Comfort food inspired by Asia
Last week was a bit of a week for various reasons so this weekend I decided to play around in the kitchen and make something comforting with notes of my asian trip. I am a big fan of pancakes any day of the week or any time of the day so I played around with them. These pancakes have a subtle coconut flavour and are gluten free. I was inspired by tiny coconut pancakes eaten in Thailand, Laos and more recently discovered in Borough Market, London. I love coconut so thought what wouldn’t be enhanced by this addition!
First of all measure out some rice flour. I used half white and half brown just because that is what I had in it doesn’t matter which one you use. Sieve the flour in a bowl with the baking powder (making sure its gluten free) and mix well.
Put the coconut milk and palm sugar in a saucepan and gently melt them together, don’t let it boil and when melted let it cool a little before using.
Note: Palm sugar is an authentic taste of Asia but I was wondering where this product stood in terms of the palm oil debate and whether it contributed to the same ethical and environmental problems. After a little research I was pleased to discover that it doesn’t and palm sugar is a sustainable product. In fact it helps the palm trees as often old trees that don’t produce coconuts any more are used to harvest the sugar. Palm sugar is unrefined and packed with nutrients and vitamins as opposed to regular sugar which has basically nothing good in it. As an aside if you don’t have palm sugar ordinary sugar is fine but you will need less as it is sweeter.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and crack the egg into there. Begin to whisk adding a spoon of the coconut milk mixture at a time making sure the mixture is smooth and creamy, especially keep an eye out for any clumps of baking powder as that will not taste very nice if not mixed well.
Finally add in the black sesame seeds. If you don’t have them you could leave them out but I think they add a nice bite to the finished thing. As an aside the mixture reminds me of the inside of dragon fruit more asian comparisons…
Heat a little coconut oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium to low heat. Drop spoonfuls of mixture in the pan and wait until bubbles appear on the surface then flip over for a minute or two to finish off cooking. Pile up on a warm plate and eat immediately with a large cup of tea obviously! Green tea would be good. If you do have any pancakes left (very unlikely!) they will keep overnight and can be popped in a toaster to warm through the next day.
For a luxurious alternative if you deserve a treat (who doesn’t!) why not layer up with slices of strawberries and pour cream over the top.