Pap Cakes & Portabellinis

Another South African culinary delight is Pap Cakes & mushrooms, paired with portabellini mushrooms. These cakes can be eaten as a starter or as a side dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Culinary Collection, Starters
Cuisine South African
Servings 15 cakes


For the pap

  • 180g g maize meal
  • 750 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 spring onions thinly sliced

For the mushrooms

  • 6 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 250 g mini portabellini mushrooms quartered
  • 1 tbsp butter

For the cakes

  • 125 ml cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp za’atar for serving
  • clarified butter / ghee for cooking


For the pap

  • Bring stock to a simmer in a large pot.
    Pour in the maize meal and whisk constantly until smooth.
  • Simmer and stir for 10 minutes until cooked.
    Stir in the butter and spring onions.
    Season well to taste.
  • Pour the maize meal into a dish or tray that is ± 1.5 - 2cm deep and smooth the surface.
    Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for ± 4 hours or overnight to set.
  • Cut the firm maize meal into little rounds using a glass or cookie cutter.
    Heat a non-stick frying pan with a dollop of ghee / clarified butter over high heat.
    Place pap cakes into the hot pan in batches and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides.

For the mushrooms

  • Into the same pan add the sliced spring onions.
    Cook on high heat until beginning to char.
  • Add in the sliced mushrooms and the butter.
    Sauté until the mushrooms are just tender.
    Season lightly.
  • Whisk the cream cheese and tahini together and season with a pinch of salt.
    Spread a dollop of tahini cream cheese onto each pap cake.
  • Top with a generous mound of mushrooms and spring onions.
    Sprinkle everything with a little za’atar and serve straight away. Enjoy!
Keyword sides, starters