How to Make Matcha Pancakes

On February 28, 2017

For those of you not familiar with “Pancake Day”, also known as Shrove Tuesday, it’s celebrated every year in Ireland (and other majority Christian countries) just before the beginning of Lent – a religious observance of prayer and fasting in the weeks before Easter. Nowadays, rather than fasting, most people give up something such as chocolate or alcohol for the 40-day period as a means of spiritual reflection.

Traditionally, people made pancakes to use up leftover ingredients before the beginning of fasting. I fondly remember Pancake Day from my childhood. My four sisters and I would challenge each other to a pancake eating competition to see who could eat the most. Back then, Irish pancakes were quite thin and served with simple flavorings like lemon, sugar and butter.

Today, I enjoy experimenting with different style pancakes and toppings at home. Last year, I prepared a selection of toppings for my family to choose from and we started with the savory, working our way towards the sweet. It was great fun and I’m going to do the same this year, but this time bringing a bit of Japan to the table in the form of matcha!

If you’re celebrating Shrove Tuesday in Japan, these fluffy “fuwa fuwa” matcha pancakes are easy to make and even easier to eat. Happy Pancake Day everyone!

Fuwa-fuwa Matcha Pancakes


  • 250ml buttermilk (バターミルク bataamiruku)
  • 1 egg ( tamago)
  • 180g flour (フラワ furaua)
  • 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder) (抹茶 matcha)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (ベーキングパウダー be-kinpauda-)
  • 1 teaspoon bread soda (パンのソーダ pan no soda)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (植物油 shokubutsuabura)



  • bacon (ベーコン be-kon), smoked salmon (スモークサーモン sumoku sa-mon) , tomato (トマト tomato), mushroom (キノコ kinoko), selection of cheese (cream cheese, goats cheese etc) (チーズ chi-zu)


  • figs (イチジク ichijuku), mixed berries (ミックスベリー mikusu berizu), banana (バナナ banana), Nutella
  • honey/maple syrup to garnish (はちみつ hachimitsu/メープルシロップ mapuru shiropu)


  1. In a large bowl mix the buttermilk and egg together.
  2. In another large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, matcha, baking powder and bread soda). To ensure that the matcha is evenly dispersed through the flour, pass the mixture through a sieve 2 or 3 times.
  3. Add the dry ingredient mix to the buttermilk and egg, whisk until the batter is smooth with no lumps.
  4. Add vegetable oil to a non stick frying pan and set the heat to medium/high.
  5. Using a large spoon, place one spoon of batter carefully on the frying pan.
  6. Fry for 1 – 2 minutes until bubbles form on top, then flip and continue to fry on the other side for 1 – 2 minutes.
  7. Serve on a plate along with the recommended toppings and garnish with honey or maple syrup.

Japanese food writer and author of “Japanese Food Made Easy”.

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