The Japanese Subjugation of Pancakes

Pancake juice.  There are vending machines all over Japan, and this one, somewhere in Fukuoka, (unfortunately, I can’t recall the area right now) held the nefarious pancake juice.  All sugar, a mess, to be sure.  If someone can find it again, please let me know where it was so we can share it with those who have always wanted to taste such machinations.  Have you found any drinks in Japan as curious as pancake juice?

As a youngster, I’d delight in going to IHOP (Link thanks to International House of Pancakes) for the chocolate happy-face pancakes (hotcakes), if only for the significant amount of whipped cream used.  At the time, ignorance must’ve been bliss because I thought they were just a US-chain, though upon closer inspection, if you happen to be visiting (or living in) La Ciudad de Guatemala, you can try out their batter-stuffed omelettes and walk away smelling like the airplane on which you just arrived.  (Link thanks to IHOP Guatemala)  Though there are plenty of other places to eat the tires of dough (good photo-scarce memories of Swan Lake, Idaho and Leiden, Holland pancakes come to my attention), in its ever-inimitable bastardizing glory, Japan has once again taken the cake, and as you can see above, not just in the solid sense…

Fukuoka, Pancake (Hotcake) Biscuits

Harmless enough, and actually, I dug ’em.  They were found at a ¥100 (100 yen) store near the Fukuoka Youth Hostel.  (Link thanks to jyh)

Osaka, Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki, whereas okonomi means “as one likes/prefers” and yaki “grilled/cooked,” is an Ōsaka specialty.  The batter of this dish contains dashi (a stock of kelp and katsuoboshi/dried skipjack tuna), nagaimo (shredded yam), cabbage, and egg, and from there on, okonomi!  Squid, octopus (called tako in Japanese, which also means kite), kimchi, pork, vegetables, more batter, durian…the list is as long as the patience of the waitstaff.  You can cook it yourself too, and there are various seasonings and sauces on the side.  The Hiroshima version often plays second fiddle, with the main difference being that instead of blending everything together, the ingredients are layered.  Not to be outshone, Hiroshima even has an okonomiyaki theme park.  (Link thanks to okonomimura)  Tokyo even joins in the fun and offers monjayaki, a runnier type-if you’re in that city, I’d recommend strolling through Tsukishima, a bastion of monjayaki restaurants.  (Link thanks to google maps)

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10 Responses to The Japanese Subjugation of Pancakes

  1. expatlingo says:

    Good lord, my teeth hurt and my stomach churns just thinking about that “pancake juice.”

    • Thanks for dropping in, expatlingo. Oh yes, it was too sweet. Worthy rivals include just about any South Asian dessert; eating sugar cubes proves no match against it!

  2. Ha! Pancake juice? That is quite, erm… imaginative! Great post.

  3. alittlefish says:

    I remember drinking pancake juice in Nagoya. They had a few pancake juice machines. It was delicious. Could be a little more buttery.

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