Pancakes are a favorite breakfast comfort food of many Americans. They also share a special place in the minds (and stomachs) of many residents of Japan. But the pancakes in Japan are a little bit different than what we are used to seeing served up in diners and at the kitchen table on Sunday mornings.
Japanese pancakes are like fluffy clouds of melty heaven, more akin to a soufflé or a sponge cake. You can enjoy them as they are traditionally made, using much the same ingredients as regular pancakes. Or, you can be a bit more adventurous and try intriguing flavored pancakes made with new ingredients such as matcha green tea, cheese, or kinako soybean flour!
What are Japanese Pancakes?
Japanese pancakes are light, fluffy, and delicious. The main difference between the Japanese ones and the western ones is not necessarily the ingredients, but how they are prepared. The eggs used in Japanese pancakes are separated, and the whites are whipped, resulting in a very light pancake.
Additionally, the pancakes are steamed as they cook, resulting in them rising to a height of about 4 centimeters. The result is an alluring, ultra-fluffy treat filled with small air bubbles that you can hear pop and sizzle when you cut into them if you listen closely.
How to Make Japanese Pancakes
Follow this recipe to make your Japanese pancakes, and you may never go back to regular pancakes again. It’s a little more time-consuming and may take a bit of practice, but the fluffy pancakes are worth your time once you get it right!
It is best to use a 12-inch non-stick skillet so that you can make about three pancakes at once. You’ll also need a lid for the skillet.
- If you have ring molds, you can use them in the skillet to get the perfect shape and height for your pancakes.
- Beat the egg whites on a low speed to ensure a smooth, dense meringue. Increase the speed once the sugar is added.
- Keep an eye on your pancakes when you are attempting to flip them. If they seem that they are still stuck to the pan, they are not quite ready to flip yet. The bottom should be golden and fully set before flipping.
- Wipe any excess cooking oil before adding the pancake batter.
- Using a deeper skillet allows you to get more height on the pancakes.
- The pancakes will deflate slightly as they cool.