Unless you’ve been living in a closet for the past year, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the newest sensation to hit the malls of Bangkok. We’re talking, of course, about Japanese pancakes.
Most of the world is familiar with the classic American-style pancake (although practically every country has its own version). These flat cakes, served in a stack and slathered with butter and drizzled with syrup, have been a classic breakfast staple throughout most of America’s history.
But Japanese chefs have taken this humble breakfast food and elevated it to a completely new and delectable level. And the Japanese pancake is taking Thailand by storm.
The Japanese pancake is lighter and fluffier than the American version, much lighter and much fluffier. Japanese pancake outlets are easy to spot in any mall. Just look for the long queues of salivating patrons waiting patiently to partake of these culinary miracles.
It’s All in the Preparation
The Japanese pancake is made with the same ingredients as American pancakes – flour, eggs, baking soda, sugar and various flavourings. But it’s the way they’re prepared that makes all the difference.
This creation is a brilliant marriage of two confections, the pancake and the soufflé. The skilled chefs who invented this treat realised they could create a much fluffier pancake by separating the egg yolks and whites. Once separated, they whip the egg whites into a meringue and then gently fold the meringue back into the pancake batter.
The technique takes some skill to perform correctly, but it’s simple in concept, and sheer genius as the results show.
The resulting soufflé pancakes contain tiny air bubbles that enable them to be taller and airier than regular pancakes. When they’re cut into, you can even hear a sort of crackling sound. This is the sound of the air being released.
If you haven’t tasted a Japanese pancake, you can find restaurants popping up at most malls around Bangkok. But one of the original and best restaurants is Gram Pancakes. It’s located in the basement food area of Siam Paragon. But beware, there will most likely be a lengthy queue for both the takeaway counter and the dining area.
You’ll fall in love with both the texture and the flavour of their version. It’s not cloyingly sweet, but just sweet enough. Once you try them, you’ll look forward to other restaurants close to you opening up and specialising in them.