All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Amazake-iri sobako pankeeki / buckwheat pancakes with amazake

More filling than they look, these small pancakes are sugar free and take advantage of buckwheat and amazake for health benefits. The soft sweetness of amazake made from brown sweet rice makes this pancake a natural with syrup and fruit or as a plain pancake to accompany savory dishes.

1/2 of recipe:
445 calories; 13.8 g protein; 10.4 g fat; 72.7 g carbohydrate; 70.4 g net carbs; 84 mg sodium (with milk; 74 mg with soy milk); 224 mg cholesterol; 2.3 g fiber


100 cc amazake no moto made with brown sweet rice
50 cc milk or additive-free soy milk (see Notes)
2 eggs
60 g sobako buckwheat flour
50 g flour
2/3 tbsp unsalted butter (half for cooking, half for serving with pancakes)
2-3 tbsp maple syrup
1/4-1/3 zakuro pomegranate (optional)


In a pan for double boiling, heat 800-1,000 cc water.


Cut pomegranate, and remove arils (juice sacs) while immersing in water.
Drain well.


In a large mixing bowl, break eggs.

Place bowl in hot water, and beat at high speed.
When eggs are warm enough (warmer than your body temperature), remove from hot water, and continue beating until they make relatively clear peaks, 7-8 minutes.


Meanwhile, put amazake no moto + milk container in hot water.


When eggs make clear peaks, adjust speed to low, and continue beating for another minute.


Gently swirl warm amazake no moto + milk in eggs. (If you forgot to heat up amazake no moto + milk, microwave for 20-30 seconds.)

Mix well at low speed.


Mix buckwheat flour and flour well, and sift into egg mixture from some height in order to incorporate air.

Hold whisk horizontally, and fold.
Move whisk along bowl from the far end, moving along the bottom and toward you. Bring whisk out of batter, letting batter drop through. Turn bowl 30 degrees or so counterclockwise, and fold again.
Repeat until flour mixture and batter blend together (some unevenness is OK).


In the meantime, place maple syrup container in hot water, and warm.


Heat a griddle.
When hot (smokes slightly), melt butter.

When butter coats entire surface, place griddle on moistened (hard wrung) towel to cool down.
Wipe off excess butter with paper towel (save paper towel for later). 


Ladle batter, and cook on low to very low heat until bubbles appear on surface.

Flip, and cook for 1-2 minutes.


Put butter (go over with paper towel that has absorbed butter), and repeat.


Top with butter and pomegranate, pour warm maple syrup, and enjoy.

  • Genmai mochigome (brown sweet rice) is used to make the amazake no moto above, which is incubated 10-12 hours for a higher level of sweetness.
  • As a fruit topping, berries or sliced bananas are good choices.
  • Depending on materials, some pans should not be heated until they smoke. Above, I use a cast iron griddle.
  • Normally, for pancake recipes using baking powder, ingredients are simply mixed. Regular baking powder contains 363-488 mg sodium per teaspoon. There is sodium-free baking powder, but it may not be widely available.
  • Butter: 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter contains 2 mg sodium, whereas 1 tablespoon of salted butter contains 80-90 mg sodium. 
  • The soy milk I use is made with soybeans and water only, and the above amount contains 1mg sodium. Store-bought soy milk in the US usually contains salt and sugar (and flavors, even when labeled as "plain"), and its sodium content averages around 100 mg per 240 cc (about 20 mg per 50 cc).  

(Last updated: June 29, 2015)

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