My brother has recently introduced me to this typical Brazilian meal, tapioca pancakes. I am a bit ashamed to confess that being a Brazilian, it is only now I have had the opportunity to tasty tapioca pancakes.
Tapioca starch has always been a must-have ingredient in my pantry, because it is also used to make Brazilian cheese bread (pão de queijo) or cheese pancakes. But this is something totally new to me.
It took me (and my brother) a few attempts, followed by some failure. 😉
When my brother makes tapioca pancakes in Brazil, he uses a different kind of starch, which is already hydrated… meaning that you open the package and pour its contents to a hot frying pan. As I can not get this kind of starch in Denmark (for a reasonable price), we had to improvise and this is the recipe we came up with, that works (yet, it still needs to be perfected).
3-4 table spoons of tapioca starch (or cassava flour)
25 ml. water
1 pinch of salt
Put the starch in a bowl and add water. Blend it with a spoon (it will have a strange consistence and you will feel like adding more water, but don’t! Trust me, this is based on my own experience!). When the starch has absorbed the water, blend the mixture with your finger tips, dissolving the clumps of wet starch and trying to make a uniform mixture (it should look and feel like semi-wet sand).
When you have removed all the clumps of wet starch, you will have to pass the mixture through a sieve. Then you add salt and blend it with the spoon.
The next and last step is to fry your tapioca pancakes. Place the frying pan into medium heat, pour the mixture in the hot pan and distribute it with the back of the spoon. Press it softly so the amount of mixture is uniform through the pan.
Flip it with a spatula after one minute, let it fry for at few seconds and you are done.
One of the traditional ways of eating the tapioca pancake is by putting butter and cheese in the middle and folding it like an enchilada. This variation reminds me a lot of the cheese bread.
We have also tried making it with olive oil and ham – really good as well.
My brother usually eats it with olive oil and boiled eggs inside – this I have yet to try.
You can try the sweet version, with sliced banana, cinnamon and agave syrup.
Well, I know it does not look like the most delicious kind of pancake, but it actually tastes good and you can get creative with the filling you choose. I will try next time with avocado, olive oil, salt and chili flakes, or nutella for the kids.
As I mentioned earlier, the recipe needs to be perfected, and it did take a while to get the right proportion of water and starch. So I will try to make a big portion of mixture to keep it in the fridge. I am sure if the only thing I need to do in the morning is heating the frying pan, the chances of making this delicious gluten-free pancakes for breakfast are a lot bigger. 😉
When I have perfected the recipe, I will come by to edit this post and leave a note.