These Matcha Pancakes are not only a festive shade of green, they’re loaded with green tea flavor, thanks to the addition of some matcha powder. The recipe is based on my fluffy Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes, but the simple addition of a tablespoon of matcha powder turns them into something entirely different, perfect for a holiday brunch!
While they go great with maple syrup, I decided to up the ante a bit and make a kuromitsu syrup to drizzle on top. Kuromitsu literally means “black syrup” in Japanese and it’s a popular condiment used for desserts like Anmitsu and Warabimochi. Aside from providing a stunning contrast to the vibrant green pancakes, the kuromitsu has a delightful caramel flavor with smoky notes and a pleasant bitterness that’s the perfect compliment to the matcha.
Making it is as simple as boiling down equal parts water, sugar and kokutou, an unrefined cane sugar. Kokutou generally comes in large gravel-sized rocks, or it can be a rough powder if it’s been ground down. It can be a bit difficult to find unless you live near a Japanese grocery store, but if you can’t find it don’t worry, Muscovado, Sucanat, or Piloncillo are all similar uncentrifuged raw sugars. In a pinch, you could even use a combination of molasses and refined sugar.
In addition to the kuromitsu I also like serving these with sweet red bean paste and whipped cream. I know not everyone is a fan of sweet beans, so it’s entirely optional, but it makes the whole experience more Japanese while adding another textural element to the plate of verdant flapjacks. If you like matcha lattes, I would definitely recommend topping these with whipped cream though as it mellows out the matcha while adding richness. Another option is to use a scoop of matcha ice cream.
For kuromitsu syrup
- 100 grams kokutou sugar (or other raw sugar like muscavado)
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
For matcha pancakes
- 130 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon matcha
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cultured unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- vegetable oil
- To make the syrup, add the kokutou, granulated sugar and water to a pot bring to a simmer while stirring. It will tend to boil over, so don’t let it out of your sight. If it’s starts to boil over, just temporarily remove it from the heat. Keep stirring and watching until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a container.
- Pass the all-purpose flour, matcha, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt through a sieve and then whisk together to combine.
- Melt the butter in the microwave until barely melted (but not boiling hot). If your butter is hot, let it a cool a bit before proceeding to the next step.
- Whisk the egg into the butter and then whisk the butter mixture into the milk and yogurt until evenly combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together until there are no large clumps of flour left (small clumps are okay). Do not overmix or pancakes will become tough.
- If you have an electric griddle set it to 340 degrees F (170 C). Otherwise heat a large non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium heat until hot, but not sizzling hot.
- Pour a bit of vegetable oil onto a paper towel and then use it to lightly oil the pan. Keep the paper towel to re-oil the pan periodically.
- Pour the pancake batter into rounds onto the pan. The more you pour, the larger the pancakes will be. Let these cook until the edges start to dry out (are no longer glossy) and you start seeing bubbles come up in the middle of the pancake. Flip and cook the other side is cooked through.
- I like to have my dinners sitting at the table ready to eat so I can serve them straight from the pan, but if you want to sit-down together, you can keep the matcha pancakes warm on a plate in a low temperature oven, covered with aluminum foil until you’ve finished all the batter.