What are chorreadas?
Chorreadas are traditional pancakes from Costa Rica that are prepared with fresh corn and are usually served for breakfast, but they can also be enjoyed at lunch or as a snack. These pancakes are often sweet but can also be prepared in a savory version.
In Costa Rica, you will typically find these snacks in what Ticos (how Costa Ricans refer themselves as) call a soda or street-side diners serving local cuisine. Chorreadas are prepared either with fresh white corn, or with yellow corn which gives a more pronounced color and corn taste.
Sweet chorreadas are traditionally served with honey or syrup to accompany a coffee. Savory chorreadas are served with sour cream, cream cheese, bacon or sausage.
Chorreadas are quick and easy to prepare and can be the basis for a variety of pancake recipes that can only be limited by your imagination!
The original recipe of chorreadas is a native indigenous recipe that only included fresh corn also known as elote. Modern versions of the Costa Rican recipe call for other ingredients like flour or eggs. If you try the original version, it is recommended that you grind corn by hand (not the blender) and reap the “corn milk” separately in order to add just enough to the corn and get a dough a tad thicker than pancakes.
Chorreadas are reminiscent of pupusas, savory pancakes from another Central American country, El Salvador. Pupusas have become a favorite of mine on 196 flavors. The only difference with chorreadas is that they are prepared with nixtamalized corn flour called masa harina.
I do not often prepare breakfast, but I decided to prepare a surprise for the kids as they came back from soccer practice this Saturday. Surprises from the past few months have included Austrian pancake kaiserschmarrn, or Swedish buns lussekatter. For this meal featuring Costa Rican food, I chose another breakfast recipe called gallo pinto (black beans and rice with salsa Lizano) that we ended up eating for lunch.
If you are looking for a new and original pancake recipe, I highly recommend you give chorreadas a try. The whole family adored them, whether savory with melted cheese or sweet with honey, jam and even less traditional toppings like Nutella… A very easy recipe to make and a real treat for young and old!
This recipe is validated by Chef Randy Siles Leandro, first Ambassador of Costa Rica’s National Plan for Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy. Randy is the owner and creator of OS restaurant, cofounder of Autóktono and founder of Academia Artesanos de la Gastronomía in Costa Rica.
- 2 cups fresh corn (about 5 ears of corn or canned corn)
- ½ cup sugar (for sweet version)
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup milk
- Butter (to cook)
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 clove garlic
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is crumbly.
- Fry in butter to form round pancakes for a couple minutes.
- Turn over and fry for a couple more minutes.
- Serve warm with honey, syrup (sweet version), sour cream or cream cheese (savory version) on top.
- For a savory version of chorreadas, omit the sugar and add 1 tablespoon or oregano and 1 garlic clove. Optionally, add grated cheese on top of the chorreadas before turning them over.