These pancakes will taste richer, more buttermilk-y, and more complete in any side-by-side taste test—all thanks to one little ingredient switcheroo. Despite what you might expect from the mochi in the name, Cynthia Chen McTernan explains, “Interestingly, a bit of sweet rice flour mixed with all-purpose flour results in pancakes that aren’t dense and chewy like pure mochi is,” she writes. “Instead, they’re just the slightest bit softer and more tender, with a faint milkiness I like.” Adapted slightly from A Common Table (Rodale Books, 2018). —Genius Recipes
Watch This Recipe
Cynthia Chen McTernan’s Buttermilk Mochi Pancakes
(63g) all-purpose flour
(70g) sweet rice flour, like Mochiko Blue Star
large egg, separated
milk of your choice
unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan and for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the egg yolk, yogurt, milk, and melted butter, and stir until just incorporated. Stir in the egg white until just combined.
Heat a 10-inch or 12-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium until a drop of water sizzles when it hits the pan. Lightly grease the skillet with butter, then use a measuring cup to drop 1/4 cup batter onto the pan. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to worry as much about burning, you can use a neutral oil like grapeseed or refined coconut oil.) When the edges of the pancake look dry and bubbles begin to pop in the center, 2 to 3 minutes, flip and cook on the second side until lightly golden, 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. If desired, use an ovenproof plate (or a metal rack on a baking sheet) and place the finished pancakes in the oven on its lowest heat setting to keep them warm while you cook the rest. Serve immediately, with butter and maple syrup.
Notes: If you don’t have sweet rice flour, just use 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour, and you’ll still have Cynthia’s very favorite pancakes. We've also found—because the sweet rice flour is primarily there for flavor and subtle texture—that other types of rice flour work well, too. If you'd prefer to use buttermilk, just swap in 1 cup of it for the yogurt and milk.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.