You need to try these 10 international takes on pancakes


Kae Lani

Stack of blueberry pancakesPhoto courtesy of E+ / GMVozd

The pancake possibilities are endless

Nothing says American breakfast like a stack of hot pancakes topped with a slab of butter and a pool of maple syrup slowly dripping down the sides. But in some countries, the doughy pancake isn’t a dish limited to breakfast. From savory sides to the main meal to sweet desserts, here are 10 ways that pancakes are dished out around the globe.

Scallion pancakes are just as good plain as they are dipped in a tangy soy-based saucePhoto courtesy of Getty Images / from_my_point_of_view

Scallion pancakes | China

In China, the cong you bing, or scallion pancake, is a pan-fried flatbread with minced scallions. They’re a bit chewy because the recipe calls for dough instead of batter, but they also have a crispiness, thanks to the hot oil they’re fried in.

Scallion pancakes are often served with a dipping sauce made with soy, vinegar, garlic and more scallions, which adds a bit of saltiness and tanginess to the dish.

The pannukakku is like eating every baked batter dish all at oncePhoto courtesy of Getty Images / gorchittza2012

Pannukakku | Finland

Finland’s official pancake, the pannukakku, takes the best of pancakes, French toast and crepes, and combines them in a deliciously, puffy delight. Unlike American pancakes, where you have to cook batter over a hot griddle and flip at the right moment, pannukakku is baked in the oven.

You know it’s done when the sides get puffy and a little crispy, while the center maintains a custardy texture. Pannukakku goes perfectly with fruit and whipped cream, and can be served alongside savory breakfast meats.

These little rolls are great for any meal of the dayPhoto courtesy of Getty Images / eyedias

Palacsinta | Hungary

Hungarian palacsinta are very similar to crepes in the sense that they’re flat and smooth. But instead of being folded like crepes, the palacsinta is rolled up with either a sweet or savory filling.

The mild flavor of the dosa's fermented rice batter pairs well with a lot of spiced and aromatic Indian dishesPhoto courtesy of Getty Images / danishkhan

Dosas | India

Dosas, which are a South Indian staple, look similar to crepes, but they’re made from a fermented rice batter. When cooked, they become light and slightly crispy. They’re usually served as a side that can be dipped in chutneys, curries and other dishes.

The Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki layers each of the ingredients onto the pancake whereas the Osaka-style okonomiyaki mixes all of the ingredients togetherPhoto courtesy of Getty Images / ahirao_photo

Okonomiyaki | Japan

Unlike other pancakes around the world which are served as a side, the okonomiyaki in Japan is the main course. A pancake made of a batter and cabbage is topped with a wide variety of meats, seafood, vegetables and sometimes even cheese.

The Japanese word okonomi means “how you like” or “what you like” and yaki means “cooked,” which is the perfect way to think of this dish. It is literally cooked however you like it.

Though this pannenkoeken is known as a Dutch dish, it's one that appears throughout EuropePhoto courtesy of Getty Images / GMVozd

Pannenkoeken | Netherlands

This Dutch pancake is way bigger and thinner than its American counterpart. One pannenkoek can take up an entire pan, and can be cooked with sweet or savory fillings added to the batter while its cooking. They can be served as a savory lunch or dinner or can be sweetened up for breakfast or even a dessert.

Arepas can be eaten plain, with toppings, or filled to make a kind of arepa sandwichPhoto courtesy of Getty Images / nehopelon

Arepas | South America

The arepa in South America is a prime example of pre-Columbian cuisine. Like many South American dishes that predate colonization, the arepa is made from corn. The corn is ground to make a dough that is then cooked to make a flat, round cornmeal cake.

It’s a dish that is very prominent in Colombia and Venezuela, and in recent years, has made its way into the American foodscape.

A popular filling for Denmark's elbskivers is lingonberry jamPhoto courtesy of Getty Images / nschatzi

Ebelskivers | Denmark

Most often, pancakes are part of the meal, and sometimes they’re even the whole meal. But in Denmark, they’re eating pancakes as a small snack.

Ebleskivers are small, spherical dough balls that are sometimes filled with jam, almost like a donut. They’re cooked in a pan with special molds which help them to achieve their iconic spherical shape, and also cook them evenly.

Potato pancakes can be made with mashed potatoes, but in Poland and other Eastern European countries, they're mostly made with grated potatoesPhoto courtesy of Getty Images / Richard Jacyno

Placki Kartoflane or Placki Ziemniaczane | Poland

Closely related to the latke, the placki kartoflane or placki ziemniaczane from Poland is a potato pancake. They’re often served with goulash, sour cream, apple sauce, mushroom sauce, cheese or fruit syrup.

The most notable feature of Morocco's baghrir are the little bubbles that form throughout the pancake, giving it a honeycomb-like texturePhoto courtesy of Getty Images / PicturePartners

Baghrir | Morocco

Morocco’s take on the pancake, the baghrir, is made from a crepe-like batter of semolina. Thanks to the yeast that’s added to the batter, the baghrir has tons of little bubbles in it, making it spongy and light. Baghrir are often served with honey or syrup, making them even sweeter.

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