjoyment. Blini are commonly rolled with cheese and raisins to create a sweet nalesnik or rolled with meat and vegetables to create a savory nalesnik.
Sabaayad is a type of flatbread enjoyed in Somalia and Djibouti that is closely related to parotta of the Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladesh regions. Sabaayad is made with flour and cooked on a hot griddle. It can be enjoy sweet by rolling it with butter and sugar or enjoyed savory as a side with stews and sauces.
These Venezuelan pancakes use a base of two ingredients: corn and masa harina, then sprinkled with shredded cheese. The corn gives cachapas sweet tones and the folded-in sprinkled shredded cheese provides the savory tones and the delicious cheese pull.
Kaiserschmarrn literally translates to “the emperor’s sweet omelette”. If you worry about not flipping the perfectly round pancake, worry not. To properly make this dish, it is necessary to break apart the pancake into bite-sized pieces while it is cooking. Kaiserschmarrn are usually served with sweet toppings such as berries, jams, apples, and sprinkled with sugar.
These Brazilian pancakes are made with tapioca flour, making them naturally gluten-free and vegan. They are crepe-like and can be stuffed with sweet and savory fillings. The lightness of these pancakes allow them to be enjoyed as a breakfast, snack, or a light meal.
I hope this collection of 10 recipes from different regions of the world gave you insight into the true potential of the beloved pancake.