These Matcha Green Tea Crepes are delicate and thin. Flavoured with a hint of floral matcha green tea. Perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast or spring dessert. Great for Easter brunch.
Whenever I am asked to describe Russian cuisine I feel momentarily stuck. Mayo-laden salads and meat jelly (delicious, by the way) come to mind. But the thing is, those delicacies that I grew up eating, those recipes that I crave on cold dark winter evenings are remnants of Soviet cuisine. Cuisine of absence and necessity. Cuisine of last ten decades only. Russian food, real Russian recipes got lost in the last century of empty store shelves and food vouchers and bribes. I’m no expert on Russian food. I have a cookbook with tsarian recipes yet even the names are unfamiliar.
When I am asked about Russian food I always forget about crepes – quintessential Russian food. Crepes or blinis or blintzes or blinchiki (that’s how they are known in my family) have been part of Slavic culture for many centuries. There are as many recipes as there are cooks. Crepes could be made with yeasted batter, fat and plump. They could be thin and delicate. There are crepes with dozens tiny holes. They could be made with or without eggs, with milk or water or both, with melted butter, with buttermilk, with flour or fruits or nuts. They are eaten with sweet or savoury fillings, rolled in thin cigar shapes, folded into parcels, dipped into sauces.
Eating Russian crepes is different from the way they are consumed in North America – one big crepe filled with sliced fruit or salad. We never eat just one crepe. We make a stack and we eat the whole thing just like pancakes. Crepes aren’t difficult to make but they require practice. It took me many tries to master the art of crepe making. There’s even a Russian proverb that directly translates as “the first crepe is always a failure” or something like this.
This post is part of a green themed collaboration for #FoodBlogGenius. Check out other deliciously green recipes.
Easy Vanilla Green Tea Cupcakes From A Box from Gloria – Homemade and Yummy
Gluten Free Grasshopper Brownie from Sarah – The Fit Cookie
Peppermint Choc Chip Nicecream from Kirsten – Treat Yourself Sweeter
Crustless Kale Artichoke Ricotta Quiche from Veena – Veena Azmanov
Kiwi Pear Spinach Pineapple Smoothie Recipe from Melissa – My Wife Can Cook
There are a few tricks to making crepes. You need a smooth batter; sometimes I use a blender but usually I just try to whisk all the lumps as much as possible. You also need a right pan. If you are a beginner then I would try to use a smaller pan, like 8 inch. Oil it really well and heat on medium heat. Now ladle a small amount of batter onto a pan and swirl, swirl, swirl. Batter will start cooking the moment it’s in the pan so you have only a few seconds to swirl it all around to cover the bottom. If there’s not enough batter then just add a bit more, don’t pour ladle full, just dab a few drops and spread them around. Then wait! It usually takes about 1.5-2 minutes for the first side. If the pan is oiled well then the crepe shouldn’t stick. Once the first side is cooked the edges will start to crisp up and you’ll be able to pick up the crepe and flip it. Yes, pick it up with your hands! Don’t try to use a spatula and don’t try to air flip it unless you mastered crepe making. Although, once you are proficient in making crepes the air flipping trick is really cook and impressive. You only need 30 seconds on the second side and then slide the crepe onto a plate. My personal trick is to cover the stack of crepes with a lid from a larger pan, this way the crisp edges will soften from the trapped hot air.
So, what about these Matcha Green Tea Crepes? They are sort of Russian since they have a quite traditional Russian batter but they have a Japanese twist to them with the addition of floral Matcha Green Tea powder. Originally I was hoping that matcha will turn the crepes green but that didn’t happen. They got a tiny tinge of colour but mostly stayed proper golden. They, however, got a nice matcha flavour; the one that is so familiar from green tea ice cream. I loved that addition of green tea as something different but to be honest, if you don’t have Matcha Green Tea just omit it and you’ll get regular thin and delicate delicious crepes. They are perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast or spring dessert. Great for Easter brunch too! I served them just with a light sprinkling of icing sugar but they are also delicious with maple syrup.
Matcha Green Tea Crepes
- 1 cup buttermilk (see note)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder (or 2 teaspoons for more pronounced flavour)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- oil for pan frying
- In a large bowl whisk together buttermilk, egg, oil, flour, and sugar until there are no lumps. Alternatively, use a blender to mix everything together.
- Sift match green tea powder into the batter. Not sifting the powder may result in clumps.
- In a small bowl mix together boiling water and baking soda.
- Add boiling water and baking soda mixture to the batter and whisk well.
- Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the pan or pans. If you have two pans the same size then you can make two crepes at a time.
- Heat an 8" pan on medium heat. Generously brush it with oil.
- If you are using an 8" pan then pour just under a 1/4 cup of batter while swirling the pan to coat the bottom. If there's not enough batter then add a few drops more. You may need to adjust the amount of batter depending on your pan.
- Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes until the edges start to crisp up and let go of the pan. Try to lift up the crepe with your hands, if it still sticks to the pan then cook a few seconds more. Once it's cooked properly on the first side and the pan was well oiled, it will not stick anymore.
- Flip the crepe using your hands on another side and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Slide the crepe onto a large plate and cover with a lid to keep the heat inside. This will soften the edges.
- Repeat with the remaining batter making a stack of crepes.
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