Buckwheat (Soba) Pancakes And Blueberry Yuzu Compote, Nobu-Style

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/pancakes

So I wanted to try to make another breakfast item from the Nobu Hotel menu.  On the menu is Blueberry And Yuzu Soba Pancakes With  Blueberry Yuzu Compote, Yuzu Whipped Cream, Pecan Miso Butter, Maple Syrup. A picture of the item can be seen on p. 6 of the URL –

http://www.nobucaesarspalace.com/content/dam/cl1/Dining/Upscale/In%20Room%20Dining/cl1-Dining-Upscale-In-Room%20Dining-2.pdf

It’s interesting to note the pancakes are also on the brunch menu at Nobu Next Door in NYC (see: http://www.noburestaurants.com/next-door/brunch/brunch-special/)

Anyway, looking at the image suggested to me “soba pancakes, blueberry yuzu compote, maple syrup….”. I’m not sure how I’d approach the pecan miso butter.  I thought I at least could make the buckwheat pancakes and compote (…and there’s always good Vermont maple syrup!).  I thought I’d begin by trying to make 100% soba pancakes.  A website, http://benfranklinfollies.com/buckwheat-pancakes , suggested making the pancakes with the following ingredients:

1 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar (sometimes I omit the sugar, so it’s optional)
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 egg
Approximately 2/3 – 3/4 cup of buttermilk or regular milk (sometimes I mix, sometimes I use whichever I have on hand)

An initial attempt at the pancakes with this ingredient list resulted in puffy, but dense pancakes (I noticed the batter was a bit thick and gummy).  So I thought, why not use the King Arthur microbatch recipe and swap the all purpose flour with the 100% buckwheat flour…? So I made the buckwheat pancakes using –

1/2 cup+1/8 cup buckwheat flour
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of Rumford’s baking powder
1 large egg
5 oz milk

This batter was a bit more what I expected and had a bit more fluidity to it.  The pancakes also cooked up a bit thinner, but not quite as dense.  The milk I used here had 2% fat in it, so I wondered

Cooking up a buckwheat pancake using the King Arthur recipe template

Cooking up a buckwheat pancake using the King Arthur recipe template

how it would turn out with whole milk.

For the compote, I found a web reference that used blueberries and lemon juice –

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/blueberry-compote-recipe.html

This would be useful as a template for me.  I’d swap out the lemon juice for yuzu juice.  After some microbatch experimentation, I settled on –

4 cups fresh blueberries
6 tablespoons water (3 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon yuzu juice

1. Combine 1/2 the blueberries, water, sugar and yuzu juice in a saucepan.

Some water for the compote...

Some water for the compote…

...a little sugar....

…a little sugar….

...and some yuzu juice.

…and some yuzu juice.

2. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Starting the compote

Starting the compote

Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring frequently and

Adding the rest of the blueberries (wow - that's a lot)

Adding the rest of the blueberries (wow – that’s a lot)

serve warm.

blueberry yuzu compote basically done

blueberry yuzu compote basically done

So, on trying the 100% buckwheat pancakes, I noticed that they had a slightly crisper crust as well as being a touch drier than the standard pancakes.  And while I tried the buckwheat pancakes with good maple syrup, I found myself drawn more to the blueberry yuzu compote as a topping.  My wife was also surprised how well this breakfast/brunch item turned out.  Personally, I think I like this combination more than the standard pancakes and maple syrup.  I think the only question I’d have is whether I out to try and add a bit more milk to the batter see if that results in a moister pancake.

Update (18 July 2015):

I’d been thinking about how to ‘soften’ the texture of the pancakes and substituted 2 1/2 oz (5 T) of plain yogurt and an equal amount of water.   It seem to give the finished product a bit more ‘flexibility’ and added ‘softness’ to the pancakes.

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