Serabi Beras

aka Indonesian Rice Pancakes

First things first, have you ever heard of pandan? (If you just want to get your serabi beras on, get my recipe here, and the original at J’s Kitchen).

(picture from pandanasiancuisine.com) Well, I haven’t, it’s also known as screwpine and is apparently a pretty common flavoring used in Thai, Indonesian, Filipino, and other southeast Asian cuisines…at least that’s what Wikipedia says.  I’d never seen/used pandan before and I had a bit of a hard time tracking it down.  I ended up ordering a bottle from importfood.com.  The extract I ordered was bright green which is pretty common, although you can get uncolored pandan extract.  You can also use fresh pandan leaves and boil them in water to extract their flavoring but I’m not sure exactly where you would get fresh pandan leaves or what the proper technique for extracting their flavor is.  The pandan has a sort of nutty flavor, it reminded me a bit of taro and I’ve read that a lot of people compare it to the flavor of jasmine rice – whatever the comparison, it’s pretty delicious.

(pandan flavored batter).  My only fault with the pandan is that it makes the coconut sauce sort of look like slime and once I thought that, I had some trouble eating it…although it was delicious.

This was also an adventure into using coconut milk…

and I liked it.  First, in the pancakes, I added a bit more coconut milk than the original recipe called for – I think this made the pancakes slightly less thick.  The batter without any extra coconut is extraordinarily thick and made my first few pancakes difficult to cook all the way through.  Second, the sauce is deliciously coconut-y.  I guess you don’t have to eat the serabi beras with the sauce and without it, they’re have a mild salty flavor with just a hint of coconut – the sauce really kicks them up a notch though.

Last thing, make sure you cook these pancakes all the way through – because of the rice flour, these pancakes are very starchy and if you don’t cook them thoroughly, they have sort of a weird gummy texture – not exactly what you’d call appetizing.

3.5 out of 5 stackies: 

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