Japanese Fluffy Souffle Pancakes

My visit to Japan a few years back has left me nothing by great memories and a desire to go back. From the simultaneously chaotic, yet organized energy of the hustle-and-bustle of Tokyo; to the the serene and picturesque areas of Kyoto…I was in constant awe by all the fantastic scenery and culture of this amazing country.

One of the many things I missed about this country was (of course) the extremely tasty, unique, and beautiful food! Among one of the things that really caught my eye was their souffle pancake- a unique hyper-jiggly and fluffy pancake that felt as if you were biting into a cloud. With that, I decided to recreate this special dish in my kitchen!

But let’s skip all the fluff, and make some of the fluffiest pancakes ever!

This recipe was adapted from Just One Cookbook’s Souffle Pancake recipe.

Ingredients (for two pancakes)
-2 large eggs
– 22 g of whole milk
-1/4th tsp vanilla extract or imitation vanilla flavoring
-30 g of cake flour
-1/2 tsp of baking powder
-25 g sugar
-Olive oil, to grease pan
-Water, to steam
-Optional: 1 tsp of matcha powder for the Matcha tea version

Toppings
-Powdered sugar, for toppings
-Fresh fruit, for toppings (I like strawberries)
-Maple syrup, as desired
-Whipped cream, as desired

Useful Equipment
-Food Scale/Balance
-Cylinder food mold (the metal one, not the nasty fungal one). This helps A LOT for shaping the pancakes into a towering skyscraper.
-Whisk
-Hand Mixer

Procedure
Mixing Ingredients
1) Crack open 2 large eggs. Separate the yolk from the egg whites into two separate bowls.
2) Place the egg white into the freezer for about 15 minutes (or until you see the egg white begins to partially freeze).
3) While the egg white bowl is chillin’ (haha), add the vanilla extract and whole milk to the bowl of beaten egg yolks and whisk them together until they are all bubbly and frothy and happy.
4) Sift in the cake flour and baking powder (and matcha powder if you are using it) into the egg yolk bowl.
5) Mix the solid powder ingredients with the egg yolk mix until they are just combined (don’t overmix)
6) After 15 minutes in the freezer, egg whites should be partially frozen. Take them out the freezer and start beating them with a hand mixer. Slowly add the sugar while mixing.
7) Continue mixing with the hand mixer until a merengue forms (white, and forms peaks)
8) Add 1/3rd of the merengue into the egg yolk mix and mix/fold gently together with a mixing spatula.
9) Add another 1/3rd of the egg white mix into the egg yolk mix and fold the mix on top of one another (try to preserve all the air bubbles; this is the secret to the fluffiness)
10) Add the merengue-yolk mixture into the remainder of the merengue bowl and perform the same fold-mixing technique.

Cooking the Pancake
1) Start greasing a pan with oil on LOW heat. Use a napkin to get rid of excess oils. Add a cylinder food mold to the pan and let warm up
2) Scoop and fill the cylinder mold halfway with batter. Scoop 2-3 teaspoons of water around the perimeter of the mold. Put a lid on the souffle and let steam for 30 seconds.
3) After 30 seconds, remove the lid, and fill the mold 3/4ths the way up with batter. If water is all evaporated, add 2-3 teaspoons of water around the perimeter of the mold and cover with a lid to allow to steam for about 3-4 minutes. The pancake will rise while steaming, and will overflow if you fill the mold all the way up with batter.
4) After steaming for 3-4 minutes, lift the mold gently up with tongs (or a heat-resistant glove) and a spatula; and gently flip the pancake + mold onto the other side.
5) If necessary, add 2-3 additional teaspoons of water around the perimeter of the mold. Cover again with a lid and let cook for approx 3 minutes.
6) Using tongs/gloves and a spatula, gently remove pancake+mold from the pan onto a dish. Remove pancake from mold and stack n’ serve with your favorite pancake toppings!

Observations/Tips
-Make sure you keep your pan on LOW heat the whole way to avoid burning the pancakes
-Ensure water is present in the pan and keep the lid on to allow to steam the pancake throughout
-Do not overmix the batter! You can destroy the air bubbles from the merengue and your pancake won’t be as fluffy. Use gentle, folding motions to incorporate the egg yolk and merengue together.
-A food mold really helps keep the structure and height of the pancake!

References
Just One Cookbook’s Souffle Pancake


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