We recently found out that you can use a rice cooker to make awesome, gigantic pancakes. Our first reaction was surprise, as we’d honestly never even thought to try. Soon enough, though, our surprise faded and was replaced by something even stronger: hunger.
So we decided to get off the culinary sidelines and whip up a batch for ourselves. Since we were using Japan’s most beloved kitchen appliance, we decided to take another cue from our adopted country and spruce things up a bit by making matcha green tea pancakes.
We’re going to spoil the ending right now and tell you that they taste amazing. Want to make them yourself? Read on and we’ll give you the whole incredibly easy recipe.
Obviously, you’ll need a rice cooker. As long as you’ve got that, there isn’t a whole lot of shopping you’ll need to do, as our ingredient list is pretty short.
Hotcake mix (300 g / 10.6 oz.)
Milk (200 ml / 1 cup)
Matcha powder (1.5 tablespoons)
Yude azuki / sweet red beans (1 can)
The rice cooker we used is a compact model with its maximum capacity marked at 540 milliliters, or thee gou if you’re using the traditional Japanese measuring system.
As we talked about before, Japanese company Morinaga makes a distinction between its pancakes and hotcakes. In Morinaga’s eyes, the latter are sweeter and fluffier, so we grabbed a pack of hotcake mix for our cooking project.
Step one is to pour the hotcake mix directly into the rice cooker.
Next, measure out 1.5 tablespoons of matcha powder, and add it to the hotcake mix.
Mix everything together until the color is uniform. It won’t look very impressive at this stage, but trust us, there’s plenty of green tea powder in there to give your finished pancakes a striking appearance.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk and eggs, whisking them lightly.
▼ Since we were going to be topping our pancakes with sweet red beans, we decided to cut out a few calories by using non-fat milk.
▼ This is your last chance to change your mind and make an omelet instead.
Pour this mixture into the rice cooker, stirring gently as you go.
▼ See? Told you that was enough matcha powder!
Now it’s time to turn things over to the machines.
Set the pot in the rice cooker, hit the switch to cook a standard pot of rice, and come back in about 45 minutes, once the cooking process is done…
…at which point, if things turn out like they did for us, you’ll find a soupy, gooey mess.
▼ Although had we bothered to taste it, we might have discovered we’d unwittingly made a delicious matcha custard.
There’s actually one necessary component of our recipe we forgot to mention in our list of ingredients: determination. Depending on the exact size and power of your rice cooker, one cycle might not be enough. Thankfully, ours hasn’t achieved sentience yet, so it didn’t complain at all when we hit the button to start the cooking process once again.
When we came back, the results were glorious, if a little odd-looking at first.
The second time through the rice cooker’s cycle gave us an enticingly green pancake with the perfectly smooth shape of a curling stone.
At least, it looked like a curling stone for the 30 seconds before we could resist the temptation to cut ourselves a slice.
▼ Then it looked like Pac-Man.
After removing a piece, we could see that the pancake had been cooked through to its core, which was a more vibrant shade of green than its brown-tinged outer surface.
Instead of drizzling on maple syrup, we decided to continue down the Japanese-inspired path we’d started on, and instead cracked open a can of azuki, the sweet red beans that are used as a topping or filling in a number of traditional Japanese desserts.
We added a dollop to each slice, and then finally it was time to eat.
▼ There’s no set amount of azuki you have to use. Shown here, clockwise from upper left, are three suggestions: modest, normal, and gluttonous.
So how does it taste? In a word, fantastic. The matcha imparts an enticing green tea aroma and a touch of bitterness, which contrasts with the azuki to stimulate and please the palate. The pancake itself is actually moist enough that you could also eat it with no topping at all. If you like your pancakes ultra-moist and messy, though, you could experiment with a dollop of whipped cream or even ice-cream.
▼ If you’re not going to eat any azuki, can we have your share?
Honestly, there’s only one potential problem with this recipe. A little matcha powder goes a long way, and with less than two tablespoons needed to produce the results you see here, you’re probably going to have a lot left over. We were lucky in that the pack we bought came in a resealable pouch, but what can you do if yours doesn’t?
Simple: toss a little powder into a cup, add hot or cold water, and make yourself some tea.
If you’re not thirsty though, don’t worry. With matcha pancakes being so easy and delicious, we doubt it’ll be very long before you find yourself wanting to make them again.
We’ll leave you with a short video we shot when our pancake was finally ready. Enjoy!