Savory Fresh Corn Pancakes
- Yield 8 servings
- Cook 45 mins
These sweet and savory fresh corn pancakes, called "cachapas" in Venezuela, can be served with a soft cheese and eaten as a hearty breakfast, light lunch, or snack.
- 3 generous cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed and drained, if frozen)
- 1/2 cup soy or other nondairy milk
- 1/3 cup Venezuelan- or Colombian-style masarepa (don't use Mexican masa harina)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, preferably golden
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Peanut or corn oil, or high-smoking-point nonstick cooking spray, for frying
- Shredded, meltable mozzarella-style vegan cheese (optional)
- In a blender jar, combine the corn, soy milk, masarepa, flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse everything until a thick chunky batter is formed with a consistency similar to that of creamed corn. If necessary, stir the ingredients with a rubber spatula (not while the blender is running, of course) to make sure everything is blended together. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes and stir a few times before using.
- While the batter is resting, heat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron pan or griddle over medium heat. It’s ready to use when a few drops of water flicked on its surface sizzle immediately. Generously oil the surface of pan with the oil or cooking spray.
- Scoop 1/3 cup of batter and spread on the cooking surface, using a circular motion to evenly distribute the batter. Keep your cachapa less than 3/8 inch thick. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until most of the pancake’s surface is no longer shiny wet and the edges appear solid. Slide a wide, thin spatula underneath the pancake and carefully flip it over. The cooked side of the cachapa should be golden brown. Cook on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes and lift it off the pan with a spatula.
- To serve with vegan cheese, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the cooked top of the cachapa after you’ve flipped it the first time. After the bottom has cooked for 2 minutes, fold the pancake over the cheese like an omelet. Cook for another minute or so to allow cheese to melt, flip one more time, and serve.
- Serve immediately or stack on a serving plate.
Tips for the Cachapa Chef
- If your cachapas fall apart when flipping, try making them slightly smaller. Use ¼ cup of batter.
- An evenly heated cooking surface is key for well-browned cachapas. If your kitchen range isn’t the most even surface in the world, occasionally move your pan around to help distribute the heat. It’s easy to tell things are a little lopsided if your pancakes are scorched on one side and pale on the other.
- Dark brown scorch marks are completely acceptable, even desired on a cachapa’s surface.
- Cast iron is superior for cachapa cooking, as it conducts high heat ideally. Nonstick surfaces may lead to pale, anemic-looking pancakes.
–From Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.