Japanese tradition meets the all-American flapjack

By Amy Watsky

Top off your mochi pancakes with sweet seasonal berries, some homemade compote and a lemon slice for a hint of citrusy flavor
Photos by Amy Watsky

For those of you looking for a way to spice up your usual quarantine brunch, look no further! This recipe combines two all-time favorites from both my Japanese and American heritages — mochi and flapjacks — into one perfect fusion. These pancakes are fluffy and light while at the same time packing a satisfying chew and they pair perfectly with local, seasonal berries.

This week, I highlight Koda Farms, a local California farm growing rice since the early 1900s. Their Mochiko sweet rice flour is perfect for this recipe, adding the unique texture and flavor that everyone loves about mochi, a traditional Japanese snack made from pounded sweet rice, while still retaining the light fluffiness that we all love about pancakes.

The combination of the zesty blueberry compote, creamy Greek yogurt, and the refreshing burst of local berries complement this recipe so well and makes for an easy yet unique variation on this breakfast classic. For our vegan readers, feel free to omit the eggs and use aquafaba for the egg whites. This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by replacing the all-purpose flour with its gluten-free alternative.

Recommendations for sourcing ingredients:

– Once a month, Koda Farms sets up shop at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Keep an eye out for them on a Wednesday between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

– Pick up Forbidden Fruit Orchards’ blueberries at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesdays or Saturdays (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), the Venice Beach Farmers Market on Fridays (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.) or the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market on Sundays (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Blueberry season ends in July, so squeeze out the last of berry season.

– Also at Santa Monica Farmers Market: Harry’s Berries! Specializing in the sweetest strawberries and also nearing the end of their season… get some quick! While you’re at it, snag a pint of their fresh strawberry sorbet.

Batter Ingredients

• 2 eggs

• 1 cup of milk (dairy or non-dairy)

• ¼ cup of sugar

• ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour

• ¾ cup of Koda Farms mochiko rice flour

• ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon of AP flour

• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

• 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder

• 1 tablespoon of melted butter or any type of oil

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla

• ½ teaspoon of salt

Compote Ingredients

• Blueberries

• Lemon, or any citrus of your choosing

• 1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Other Toppings

• Greek Yogurt (I like using vanilla)

• Washed berries (blackberries, strawberries, blueberries)

• Matcha powder (optional)

• Coconut flakes (optional)

Flapjack Instructions

• Before touching any of the ingredients, take a nonstick pan and place it over low to medium-low heat. This will allow for the heat to spread evenly, resulting in perfectly golden pancakes that are cooked all the way through.

• In a bowl, whisk together tapioca flour, all-purpose flour, mochiko, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

• In a different bowl, separate egg whites from the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, vanilla and butter until completely incorporated.

• Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined, and gently fold in the egg whites with a spatula or a fork. The batter should be fluffy and light.

• Spoon a quarter cup of batter into the pan, and flip when it’s golden brown on one side and bubbling on top. Each side should take 2 to 3 minutes.

• Top the pancakes with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a generous ladle of compote (see recipe below) and lots of fresh berries. A sprinkle of matcha brings out the flavor of the berries, and coconut adds a nice texture and flavor for those who want to mix it up.

Compote Instructions

• Place the washed blueberries and sugar in a saucepan and turn the heat up to medium high. Once the mixture starts to bubble and some berries start to burst, lower the heat until the compote is syrupy and easy to pour, about 10 minutes. Add in a tablespoon or two of water if it’s too thick. Squeeze in a quarter of a lemon or citrus of your choosing, and if you’d like, some grated zest.

• Some lovely variations include a splash of orange liqueur, freshly squeezed orange or a bit of vanilla.