Fluffy Japanese Pancakes

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These feathery Japanese hotcakes have a light and vaporous soufflé-like surface, are totally addictive, AND YES, you can make them directly in your own kitchen!

These hotcakes have for some time been on my radar and surprisingly more on my son’s. In case you’re an admirer of Instagram, you’ve without a doubt run into a video or two showing somebody making these fleecy flapjacks in an entirely watchable, yet genuinely overwhelming way.

They’re a morning meal staple in Japan and arrive in an assortment of statures, from tall-ish to high rise. You can make them on an iron container and empty the player into a ring mold to get that drop dead, jiggly tallness. What’s more, in the event that you have said ring molds, PLEASE use them at any rate once. They follow through on the Jell-o-y shake and make the ideal chamber souffléd hotcake.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg yolks + 4 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp sugar + 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (+more greasing pan)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg yolks, 1 Tbsp sugar, whole milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until smooth.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl and add to the egg yolk mixture in three additions, whisking well after each.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on low speed with and electric mixer until frothy, then smooth. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, while continuing to beat on low speed.
  4. Gradually increase the speed and beat until you have stiff peaks. The whites should be glossy and smooth, but not dry.
  5. Add the meringue to the egg yolk mixture in three additions. Carefully whisk the first third in until just combined and do the same with the second addition.
  6. Fold the last third in with a spatula, taking care not to deflate the meringue.
  7. Place two non-stick medium frying pans on the stove and pour a few drops of vegetable oil in each. Wipe out excess oil with a paper towel and set the heat to the lowest setting.
  8. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out a heaping mound of batter into the pan. Add a second pancake to the pan and repeat with the other pan so you have four pancakes in total. You DO NOT want to spread them out, you should try to pile them high.
  9. Drop about 1 tsp of water into each pan, but not directly onto the pancakes. Cover and cook (again over VERY low heat) until the bottoms are beginning to set, about 3 mins.
  10. Add another smaller spoon of batter on the top of each pancake, cover, and continue to cook about 3 mins more.
  11. Check the bottoms to be sure they’re set and golden brown and VERY carefully flip over each pancake and continue to cook until just cooked through, about 2-3 more mins. Repeat to make two more pancakes.
  12. Serve immediately topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and drizzle of maple syrup.
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Recipe Notes

Recipe yields 6 pancakes

Special Equipment : non-stick frying pan with lid

  • When you’re beating the egg whites, do it on low speed. This insures that your egg whites, and then meringue is smooth, glossy, and dense; not over-mixed and grainy.
  • You can increase the speed after the sugar is added to achieve stiff peaks.
  • Stiff peaks are just what they sound like, the peaks of the meringue hold their shape and don’t droop.
  • When incorporating the meringue into the egg yolk mixture, add the meringue in thirds. Lightly whisk in the first two thirds, then carefully fold in the last third taking care not to over-mix and deflate the batter.
  • Low, low heat is essential when you’re cooking these in a frying pan on the stove. Use the lowest setting possible.
  • Spray the pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray or add a couple drops of canola or vegetable oil to the pan, wiping out the excess.
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To Achieve Height:

  • When spooning the batter into the pan, pile high, don’t spread the batter. You’re looking for as much height as possible.
  • A couple of drops of water in the pan creates steam that helps the pancakes to rise and cook evenly.
  • The additional scoop of batter added to the setting pancake gives it even more height.
  • You want the bottom of the pancake to be set and golden before very carefully flipping the pancake. Cook just until done, but still a bit jiggly.
  • I used a regular depth nonstick frying pan for these, therefore the height of my pancakes was limited because they are cooked with a lid. If you have a deeper pan use it! Make an even higher and less wide mound for taller pancakes.
  • The texture is meant to be soufflé-like, light and airy with a bit of a jiggle. Don’t over-cook these or they will lose that signature texture.
  • These pancakes may deflate slightly as they cool, but should really maintain most of their height.
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