Welcome to Waffle Wednesday, my friends! It’s that time of the year…to appreciate recipes of your culture. Also known as, EVERY single day.
In the Vietnamese cuisine and in other cuisines of Southeast Asia, pandan waffles are widely enjoyed! However, I pride my country for originating this genius idea. As a child, I used to eat these pandan waffles all the time when my aunt worked for Lee’s Sandwiches. Once my mother began working with my aunt and my step-uncle in Orange County, she frequently brings home a copious amount of these vegan-friendly Pandan waffles. All of the waffles disappear within less than a week–if I’m home, I genuinely think I’m to blame for at least half of them.
Ever since I began digging into these Pandan waffles, I have been determined to replicate them at home and to make them healthier. Let’s be real–just because in certain cases, these waffles are vegan and gluten free, that doesn’t negate the fact that they are loaded with sugar, oil, and refined carbohydrates. You should definitely indulge in a traditional Pandan waffle when you have the chance, but in all honesty, if I were to eat these waffles as often as I eat vegetables, my health would not be in an ideal place. Fortunately, I’ve finally found the perfect formula!
There are some non-traditional factors that I utilize with these waffles and they pertain to combinations and integrations. Firstly, I wanted to make this recipe a bit healthier by incorporating a tiny amount of Kuli Kuli moringa powder, which is a superfoods greens powder that is extremely high in critical vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (one tablespoon is equivalent to two cups of greens!). The moringa also adds in a somewhat darker and warmer depth of color that does not impact taste (this is a massive batch of waffles, after all). This ingredient is completely optional because the outcome is quite dark, but hey, nothing wrong with extra micro-nutrients in a waffle!
Second of all, Pandan waffles actually taste wonderful with a drizzle of maple syrup and cinnamon on top! I know that sounds a bit Westernized–it’s rightfully so–but you can never go wrong with a little hint of extra sweetness and spice. Additionally, for extra saltiness and crunch, I topped this platter of waffles with a blend of peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, and filberts (a type of hazelnut). More traditional pairings with the waffles include coconut flakes, coconut milk, coconut butter, apple bananas, or a sugar free powdered sugar. Nevertheless, most Pandan waffles are served plain, as the unique Pandan flavor alone is meant to be the star of the show.
Before I send you off with the recipe, I just want to disclose that this particular recipe can be made more traditional and more non-traditional. Omit the moringa for a somewhat more aqua green than forest green color. Swap the flours for tapioca starch and rice flour for a chewier waffle. You will truly value all kinds of styles of this waffle, but sometimes, nothing beats the traditional route. Feel free to try out as many variations of this waffle recipe as you’d like–that’s what makes cooking so fun!
RECIPE (makes 8-10 waffles depending on the size of the iron)
- 4 cups of flour of choice; I personally used the Lakanto Pancake and Waffle mix, but I also recommend whole wheat flour, gluten free oat flour, or gluten free all-purpose flour
- For a chewier and stickier waffle, use 2 cups of brown rice flour and 1 1/2 cups of tapioca starch
- 1 cup of granulated sweetener of choice; I personally use monkfruit, but feel free to use coconut sugar or organic sugar!
- Decrease the sugar for less sweet waffles. Most of the traditional Pandan waffle recipes that I’ve found online use 1/4 cup of sugar per 1 cup of flour.
- 3 flax eggs (1/2 cup ground flaxmeal + 1 1/2 cups of water)
- If you find that the batter holds together easily without the flax eggs, you can omit this ingredient
- 1 TBSP moringa powder (optional)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups of full fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or more coconut milk for a creamier version)
- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, or melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp pandan extract or paste
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: coconut flakes, sliced almonds, banana, durian (though I personally don’t like this addition, it is very traditional)
- Form the flax eggs by whisking the flax meal and water together to create an even, watery mixture. Set aside to let thicken.
- Heat a waffle iron on medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray or lightly glaze with coconut oil.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients in a large bowl, except for the sugar, until the mixture is completely uniform.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly integrate the wet ingredients with the sugar.
- Carefully incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. If the batter is too thick, add more almond milk. The batter should be slightly sweeter than you want it to be, as the sweetness fades when the waffles cook.
- Take about 1/2 cup of batter and pour onto the waffle iron. Close the waffle iron and let heat until the light appears green.
- You may notice that the waffle will rise and expand. Allow the waffle to sit for an extra ten to fifteen seconds to heat so that it does not break apart.
- Remove the waffle from the iron and set aside on a large serving plate or tray.
- Repeat steps 6-7 until the batter has been used up.
- Serve warm or freeze for up to two months.
How do you appreciate the cuisine of your ethnicity?