Look at these Extra Thick and Fluffy Japanese Pancakes! Is your mouth watering? Mine is. These pancakes were a big indulgence and may have cost me a few calories, but it was so worth it. This special treat tasted truly amazing; they were super soft, fluffy, spongy, thick, and oh-so-delicious!
My original recipe for these Extra Thick and Fluffy Japanese Pancakes has been the most popular recipe on my blog since I shared it with you all about 2 years ago. As you might have noticed, us Japanese people can be a little bit OTT and come up with some very odd inventions like Gyoza Roses. But these pancakes are one of those times that this over-the-top attitude and innovation has paid off!
Traditional pancakes are often a lot thinner and flatter, whereas Japanese people have taken them to the next level and made them (clearly) way thicker and taller, which means they are a lot more intense and flavourful.
To get this incredible thickness is very simple. All you need is an old milk carton or a thin sheet or cardboard, some baking paper, and a stapler. Cut the milk carton/cardboard and the baking paper into long strips about 4.5cm wide and 30 cm long. Then all you do is staple the baking paper onto the cardboard then form it into a circle shape and staple it closed (with the baking paper on the inside). Done! If you’re not sure if you’ve done it right, I’ve detailed this process for you in the video I created below.
Now although the thickness of the pancake is due to it being cooked in a mould, the super fluffy, spongy, soft texture actually comes from two ingredients. One is simply buttermilk, but the other is a super special, secret Japanese ingredient… mayonnaise!
I know you’re probably thinking “WHAT?!? Mayonnaise in pancakes? Eeeewwww!” But hear me out. Mayonnaise is essentially just egg and oil, the reason for its slightly funky smell is that vinegar is also added. But when mayonnaise is baked, the vinegar evaporates, thereby eliminating any taste or smell of mayo and just leaving the pure base of egg and oil.
Trust me, you won’t taste the mayonnaise and this trick really is the key to making these pancakes so moist and delicious! I usually use the Kewpie brand Japanese mayonnaise but you can use any Japanese mayonnaise. Or you can omit mayonnaise completely, but you will end up with a denser, less fluffy pancake… and really, who would want that?
Most people in Japan use pre-made pancake (hotcake) mix but I have created this recipe so everyone can make it easily at home if you don’t have access to these pre-made mixes. If you wish to use a Japanese pancake mix however, I recommend Morinaga Hot Cake Mix which I sometimes use when I don’t feel like making things from scratch.
One last tip from me. The gloves shown in the video are very handy, and I am sure every household in Japan has them. They are called “Gunte” (goo-n-te) and are used for gardening, cleaning, cooking… you name it! I also used these for making German Tree Cake; Baumkuchen. I bought these Gunte from Daiso in Australia.
If you liked my recipe for Extra Thick and Fluffy Japanese Pancakes, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I see your wonderful creations!
- 1 cup self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 Butter milk to make up 1 cup with the egg
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
- Butter maple syrup, ice-cream, etc. for toppings
- Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl and combine.
- In another bowl (or jug) add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract and whisk until just combined.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid mixture in.
- Mix together then add the mayonnaise and mix well to combine. (Don’t worry if you notice any scent coming from the mayonnaise, it will disappear completely after it's cooked).
- Place a homemade pancake mould (instructions for this are listed in the blog post above) onto a frying pan over low heat and pour half the mixture into the mould. *1
- Place a lid on the frying pan and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Once little bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes and the edge is slightly cooked, lift the bottom of the pancake with an egg flipper then cover the pancake with the inverted frying pan and flip the whole thing together before placing it back on the heat. *2
- Place the lid over the top again and cook for another 15 minutes on the other side.
- To test if it is done, stick a skewer into the pancake. If it comes out clean, then the pancake is cooked through.
- Remove the pancake from the heat, remove the staples from the mould and take the pancakes out of the mould wearing gloves or a cooking mitten.
- Serve the pancakes with your favourite toppings (e.g. whipped butter, maple syrup, fresh berries, ice-cream, chocolate flakes, etc. Let your imagination run wild!).