Rice and Sesame Pancakes Recipe

Really great pancakes made with lots of brown rice and sesame seeds. I throw in crumbled, toasted nori and spices to make them extra special.

Rice and Sesame Pancakes

After traveling quite a lot this spring, summer has taken on a completely different rhythm. As most of you know, because of this, I've been keeping close to home, and it's nice. Saturday mornings are my favorite, and they've developed their own little ritual. I get up early and go to the farmers' market, driving the back way, through North Beach, where it's quiet, empty, and peaceful at that hour. At the market I look at the bay and the bridge, and buy eggs, and favas, and strawberries and flowers, and sometimes get cappuccinos with friends. Wayne bakes bread while I'm gone, and when I get home we stand around slathering butter on slices while chatting. I unload my bag, and set to work trimming flowers for the house. I start a pot of brown rice, which I use throughout the week in any number of things - to stretch leftover soup, in fried rice, and in these pancakes, which became a fast favorite around here - I make them savory, and they work for just about any meal.

Rice and Sesame PancakesRice and Sesame PancakesRice and Sesame Pancakes

The inspiration came from Massa Organics. I buy their brown rice at the market, and wondered if Greg and his family had favorite ways to use their own rice. After a few moments of poking around on their site, I found an adaptation of a rice pancake recipe they love - originally from The Pancake Handbook: Specialties from Bette's Oceanview Diner. No surprise, the Massa's bumped up the amount of rice in the recipe significantly, and it's great. The brown rice adds a nutty texture, and lots of substance to the pancakes. I've been doing a version with crumbled nori, sesame, and spices, the recipe is down below.

Hope you all have a nice holiday. Here are a number of links to other recipes that might come in handy over the 4th - a really great salsa, lime & peanut coleslaw, summer corn salad, and an excellent, simple chocolate cake.

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Rice and Sesame Pancakes

I use a mix of black and white sesame seeds, and the sheets of nori I use are about 9-inches square.

1 1/2 cups / 6 3/4 oz all-purpose (or whole wheat pastry) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 sheet nori, toasted (carefully) over burner until crunchy

2 large eggs
2 cups / 480 ml milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, just-melted
1/8 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
2 cups / 10 oz cooked brown rice, not hot

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, sesame seeds, lemon zest, cumin, and cayenne. Crumble the nori into tiny flecks into the bowl with your hands. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter, and sesame oil. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir a few times with a fork to start bringing the ingredients together. At this point add the rice, and stir until the batter is just combined. Try to avoid over mixing.

Heat a griddle until medium-hot, and brush with a bit of butter or oil. If a drop of water dances across the surface, you're in the ballpark. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup at a time onto the griddle. Cook until the bottoms are deep golden and the tops have set a bit, then use a spatula to flip the pancakes. Cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes about 12 pancakes.

Recipe adapted by Greg Massa from The Pancake Handbook: Specialties from Bette's Oceanview Diner, then adapted another generation by me.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Heidi, Finally figured out what's missing on your site, a place to leave love notes...I have so many things to tell you about each and every thoughtful recipe. I made these pancakes this morning and they could not be more delicious! Makes 12 pancakes? You must have a Paul Bunyan griddle as I made 35 blini size pancakes on my round flat iron skillet. I love the idea of having them on a buffet, or even an country-chic breakfast. I made your Banana Pumpkin Bread recipe yesterday for the 40th time but chose cupcake size for my brother's 50th birthday. His request was banana cake and so I thought of your amazing recipe to make 100 of them. (beat a little air into it and swapped out the pumpkin for almonds) Your "Special Zucchini Bread Recipe" is now what is most requested. I make smaller loaves, tie them with brown parchment paper and twine and a small, lovely knife and give them as hostess gifts. The rye crust idea changed my way of thinking about baking. I can no longer make an apple pie or a quiche without it. Soooo delightful. Did I mention when we went to Rome last year we hunted down most of your restaurant/gelato picks? Let me tell you, some of them were not easy to find but worth it. How many eye rolls I endured from my partner Paul when I said one too many time, "It's got to be just around here somewhere".... So thank you Heidi! Our lives and those of our friends and family are more flavorful and more healthy because of you!


