Reddit Is Obsessed with This Easy Way to Make Japanese-Style Fluffy Pancakes

updated Feb 6, 2020
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They come thick and dense in American diners, thin and tender in French creperies, and big and fluffy in Japanese sweet shops, thanks to the addition of extra egg whites. Enter: the pancake, known as crepes in France, and “hottokēki” in Japan. There is practically no culture that doesn’t appreciate the warm, satisfying mouth feel of a mildly sweet cake, served hot, and drizzled in some kind of sweet sauce — maple syrup in North America, or Nutella and whipped cream in France. In Japan, you’ll find pancakes served up in a variety of ways: “Western style” with maple syrup and fruit, a bit of cream and powdered sugar, or a light dusting of matcha powder. 

By now, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen those mouthwatering Japanese-inspired pancakes on Instagram or Pinterest, or maybe you’ve even had one in Tokyo or stateside. But here’s something you might not know: You can actually make one of these gorgeous, fluffy pancakes with a gadget that is already in your kitchen! No, not your Instant Pot. That other electric that to this point has only been used for sushi rice: your rice cooker!

A newer technique in Japan and trending on Reddit and food blogs, rice cooker pancakes produce the glee and grandeur of traditional Japanese soufflé pancakes without requiring metal rings to cook them in and far fewer egg whites. All the magic happens in a rice cooker. And if you’re lucky to have one, or have been thinking about getting one, here is another excuse to make the plunge.

Here’s how to make it at home: All you do is grease the insides of your rice cooker, pour your pancake batter in, set it to “cook/warm,” close the top, and for a 10-cup rice cooker, set the timer for 45 minutes or so, keeping an eye on it. Don’t worry if the giant pancake appears “wet” when you open the top. It’s just condensation from the steam. But do yourself a favor and give it a touch: it should feel firm and bouncy. 

Once it’s cooked to your satisfaction, invert the cake onto a big plate and drizzle with syrup, or whipped cream and fresh berries. Now wait for the oohs and aahs, because they’re sure to come.