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I’ve posted a lot of recipes in this blog for dinner and dessert items. Today, however, I’ll be switching gears a bit and talking about breakfast, the most important, and often most delicious part of the day. Few things compare to the lingering feeling of satisfaction that accompanies a good breakfast. Breakfast burritos, omelets, and French toast are all examples of the many foods that can be used to start a day off on the right foot. Bacon, hash browns, smoothies, bagels, crepes, and yogurt can all easily make a rough morning more bearable, and a good morning great. But have you ever heard about panikekes?


picture of panikeke courtesy of

Panikeke – photo courtesy of


One of my favorite breakfast foods is buttered pancakes. They’re easy to make, and my wife will tell you I often make them multiple times a week. This is where today’s recipe comes in.

Ever wish there was a more interesting way to eat or prepare pancakes? Perhaps not. Pancakes are already fantastic because people can easily add blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips, or any variety of things to them to improve upon their fluffy and bready taste. Chances are, however, that you’ve never tried Samoan panikeke, often referred to in English as “round pancakes.” (Pronounced pah-nee-kay-kay or pawn-kay-kay)

Admittedly, panikeke is not exclusively a breakfast food, but it is most definitely a food that will make your day, and it goes great with fruit, jams, whipped cream, syrup, or nutella!


To make it, you’ll need the following:

2 cups of flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

½ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 egg

½ cup of milk


Oil for frying


Heat up oil over medium heat (around 350 degrees)

Sift and combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt

Add the egg and milk

Mix everything up, and stir in enough water to make a thick batter (It should look like wet dough.)

Scrape up a tablespoon of the dough and drop it carefully into the oil (You can use a second spoon.)

Cook for about 3-5 minutes until they’re a dark golden brown

Remove from oil and place on paper towels or metal cooling rack

samoafood Great with your favorite warm beverage!

Great with your favorite warm beverage!


  • You can make about 3 to 5 of these at a time in a sauce pan
  • You just need enough oil in the pan to cover the dough that you drop in
  • If the oil in the pan is the right temperature, the blobs of dough you drop in will round themselves out
  • If the oil heat is too high, the inside will be uncooked (open one up to check.)
  • If the oil heat is too low, the panikeke will be greasy


Adding a teaspoon of vanilla or a mashed banana to the mixture before adding it to the oil is a great way to play with the taste of this particular dish. Feel free to experiment on your own too!

If you want some extra help making the panikeke, here’s a great video:


Hope you enjoy the panikeke! It makes for a fabulous treat.

The original recipe can be found here:


(Editor’s note: Eggs and milk are a more recent (and delicious) addition  to panikeke. Here is the recipe for Classic Panikeke—4 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 – 2 cups water. The rest of the instructions are the same. Cooking in coconut oil may be a healthier alternative to vegetable oil. Keep in mind that experimenting and adapting for taste and preference is a Samoan characteristic so have fun! Hint: chocolate chips…)

This blog was originally posted on March 19, 2014

peterandwifeAuthor Bio

I’m Peter. I grew up in Seattle, but have been living in Hawaii and Japan for the last 4 years. I love traveling; I love learning about different cultures; I love food, and I love my wife.

We’re hoping to go to Korea next year, and graduate school the year after that. My life’s the best kind of dream, the one you don’t have to wake up from.


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