Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
February 27, 2020

Savory pancakes are ready for wider adoption on brunch menus. Leading with a hip street food sensibility, they’ve got craveability wrapped up. From the Chinese jianbing (or bing) and the Japanese okonomiyaki to the Korean pajeon, diners are embracing the savory pancake and its many iterations. Perfect as a global brunch hero, it’s malleable, bending toward a number of different traditions and open to endless mash-ups.

The bing introduces brunch goers to a popular Chinese street snack. Its large, thin pancake is made from a batter that typically combines wheat flour and mung bean flour, spread thin on a hot griddle, then topped with eggs that are spread over the batter. Black sesame seeds, scallion and cilantro, along with a black bean or soy paste, chile paste, and a crispy, fried cracker are folded into the pancake. Fillings vary, with some chefs here moving the bing toward breakfast with bacon, cheese and more eggs. Okonomiyaki, a craveable cabbage pancake with inclusions like spring onion and bacon, is often topped with a delicious combination of sweet soy glaze and Kewpie mayonnaise.

Creative renditions include the version served on the brunch menu at Pagu in Cambridge, Mass. Its Okonomiyaki, described as a “Japanese frittata,” features Rita’s pork, egg, cabbage, Pagu sauce and furikake.

FEATURED RECIPE

Smithfield Culinary

This Korean Pajeon, or scallion pancake, is savory and crispy, spiked with Fresno chiles and made craveable with carnitas and cho-gochujang sauce.

GET THE RECIPE FOR KOREAN PAJEON.

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