the savory pancake

Illustration by Sara Zin Eating breakfast for dinner, or Marley Spoon’s obsession with the griddle

By: Anna Decker / 12/11/2015

Don’t get me wrong, we love breakfast pancakes at Marley Spoon. We made dozens when testing our holiday baking mix, lathered with soft butter and drizzled with spicy maple syrup. Or eaten plain, as an afternoon snack. Though some days, I think I love these pancakes more for the playful gesture of flipping and the sweet toppings than the thing itself. After all, there’s a magical component to turning liquid into a crispy sphere. I once read buckwheat crêpes were invented in the northwest of France by a woman who accidentally dropped a ladle of buckwheat gruel onto a hot skillet. Perhaps it was a practical discovery, the pancake an obvious substitute for bread, but I like to imagine the allure of instant transformation: splash batter on a hot plate, flip, and serve.

So, what can we learn about pancakes beyond the sizzle and flip of egg-flour-milk batter?

Today I’d like us to set aside our maple syrup and blueberries and talk about savory pancakes. Have you ever tried baking a dutch baby (aka German pancake) with Parmesan shavings, and then dipping each bite into a pungent hot sauce or a spicy relish? Savory pancakes are often so much more than humble backdrops. Take the buckwheat crêpe, a fragile paper-thin disk often made only of buckwheat flour, salt and water, and yet its earthy sharp flavor easily pairs with all kinds of fillings, from seaweed butter and shiitake mushrooms to Andouille sausage and ratatouille. Injera, an Ethiopian pancake made with teff flour, acts as receptacle and fork, soaking stews and curries into its porous surface. The soft injera makes the meal possible. Okonomiyaki —Japan’s deep-dish pancake — is street food decadence by definition: pork belly, octopus and cabbage topped with mayonnaise and a sweet brown sauce. These savory pancakes hold their ground, they dare to surprise and delight. Are you with me? If so, below are 5 of our favorite recipes that will have you serving pancakes, fritters and crêpes at every meal, especially dinner.

Buckwheat Crêpes with French Ham, Gruyère, and Endive Salad Picture yourself at a charming crêperie on a quiet Parisian corner...


Herbed Gouda Pancakes with Quick Tomato Sauce and Watercress Nutty aged gouda and our favorite 10-minute tomato sauce...


Kimchi Pancakes with Sesame Spinach and Rice Crispy edges and a little heat...


Savory Fritters with Yogurt Dressing and Carrot Salad Beaten egg whites gently folded into the batter for a soft interior...


Corn and Squash Fritters with Herb Salsa and Blistered Green Beans Grated zucchini for a wholesome patty...


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