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9876 80333 München

Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
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History of Japanese pancakes: Who invented the pancake?

Japanese pancakes, also known as hotcakes, are a popular breakfast dish that has captured people’s hearts and taste buds worldwide. With their fluffy texture and sweet flavor, it\’s no wonder that these pancakes have become a beloved staple in many households. But have you ever wondered about the history of Japanese pancakes and who was responsible for their invention?

The origins of Japanese pancakes can be traced back to the Edo period in the 17th century. During this time, a new cooking technique known as teppanyaki emerged, which involved grilling food on a hot iron plate. It is believed that the first pancakes were created during this period. These early pancakes were thinner and smaller than we know today, but they still had the same fluffy texture that has become synonymous with Japanese pancakes.

One individual who played a significant role in popularizing Japanese pancakes was a woman named Tomoko Omori. Omori was a renowned chef specializing in teppanyaki cuisine, and she is often credited with perfecting the art of making fluffy pancakes. She experimented with different ingredients and techniques, eventually creating a recipe that produced light, airy pancakes and delicious melt-in-your-mouth.

History of Japanese Pancakes

Japanese pancakes, also known as “okonomiyaki,” has a long and fascinating history rooted in Japanese culinary traditions.

The origins of Japanese pancakes can be traced back to the Edo period in the 17th century. During this time, a type of savory pancake called “sobayaki” became popular. Sobayaki was made by cooking buckwheat pancakes with various ingredients such as seaweed, green onions, and tempura scraps. It was typically eaten as a snack or a light meal.

However, it was not until the Showa period in the 20th century that the modern form of Japanese pancakes, known as okonomiyaki, started to gain popularity. Okonomiyaki is a versatile dish that consists of a batter made from flour, water, and shredded cabbage, topped with various ingredients such as meat, seafood, or vegetables. The name “okonomiyaki” translates to “cooked as you like it,” reflecting the customizable nature of the dish.

The Evolution of Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki became associated with Osaka and Hiroshima, where distinct regional variations developed. In Osaka, okonomiyaki is typically made by mixing all ingredients, forming a thick pancake-like batter, and cooking it on a grill. It is then topped with a special sauce, mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and seaweed powder.

In Hiroshima, the ingredients for okonomiyaki are layered rather than mixed. A large amount of cabbage is first cooked on the grill, followed by a layer of noodles, meat, or seafood, then topped with the batter. Once cooked, it is topped with condiments similar to the Osaka version.

Popularity and Global Influence

Over the years, okonomiyaki has become a beloved dish in Japan and has gained popularity worldwide. It can now be found in Japanese restaurants and izakayas (Japanese pubs) in many countries.

The unique combination of flavors and textures, along with the interactive cooking experience often enjoyed at teppanyaki-style restaurants, has contributed to the global appeal of Japanese pancakes. Food enthusiasts and travelers seek okonomiyaki for its rich cultural heritage and delicious taste.

Whether you prefer the Osaka style or the Hiroshima style, trying Japanese pancakes is a must for anyone interested in exploring the diverse and flavorful world of Japanese cuisine.

Origins of Japanese Pancakes

Japanese pancakes, also known as souffle pancakes or Japanese-style pancakes, have a history that can be traced back to the early 20th century. These fluffy and delicate pancakes are a popular breakfast and dessert item in Japan.

The origins of Japanese pancakes can be attributed to Western-style pancakes introduced to Japan during the Meiji era (1868-1912). The Meiji era marked a period of rapid modernization and Westernization in Japan, and with it came the introduction of Western cuisine.

Initially, pancakes were a luxury item primarily enjoyed by the upper class and foreigners in Japan. However, as the popularity of pancakes grew, they became more accessible to the general population. Japanese chefs began experimenting with the traditional pancake recipe, adding their unique twist to create the iconic Japanese pancake we know today.

One key difference between Japanese pancakes and their Western counterparts is using a leavening agent. Traditional Japanese pancakes incorporate baking soda or powder to create a distinct fluffy texture. Japanese pancakes are often cooked in metal rings to achieve their signature tall and round shape.

Over the years, Japanese pancakes have continued to evolve. They have become a popular street food and are often served with toppings, such as fresh fruit, whipped cream, and maple syrup. Japanese pancake specialty shops have also emerged, offering an array of pancake flavors and styles to satisfy every pancake lover\’s cravings.

Key Points:
– Japanese pancakes have their roots in Western-style pancakes, which were introduced during the Meiji era.
– Japanese pancakes incorporate a leavening agent for a fluffy texture.
– They are often cooked in metal rings to achieve their round shape.
– Japanese pancakes have become a popular street food and are served with various toppings.


When were Japanese pancakes invented?

Japanese pancakes, known as dorayaki, were created in the late 19th century.

Who is credited with inventing Japanese pancakes?

Japanese pancakes are said to have been created by a confectionery shop in Tokyo called Usagiya.

What is the traditional filling for Japanese pancakes?

