Serabi, surabi or srabi is an Indonesian pancake that is made from rice flour with coconut milk or just plain shredded coconut as an emulsifier. Most of traditional serabi tastes sweet, as the pancake usually eaten with kinca or thick golden-brownish coloured coconut sugar syrup. However another savoury version also existed that uses Oncom toppings. Each province in Indonesia has various serabi recipes corresponding to local tastes.
Serabi is a traditional cake that seems to originate from Java.
The most basic traditional serabi only employs batter made from the mixture of rice flour, coconut milk and coconut sugar, cooked upon small earthenware frying pan on charcoal fire. Sometimes pandan leaves juice might be added into this batter mixture to add aroma as well as greenish colour. During the cooking process, sometimes toppings are added upon the batter.
Today there are large variants of serabi toppings; from simple sprinkle of sugar, grated coconut flesh, sprinkles of coarsely ground peanuts, slices of banana or jackfruit, chocolate sprinkles, black glutinous rice, and oncom, to new recipes using grated cheddar cheese, corned beef, shredded chicken, slices of fresh strawberry or sausage, or even strawberry ice cream. The sauce (or more precisely syrup) to accompany serabi also varies; from traditional sweet kinca (golden coloured coconut sugar syrup) sometimes creamed with coconut milk, to modern recipes using chocolate, strawberry or durian syrup, and mayonnaise or cream cheese for a savoury western twist.
Both the cities of Bandung and Solo are famous for their version of serabi. Bandung surabi is dryer and firmer with a pancake-like consistency, and today are well known for their rich variant of toppings, most are recently developed fusion recipes. The serabi from Solo however, are more traditional with a little bit half cooked with thin crispy crust and watery centre with rich coconut milk taste. Famous serabi variant from Solo is called serabi notosuman.
- Mix the flour, grated coconut and salt while pouring in the coconut milk a little at a time, until blended thoroughly.
- Add a few drops of pandan extract to give flavour and colour (optional)
- Beat the batter with a wooden spoon for 10 - 15 minutes until the batter feels light and soft. Transfer to a suitable sized glass jug, for pouring into wok or pan
- Preheat the wok until very hot. Wrap the ground candlenuts with a sheet of thin cloth, like muslin, and use it to grease the wok.
- Pour 3 - 4 tablespoons batter into the wok. Cook uncovered until it bubbles up and holes are formed on the surface.
- Cover the wok, continue cooking for about 3 minutes more, until done.
- Remove the cooked serabi from wok and serve with coconut milk sauce.
For coconut milk sauce :
- Boil together coconut milk, coconut sugar, salt and pandan leaves while stirring it continuously to prevent separation. When it reaches boiling point, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
- Pour into a suitable pouring jug for serving.
- For a savoury topping sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese or other toppings half way through cooking