Japanese soufflé pancakes are all the rage right now. They are super high and light and airy like a soufflé!
Have you ever been to Japan? Sadly, I have not but I have had several layovers at the Tokyo airport. With that said, my family and I have finally planned a trip to Tokyo this year and we cannot wait. Being the foodies we are, we have watched countless videos on Japanese street food and must-try snacks.
One of the things that kept popping up during our YouTube searches was Japanese soufflé pancakes. They appeared to be light and airy and much taller than classic pancakes. When Food and Wine magazine arrived at our house this month with a recipe, I knew I had to try it.
Although I read and re-read the instructions, I didn’t fully pay attention to the time it would take to make these. Once the batter was ready to go, it still took a good 30+ minutes to get all of the pancakes made. Because you work in batches of 4, it will take 4-5 batches to get through all the batter. As a result, the first batch of pancakes will get cold.
I ended up with 15-20 total pancakes, each about 3″ in diameter. The first batch of pancakes was the tallest of the bunch, and as I ladled batter into my piping bag, it started losing its air and deflating the pancakes. I would recommend halving the recipe so you have few pancakes. And that way, your first batch won’t get too cold. Of course, you can keep the pancakes warm in the oven, but they really are best served fresh.
While my family all enjoyed these pancakes, we all agreed that it probably wasn’t worth the time to make. My family got to eat their pancakes while I cooked up the remaining batter, which took a while. Sadly, it didn’t give us much of a chance to eat these together as a family.
So yes, these pancakes are fluffy and light like a traditional soufflé. And yes, they are fun to eat. But, just be forewarned that each batch takes ~10 minutes to cook so time this appropriately.
Japanese soufflé pancakes
- Disposable lasagna-sized pan (about 13" x 9"; preferred depth of at least 3.5")
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 large egg yolks chilled
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 large egg whites chilled
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- unsalted butter for greasing the griddle pan
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolks, milk and vanilla together until smooth. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients until everything comes together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and preferably overnight (8 hours).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, place the egg whites. Freeze the bowl and egg whites in the freezer for about 15 minutes or until the egg whites are partially frozen. Place the bowl into the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and add the lemon juice. Whip on medium speed until glossy. Slowly add in the sugar and then whip on high speed until you achieve stiff peaks, about 6-8 minutes.
- Once the egg whites have achieved stiff peaks, gently fold into the chilled egg yolk mixture in two batches. Do not overwork the batter or else it will deflate while cooking.
- Transfer about half of the batter to a piping bag or a ziptop bag with a 1" hole cut in one corner. Chill the rest of the batter in the refrigerator.
- Add a slab of butter to your griddle pan. Then pipe 3" mounds in one continuous motion into a cone shape. Do not layer the batter - it should not be swirled. Just squeeze the bag and slowly move your hand away from the griddle in an upward pulling motion. Pipe out 4 total mounds, leaving at least 2 inches between each mound of batter.
- Sprinkle or spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of water around the pancake batter and cover with your aluminum lasagna pan. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the bottom is golden and the tops appear dry. Very carefully flip the pancakes, add more water, and cover again. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Serve with butter, powdered sugar and/or syrup. Pancakes are best eaten immediately.