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Jul 20, 2009 04:00 AM

Pancakes or Crackcakes?

I recently purchased a pancake mix from an asian supermarket because the photo on the box looked so much...cuter than any I've ever come across. Each pancake really looked like....well, a mini cake. (photo attached below - or go to this link:


Now, I've had pancakes in diners, in homes, and made them myself from scratch. I've tried various mixes available in supermarkets. They generally taste the same to me...a little bland without syrup, and sometime a little too dense or even dry. The thing is, I've always been pretty indifferent to this breakfast food (I eat it mostly for the syrup), but it's so simple to make that it's something I've always had on a regular basis for sudden hunger emergencies.

Last night, I opened the japanese pancake mix and stirred up a batch - I didn't have milk, so i used water instead and the last egg I had in the fridge. I used a swipe of butter to grease the pan, as per usual.

Okay, chowhounds, this is where you come in:

Can you please explain how, HOW in the world this particular pancake mix (brand: Morinaga) produced the most magically delicious batch of pancakes I have EVER encountered in my 22 years of pancake eating?

That photo, which i thought to be photoshopped or something for marketing purposes, is EXACTLY how the pancakes came out. THAT thick, and yet not disgustingly dense like many diner pancakes I've had. The texture was smooth and the flavor was a bit sweeter than most mixes.

Does it have to do with Morinaga itself as a company? Do they make particularly sweet, fluffy, and fabulous mixes than Bisquick or Aunt Jemima or something? Is there ground hello kitty in there for extra awesome?? WHAT IS IT?

I'm almost afraid to use the milk that the mix calls for....if it's any tastier than the batch I made last night, I fear I will lose control and eat pancakes day in and day out for the next month.

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  1. Look at the ingredients on the box. I'll bet there's Rice Flour in there, which would make them nice & fluffy and not dense.. Perhaps other non-wheat flours as well - soy flour comes to mind.

    7 Replies
    1. re: KiltedCook

      of course! you might be right - asian products tend to alter little things like that to suit the asian palate. i wish i could read the ingredients ;____; it's in japanese!!!

      1. re: tokoyoko

        What about the directions? Were they in Japanese also?

        1. re: Plano Rose

          that they were! but luckily, i was able to find someone who scanned the backof the bag (with its elaborate instructions) and translated it for the sake of humour.

          that gave me the needed info ;)

            1. re: tokoyoko

              "and translated it for the sake of humour." Did you mean the saké of humour? ;)

              1. re: adamshoe

                oooooooooohhhhh the puniness of it all!

              2. re: tokoyoko

                "Don't tell mommy and daddy"
                "Slit the pancake mix's throat"
                "The pan demands sacrifice"
                "Press it's face into the hot skillet"

                A wee bit too sneaky, barbaric, and S&M for my table....thank you very much!

                Step #3 doesn't make any sense at me. I must be out of touch with my japanese comic humor.

        2. Wow - thanks for posting this - I LOVE pancakes and will have to seek these out!


          1 Reply
          1. re: NellyNel

            Thanks you! I'll be looking for these!

          2. nice share! hope it's sold near me. idea for your new crackcake addiction, I usually add a few drops of vanilla and a bit less drops of lemon juice in my pancakes, very tasty

            7 Replies
            1. re: foodlvrzen

              vanilla! brilliant :) i'll try this next time.

              1. re: tokoyoko

                I see your vanilla and raise you maple extract. That's right. I put maple extract in my pancakes! The good stuff, Cook's Pure Maple Flavor Extract, not the artificially flavored stuff.

                I also whip the egg whites separately until stiff peaks form and use cake flour, but that's another story.

                1. re: kathryn

                  I was about to say, whipped egg whites and a full Tbs. of fresh baking powder has the same effect for me when making from scratch.

                  I find the bellicose package instructions amusing - "slaughter eggs, slit the throat of the bag, hail the new flesh." I guess old Samurai never die. They just reincarnate as Mutant Ninja Hello Kiddie Pancake Flipping Chefs.

                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                    chuckle...nice Chefp; brilliant packaging, need a whole line of those

                    kathryn, do you live in Vegas near me? well as charlie daniels said, "I'll take that bet and you're gonna regret..." ok now, I have to try your secret recipe and compare...but don't get all bumptious, already love maple from doing the maple sap harvesting, yep, along with candle making (gah!) as a youngster in the northeast mmm mmm Vermont maple

                    1. re: foodlvrzen

                      I live in NYC! Definitely try it and report back. :)

                    2. re: Chefpaulo

                      Sounds like the brand should be "Morituri", not Morinaga!

              2. Interesting. I'm going to have to look for them. If anyone can read Japanese, he/she might be able to help:


                But, look at cute this is:


                3 Replies
                1. re: chowser

                  only in japan can you find household object magically transformed into useful advice-giving pals!

                  1. re: tokoyoko

                    bet there is ground hello kitty too :-p

                  2. re: chowser

                    Those pancakedays butter pats are terminally cutie and very, very happy..

                  3. Ok. I'm a native Japanese and am a food writer and a baker in NY. I just looked at the label. There is no rice flour. There are many ingredients you can't get here. In fact, there are some chemical ingredients the might make fluffy. However, I've eaten this what we call hot cake(We don't call this pancake.), in my opinion, is not the fluffiest pancake ever. Pancakes are not that great in Japan.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: thebirdie

                      true...the japanese don't use the word pancake - but hotcake, flapjack, pancakes all tend to mean the same thing.