Buckwheat pancakes with red bean paste

Buckwheat red bean pancakes

As I wrote earlier, using buckwheat is one way to rotate foods and keep food intolerance reactions at bay. With a 1kg bag of buckwheat flour to use up, I made some more pancakes today. I was inspired to make these red bean rolls from photos of various wagashi in the recipe books I have.

I found the all-buckwheat pancakes the last time a bit too brittle in texture and deduced that this was because of the low gluten content of buckwheat. So instead of simply mixing it with plain all-purpose flour, I chose bread flour which has a higher percentage of gluten, and thus I figured would produce a more pliable pancake.


3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup plain bread flour/high-gluten flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
approx. 320ml soya milk [or any other kind of milk]
2 tsp melted butter

Mix flours & baking powder together.

Mix beaten egg into flour, then add milk a bit at a time until consistency of pouring cream is reached.

Beat in the melted butter.

I cooked the pancakes in a 10cm blini pan on medium-high heat. Low heat means that they are in the pan longer and a hard surface develops, whereas I wanted soft pancakes that could be rolled.

Red Bean Filling

There are clear instructions from Just Hungry – but leave out the salt and sugar and if you are short of time, there’s no need for overnight (or any) soaking, although soaking will shorten the cooking time and save electricity/gas. Like 日式和菓子, one of my wagashi recipe books from Hong Kong, Just Hungry tells us to boil the beans quickly once, throw away the water then boil again.

As I already had cooked red beans in the fridge from the day before, I simply put some in a skillet and gently stirred it around over low heat with sugar added to taste (which can be omitted if so desired). This dries out the cooked beans to make it into a paste and you can mash the beans up at the same time. Don’t overcook or it will get too dry and have crispy bits forming – at the crispy stage, it will have become the equivalent of Mexican refried beans (inspiration for a whole new dish ^_^?)!

If the red bean paste is too crumbly and not sticking together, mix in oil till you get a nice paste consistency. I used cold-pressed organic safflower oil but it imparted a distinct taste when I compared it with the oil-free red beans; although I didn’t notice the safflower oil taste when I ate the dish later in the day. So remember to use a flavourless oil, or choose one that will enhance the dish. Coconut oil might be worth a try, but can be overpowering so best to mix with another oil. Butter would probably be good. I’ve heard that the reason red bean paste in Chinese restaurants and food stalls tastes so good is because lard is used :).

Finally, spoon some red bean paste in the middle of a pancake and roll it up!

Leftover pancakes can be frozen (with paper or cling film in between the pancakes) and I usually leave my cooked red bean in the fridge, where it soon disappears into many different dishes.

I put a couple in today’s snack bento, but they fell apart and also weren’t that nice cold. I popped them into the microwave and yumminess was soon restored (^_^)!

9/2/08 update: In my second attempt to put these into a bento, I deconstructed the pancakes & filling as illustrated below. It worked much better this way.

bento buckwheat pancakes redbean 400

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