Sky-High Japanese Pancakes
The phrase “flat as a pancake” gets lost in translation with these sky-high Japanese pancakes. Fat, fluffy, and perfectly round, these hotcakes are elevated to lofty new heights.
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It’s Sunday morning at brunch-o-clock in a hip Tokyo neighborhood. Long lines of hungry Japanese diners snake around the block. What are they willing to wait hours to eat? Pancakes!
… but not just any pancakes. “Soufflé pancakes” are the latest breakfast trend in Japan, and there’s no such thing as a short stack when it comes to these high-rise hotcakes. Almost cartoonish in their perfection, they’re like the Platonic ideal of a pancake: symmetrically circular and superbly stackable. There’ll be no fighting over who gets the big one — you could call them pancakes for grown-ups, except that kids go crazy for them, too!
What those ravenous queuers don’t know is that it’s really easy to make Japanese-style pancakes at home. You can even make them in a blender! All you need to achieve that two-inch rise is a basic pancake batter and a ring mold, a.k.a. an English muffin mold. (And our recipe’s trio of leaveners — buttermilk, baking powder and baking soda — definitely helps with the lift-off.)
Stack up your Japanese-style pancakes and serve them with melting pats of butter, a tuft of whipped cream or custard, berries or banana slices, and of course, lay that maple syrup on thick. And if you really want the J-experience, say “itadakimasu” before you dig in — that’s Japanese for “bon appétit!”
Makes 7 – 8 pancakes
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pan spray
- ring mold
- In a blender, blend the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt on the lowest setting for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients to the blender and mix until fully blended.
- Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Spray it with pan spray and wipe away any excess.
- Grease the inside of a ring mold with butter and place it on the preheated pan. Pour batter into the mold to fill it about halfway up the ring.
- Cover and cook for 4 minutes.
- Using a spatula, flip the pancake and mold over together, cover once again, and cook the other side for another 4 -5 minutes.
- Remove the pancake and mold from the pan, slide the mold off the pancake, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter. (Keep the pancakes warm in a low oven or covered with foil while you cook the rest of them.)