Do you know Japanese Crepe? Kureepu [クレープ] in Japan is quite popular among young Japanese women, in this article we will see the main curiosities and differences between crepes in Japan.
In Brazil we know the crepe on the skewer, or pancake-shaped crepe with savory and delicious fillings. In Japan crepe is also a hit, but mostly as something sweet.
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The origin of Crepe in Japan
For those who don't know, crepe originated in France, in the region of Brittany. The recipe is very simple, they are savory or sweet cakes that are made of wheat flour, milk and eggs in a flat format.
The dough is prepared in such a way that it forms a thin layer on the bottom of a skillet just brushed with butter. Everything is done with the support of a spatula and a kitchen squeegee.
The first sweet cone crepe shop opened in 1977 in Tokyo, in the Harajuku neighborhood on Takeshita Street. At first the crepe did not attract much attention, but soon it became popular throughout the country and around the world.
Today crepe is quite popular and can be found almost anywhere. Some are located at strategic points where a large flow of students and tourists pass, such as tourist spots, festivals and events.
Read also: Harajuku - The colorful city
How are Japanese crepes?
Japanese crepes are similar to French crepes. The big difference is in the way they are stuffed and sold. There are thousands of combinations with chocolates, fruits and creams. Savory flavors range from teriyaki chicken, mayonnaise, eggs, cheese, curry, ham and tuna.
Among the most popular sweet crepe flavors in Japan are chocolate and banana, apple and cinnamon, strawberry with chocolate, whipped cream, blueberry jam and cream cheese. There are even ice cream crepes.
Like most Japanese foods, crepes try to attract attention with their appearance. Japanese crepes are made in cone shapes similar to temaki.
It is very common to find small stores, full of crepe models throughout their window. Of course the models are not real, they are just samples. Many cafes also offer crepes on their menu. One of the most popular crepe store chains in Japan is Marion Crepes.
Read also: Food samples in Japan - Fake Food
What is the difference between crepe and pancake?
In addition to the traditional crepe, there are other Japanese recipes that resemble pancakes such as Okonomiyaki. Some wonder, what's the difference between crepes and pancakes?
First, talking about Okonomiyaki, it is usually stuffed with meat, seafood and vegetables. Its recipe is original Japanese with a great history and curiosities.
Both the pancake and crepe use pretty much the same ingredients. The difference is that the crepe has a more liquid and thinner dough. The crepe dough has to stay in the fridge for two hours.
There is also the "Pancake" which is practically a pancake, but which has yeast in its dough to rise and become even thicker than the pancake.
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Japanese cone crepe recipe
- 500ml of milk;
- 3 eggs;
- 250g of unleavened wheat;
- 40g of sugar;
- 1 spoon of vanilla essence (optional);
- 1 spoon of margarine;
- A pinch of salt (for savory fillings);
You can follow the instructions in the video below, fill it however you want and complement the dough very carefully.
- Sift the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl;
- Beat the eggs and half the milk;
- Add the rest of the milk, add the butter and beat again;
- Leave at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes;
- Pour some of the batter into the preheated, non-stick skillet and spread all the batter on the skillet as if you were making pancakes or tapioca, remembering to always leave the batter thin;
- You can use a spatula to spread the dough, but be careful!
- Remember to fill only 1/4 of the pancake and close it in the shape of a cone;
Okonomiyaki and Monjayaki
While not specifically referring to the traditional French crepe, Okonomiyaki and Monjayaki dishes are popular in Japan, sometimes translated as pancakes and other times as crepes, as both are similar.
Okonomiyaki are savory snacks filled with meat, seafood and vegetables. They can be topped with mayonnaise, Katsuobushi, Nori, pickled ginger and a sauce similar to tonkatsu sauce.
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Monjayaki is popular in Tokyo, their difference is that they are more consistent. The result is a crispy pancake with a burnt cheese texture. Monjayaki is also prepared as a giant pancake for several people.
Videos showing Crepes in Japan
To finish the article, we will leave some videos showing how Japanese crepes are made and filled.