Today is Shrove Tuesday in England – also known as “pancake day”. Pancake Day doesn’t really exist in Japan, because Easter isn’t celebrated (except for Christians in Japan, of course). However, pancakes do exist in Japan, and they’re pretty popular. I decided I wanted to eat pancakes this year, but I wanted to eat Japanese style pancakes. Japanese pancakes are usually thicker and smaller than British ones, and can contain different kinds of fillings and toppings. Traditional Shrove Tuesday pancakes are thin and simple, and have lemon and sugar on them. My Shrove Tuesday pancakes couldn’t be more different!
I found a recipe in a book I had called A Little Taste of Japan (Murdoch Books). The recipe was for “pancakes with sweet red bean paste”. Yum.
As I’ve said many times before, I’m no cook! But I do enjoy cooking. My finished results don’t look as good as the ones in the picture above, but they tasted good, and that’s all that really matters.
To make 6 of these pancake sandwiches, you need:
- 125g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125ml milk
- 25g butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 150g anko (sweet adzuki bean paste)
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Combine the eggs and milk and whisk well. Make a well and add the egg mixture and stir until well combined.
Heat a little butter and oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Cooking in batches, drop about two tablespoons of the batter per pancake (spread to a diameter of 9cm) into the pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until there are lots of bubbles on the surface.
Turn over and cook for a further 30 seconds.
Remove from the pan, cover and set aside while you cook the remaining pancakes. You should end up with 12 pancakes.
Sandwich two pancakes together with about 1 tablespoon of anko and repeat with the remaining pancakes and filling.
Serve warm or at room temperature with green tea as an afternoon or after-dinner treat.
Apart from the anko, the rest of the ingredients are pretty simple store-cupboard items. Anko is available from all the usual Japanese supermarkets and online retailers. It’s not cheap, but it lasts quite a long time and tastes great on toast instead of jam.
These pancakes are quite indulgent and very sweet, but do taste lovely with a big cup of sencha. 😀