Also known as chorreadas, these Costa Rican corn pancakes are slightly sweet, studded with bananas and served with sour cream.
When travelling through Costa Rica, one thing you’re quick to discover out on the streets is the abundance of sodas. No, not fizzy soft drinks in cans and bottles – I’m talking about small, family-run eateries that sit on the side of the road; generally with undercover seating – or even holes-in-the-wall in market buildings.
This is where you see taxi drivers, local workers and residents getting their fill on honest, homestyle cooking.
Many of the sodas have their own specialties. Stuff for breakfast, slow-cooked meaty stews, deep-fried goodies, gallo pinto (rice & beans), you name it. And it’s all so cheap!
One of the typical breakfast dishes you can pick up at a soda is chorreadas – pancakes made from ground fresh corn – simply served with natilla, which is a type of sour cream, a cup of coffee or glass of milk.
The more modern variations make them similar to regular Western-style pancakes with eggs and flour – using a food processor or blender rather than laboriously grinding the corn with a mincer.
I’ve gone with the modern method with mine, also studding the batter with slices of fresh banana for a little more natural sweetness. You could drown the chorreadas with maple syrup or honey, but to be honest, there’s actually enough sweetness in there thanks to the corn.
Give them a go!
Recipe adapted from here
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- 4 ears fresh corn (660 g kernels)
- 2 eggs
- 50 g plain flour (½ cup)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 60 ml milk (4 tbsp)
- oil for pan frying
- 2 bananas optional
- Sour cream (natilla) to serve
- icing sugar to garnish
- Remove and discard the husks and all of the silk from each of the corn. Holding the corn upright, cut the kernels off the cobs.
- Place the kernels, eggs, flour, salt and milk into a blender and blitz until smooth. Alternatively use a stick blender.
- Heat a pan over medium flame. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of oil into the pan, swirl around, then pour some of the corn batter into the pan - using a ? cup measure. Swirl or spread the batter around to form an even 15 cm sized pancake.
- Note: if using banana, arrange 6 slices of banana on top of the batter.
- Cook for 2 minutes on the first side, or until nicely coloured. Very carefully flip it over and cook for a further 1 minute. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- To serve, simply dollop some sour cream (natilla) and sprinkle over some icing sugar, if you wish.
John Bek is a trained chef that decided to throw in his professional apron and move into retail management. He's the guy behind heneedsfood.com - a platform that showcases recipes that cover the likes of everyday cooking, use of native Australian ingredients, as well as Croatian creations that come from his heritage. John also writes about where he's travelled around the world as well as any farmers markets he's visited.