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I Tried It: Extra Fluffy Pancakes, Thanks to This Japanese Secret Ingredient

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Recently, it came to my attention that there was a pancake trick making the rounds on Japanese Twitter. The secret to airier, fluffier, cakier pancakes? Mayo.

Weird, I know. But who am I to scoff? Rather, who are you to scoff? Who are any of us to scoff? So once I finished scoffing, I set out to give this recipe a try, following a translation of the original tweet.

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According to SoraNews24, an online Japanese content aggregate, the recipe reads:

  • First mix one egg, 150 milliliters (2/3 cup) of carbonated water, and two tablespoons of mayonnaise together in a pot.

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  • Add 150 grams of pancake mix, stir lightly, and heat over a low flame (option to add blueberries at this point).

  • Cook for about three minutes, flip, cook for about two more minutes on the other side, and you’re done.

  • Add butter, syrup, jam, or whatever toppings you’d like, and enjoy! The mayonnaise makes the pancakes fluffier, thicker, and juicier.

Sounds easy, right? Sure enough, it was. I ran out to the store for a can of seltzer and threw together all my mis-en-place. I assumed the original recipe called for Kewpie mayonnaise, but I opted for what I had at home instead: Hellmann's. I don’t own any pancake mix so I used a cup of flour and a teaspoon of baking soda in its place and threw in a half cup of sugar and a pinch of salt for good measure. Twitter users were using rice cookers to achieve these towering cakes, but I poured the whole bowl of batter into small pan, figuring the effect would be something similar.

The final product, pipin' hot from the pan!
The final product, pipin' hot from the pan! Photo by Valerio Farris
Look at that height!
Look at that height! Photo by Valerio Farris

The results were surprising. And by surprising, I mean it worked! What I pulled out of my pan was a spongy pancake about an inch in height. I transferred it to a plate, cut myself a slice, and drizzled some syrup over the top. I have to say, I liked the taste. It was a little tart (probably due to either the mayo or the seltzer?), but not too dense. The pancake took well to the syrup, absorbing its sweetness. I think, ultimately, the recipe is a good one, particularly for sharing—not to mention the potential for add-ins. Personally, I’d line the middle with slices of persimmons… but that’s just me.

Would you give this recipe a whirl? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Tags: pancake, hack, twitter