Serabi Kuah – Indonesian pancakes with palm sugar and coconut milk syrup

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Almost everybody loves pancakes, don’t we? We can tell that from the varieties of pancakes around the globe. Though every country may use a different name, it’s all the same thing. 

You can find Crepe in France, Filloas in Spain, Kasik in Turkey, Crespelle in Italy, and many more. Now, I’m sharing with you here the Indonesian version of pancakes: Serabi.

Indonesian pancakes with brown sugar and coconut milk syrup, with white napkin, spoon and fork.

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There are a few different types of Serabi, and the one I’m posting here is Serabi Kuah. This literally means pancake with syrup and is originally from West Java.

You can make Serabi using either plain flour or rice flour. As for the syrup, you can use dark muscovado sugar or dark brown soft sugar. Although in Indonesia, they use palm sugar. 

This Serabi Kuah – Indonesian pancakes with sugar and coconut milk syrup – was one of my dad’s favourite snacks. Unlike British pancakes that you enjoy for breakfast, Indonesians like to have their pancakes for afternoon snacks.

Although the snacks can be savoury or sweet, Serabi is one of the latter options. I remember my mom used to make those yummy pancakes every so often. And whenever she made them, they didn’t last very long. Mind you, my parents have 6 children so obviously they had many little people to feed that one recipe was not enough 😄.

Main ingredients for Serabi

We only need 6 items to make this Indonesian pancake. They’re pretty much the same as the ingredients for English pancakes with only a few differences as you can see below. 

Flour

I used plain flour for this recipe. However, you can use rice flour if you like. Particularly, if you’re on a gluten-free diet. 

Eggs

Preferably, you use free-range eggs. 

Coconut milk

This ingredient makes the Serabi is perfect for those who have dairy-intolerance. You need the coconut milk for the pancakes and the syrup. So expect the tropical yumminess 😉.

Sugar

Traditionally, Indonesians use palm sugar in many sweet dishes, including this one too. But if it’s difficult for you to find palm sugar, you can use dark Muscovado sugar or dark brown soft sugar instead. 

Pandan leaf

I can’t stress enough for you to use Pandan leaf. Because the fragrance that this leaf gives in your dish is just lovely. However, if you can’t get this exotic leaf, you can use vanilla extract as a substitute.

Here in the UK, we can only get pandan leaf imported from Thailand. So the leaves are very long. They’re about 2 times longer than Indonesian pandan. So for this recipe, you only need one piece which you half it for the sugar and another half for the coconut milk.

Salt

This item is one of the most principal ingredients in all my mom’s sweets recipes. And now as I’m older, I understand why. Because sweet dishes – any types of sweets and desserts – that don’t have salt in it usually will plainly taste sweet without oomph in them. 

I find a little bit of salt can make your sweet dish alive.

A bowl of serabi kuah, the Indonesian pancakes with sugar syrup and coconut milk

Easy way to make Serabi

Like making any other pancakes, this one is very easy and straightforward too. Just put all the ingredients for pancakes such as flour, eggs, coconut milk, and salt in a blender and give it a minute blitz until you get a smooth batter. 

Or, you can put the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a hand-whisk or hand-held blender to mix and blend them into a smooth mixture.

As for the syrup, you can boil the sugar and coconut milk separately. If you choose this way, put the sugar, a pinch of salt, 100 ml of water, and half of the pandan leaf in a saucepan and boil them until you get a thick sugar syrup. Please make sure you stir it every now and then to avoid the sugar crystallised at the side and the bottom of the pan.

And then boil the coconut milk together with a pinch of salt, and the remaining pandan leaf in another saucepan. Boil at low heat and simmer gently until the coconut milk looks shiny. Take care and keep stirring every so often to make sure the milk doesn’t curdle. 

How to enjoy Indonesian pancakes

Apart from the sugar syrup and coconut milk to go with the pancakes, you can also enjoy them with fresh fruits. Traditionally, Indonesians put some ripe jackfruits. But you can be adventurous by trying your own favourite fruits. 

Another thing you may want to try is putting durian in your sugar syrup. Because that’s what Sumatran people make their sugar syrup. Adding durian flesh in the sugar. 

If you wonder, you can get durian at Asian/ Chinese shop. Here in the UK, the durians are imported from Thailand. 

Just a little warning, durian has a very potent smell that some people may not be keen. 

A bowl of Indonesian pancakes with brown sugar syrup and coconut milk with spoon and fork

Serabi Kuah - Indonesian pancakes with palm sugar and coconut milk syrup

Yield: 30
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Serabi Kuah is Indonesian pancakes that you enjoy with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. And you can make them with either plain flour or rice flour. It's a perfect option for dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes.

Ingredients

  • 300 gr/ 10.58 oz plain flour (see the note)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten.
  • 700 ml/ 23.67 fl.oz of coconut milk.
  • Pinch of salt.
  • For the syrup:
  • 200 gr/ 7.05 oz dark muscovado sugar/ palm sugar.
  • 500 ml/ 16.91 fl.oz of coconut milk.
  • Pandan leaf (see the note). Cut in an-inch long pieces.
  • Pinch of salt.

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, put the flour, salt and beaten eggs together and stir well. You can use a hand whisk to thoroughly mix until there is no flour lump in the batter. Or you can use a blender or a handheld blender to mix.
  2. Add the coconut milk little by little as you keep whisking until you get a smooth batter. Set aside.
  3. Get your syrup ready by boiling the sugar, salt, coconut milk and pandan leaf together. Stir it every now and then. Once the syrup reaches the boiling point, let it simmer for at least 3 minutes before you turn the heat off. Set aside.
  4. Heat your non-stick frying pan, and put a ladle of Serabi batter on it. Cook the pancake about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve your Indonesian pancakes with the syrup.

Notes

  • For a gluten-free option, you can use also rice flour instead of plain flour. 
  • If you use pandan leaf from Thailand, you’ll only need one piece for this recipe. Cut the leaf in half and use one half for the sugar and the other half for the coconut milk. 

Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 1 Amount Per Serving Calories 670Total Fat 66gSaturated Fat 58gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 12mgSodium 54mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 8g

The nutrition calculation you find here is just a guide provided by online nutrition calculator. You should not use to substitute advice from nutritionists or health practitioners.

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Related posts

I do hope you find the recipe interesting enough that you’re now thinking to try making it. If you do so, please share what you think about your Serabi Kuah in the comments below. Feel free to share the post and pin it in your Pinterest too.

And before you go, don’t forget to check my other recipes that you may love.

Thank you and all the best.

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