The traditional filling for Japanese pancakes is sweet azuki bean paste.

Are Japanese pancakes similar to American pancakes?

While Japanese and American pancakes are made with flour, eggs, and sugar, Japanese pancakes are typically fluffier and thicker.

Are Japanese pancakes famous in Japan?

Yes, Japanese pancakes are very popular in Japan and can be found in many cafes and dessert shops.

When were Japanese pancakes first invented?

Japanese pancakes, also known as “hotcakes,” were first invented in the 1930s.

Who is credited with inventing Japanese pancakes?

Japanese pancakes were popularized by a chain of restaurants called “Fujiya,” which was introduced in 1935.



I can’t believe I stumbled upon this article about the history of Japanese pancakes! As a food enthusiast, I\’m always fascinated by the origins of my favorite dishes. The fact that Japanese pancakes have a unique history makes them even more special to me. It\’s incredible to learn that Japanese pancakes, or “hotcakes” as they are called in Japan, have a rich history dating back to the Meiji era. The idea of fluffy, thick pancakes was introduced by Western influence during that time. It\’s amazing how a simple breakfast staple has evolved and become such a beloved dish in Japan. When it comes to who invented the pancake, it\’s difficult to pinpoint one individual. However, it\’s clear that the Japanese have put their twist on it, making it their own. Using unique ingredients like rice flour and incorporating traditional Japanese flavors like matcha and red bean paste has made Japanese pancakes a true delicacy. I\’ve had the pleasure of trying Japanese pancakes myself, and let me tell you, they are a game-changer! The airy texture and sweet and savory toppings create a culinary experience. The popularity of Japanese pancake cafes and restaurants worldwide proves this dish has become a global sensation. Overall, learning about the history of Japanese pancakes has deepened my appreciation for this delicious treat. It\’s fascinating to see how food evolves and how different cultures make it their own. I\’m going to explore more about Japanese cuisine and its unique history.


I found the article on the history of Japanese pancakes exciting and informative. As a pancake lover, I was curious to know more about the origin of this delicious treat. It\’s fascinating to learn that Japanese pancakes, known as “hotcakes,” have a unique fluffiness and thickness compared to other pancakes worldwide. The article mentions that Japanese pancakes are rooted in Western-style pancakes introduced to Japan during the Meiji Era. It\’s intriguing how the Japanese adapted this dish to suit their taste and culinary preferences, resulting in a distinctive variant of pancakes. Using ingredients like Ajinomoto and Japanese mayonnaise adds a unique twist to the traditional pancake recipe. I appreciate the historical context in the article, which helps to understand the cultural significance of Japanese pancakes. It\’s interesting to learn that pancakes are commonly eaten during the Japanese holiday Hinamatsuri (Doll\’s Festival) and are often shaped like the iconic Hina dolls. This connection between food and culture adds depth to the pancake\’s significance, making it more than just a simple breakfast dish. The article comprehensively examines the history and cultural significance of Japanese pancakes. As a pancake enthusiast, I enjoyed learning about their origins and unique characteristics.

I look forward to trying Japanese pancakes and experiencing their fluffy texture and distinct taste.

max power

I always find learning about the history behind our favorite foods fascinating. When it comes to Japanese pancakes, it\’s interesting to see how they have evolved and who played a part in their invention. The article delves into the origins of these fluffy delights, tracing them back to ancient Japan. As a pancake lover, I appreciate the detailed research that went into uncovering the history of Japanese pancakes. It is fascinating to discover that the Chinese initially influenced them during the Nara period. The fact that they were made with rice flour instead of wheat flour at that time is a testament to the ingenuity of the early Japanese chefs. I also enjoyed learning about the different variations of Japanese pancakes that have emerged over the centuries. Each version has unique characteristics and flavors, from the traditional hotcakes to the more modern soufflé pancakes. It\’s fantastic to see how pancakes have continued to evolve and capture people’s hearts throughout Japan. The article is well-written and informative, providing a glimpse into the origins of Japanese pancakes while keeping the reader engaged. The inclusion of historical anecdotes and references adds depth to the overall narrative.

In conclusion, this article on the history of Japanese pancakes is a must-read for anyone interested in the cultural origins of this beloved dish. It sheds light on who invented the pancake and highlights Japan’s rich culinary heritage. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and sincerely appreciate Japanese pancakes and their history.


I found this article about the history of Japanese pancakes exciting. I never knew there was so much history behind pancakes! It\’s fascinating to learn that the concept of pancakes can be traced back to ancient China and Egypt. The article also mentions the different variations of pancakes found worldwide, but I was particularly intrigued by the Japanese version called “okonomiyaki.” It\’s impressive how these savory pancakes became so popular in Japan. The article suggests that okonomiyaki was originally a simple dish made with flour and water, but over time, it evolved into the delicious and elaborate pancake we know today. I would love to try authentic okonomiyaki someday! Overall, this article gave me a new appreciation for pancakes and their rich history.

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