Ooh! Ooh! I just love the sound of these. Yum.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Niiice!~I think I'd love this recipe because it has all the ingredients that Korean dishes have~so it's probably close to what I grew up with--taste wise. :)

Ellie@Fit for the Soul

Heidi, i indeed used the recipe the same day you posted it - for a meal of three. but i adapted it big time. my base, instead of your typical pancake base, was replaced with a rice flour dosa dough that we get here in India in most cities at groceries. the toasted sesame and brownrice were brilliant flavours. I served it with a typical Kerala Malabar green curry and green coconut-coriander chutney.


Thanks for the response! I'm going to make the minis today. And I *love* your book - it's my go to cookbook these days.

Needful Things

I never would have thought of this combo, it looks amazing!


Renee, I jave a simple two slice Black & Decker Toaster model# T2030. I make all of my own bread and bagels so a good toaster is a must for me. It has some different settings for frozen items, bagels,etc. It also is has a neat safety feature that will not allow you to depress the pliunger switch unless it is plugged in. It looks good and takes up minimal counter space, of which I am in short supply!


These are perfect. I had some leftover black sesame seeds I decided to try adding to your carrot oatmeal cookies and using them up for these made me even happier than the cookies. Thank you!


I was trying to comment under the salt-kissed buttermilk cake recipe but comments are closed ... I've made the recipe twice (with dates & walnuts as suggested in your book) & love it! Was wondering: if I bake a mini-version in a muffin tin, how long would I have to bake it? I don't want to waste/burn a batch through experimentation & so just wanted to know the approx. baking time?

HS: I'd just keep a close eye on them after 8-10 minutes or so...look for them to get golden at the edges, and pull them when they are baked through, being careful not to over bake. The shorter answer is, bake them until they are done ;)...

Needful Things

Looks delicious! Love the photos, too.

Jill Riter

These look great!. And my pancake loving sweetheart is sure to love the excuse to eat pancakes for more than just breakfast. Can't wait to try!


sorry for the unrelated comment, but I love this blog and thought someone might have a thoughtful idea? I need to get a new toaster for sliced bread, but every toaster out there is so HUGE! Does anyone (or Heidi!) have any advice for a thoughtfully designed, SMALL toaster?


These look just delicious! I look through this site every few days, and it always makes me so happy! I'm heading out to the market right now, and I think I'm going to pick up some sesame seeds and try these for supper. :)


wow, I never knew pancakes could be so healthy!


If I'd want to make these vegan should I use a store bought egg replacer or go the flax seed way? What would conserve their original fluffiness better?


i love a recipe that elevates leftovers into better than evers. this looks to be just that.


Is that long or short grain rice? Does it matter? I'm in Australia so Masa not available here.


This is awesome. Heidi I have enjoyed your site for 6 years now. Thank you thank you. Making these for sure. (will gluten free the flour). :)


We made the Rice and Sesame Pancakes this morning using left over Lundberg Wild Blend Rice from dinner. Served with a little butter on top. Great combination of flavours. Thanks!


Great sounding recipe for savory pancakes. I bet they will be perfect travel food for an upcoming flight. Thank you, Heidi. I will give them a try with brown rice flour.


So excited to try these pancakes but I want them to go with a meal ... and to be vegan. I have the flour and milk substitutes but not sure about the egg...applesauce may have too much flavor. Chopped green onion should go well. Can't wait to try.


Wow! These pancakes look delicious. I am really big on breakfast options. I want my pancakes full flavored and filling. I will definitely try this one of these days. Love the use of brown rice too, healthy pancakes, eh! =)


Made these tonight. Used red quinoa instead of rice and all purpose gluten free flour. Also used earth balance instead of butter. They were awesome! We ate them japanese style with sautéed tofu and spinach and a touch of veganaise. And I agree with someone above, I think a crunchy cole slaw would be awesome with this! Thank you for another wonderful recipe!


Heidi, we made the Kale Market Salad and loved it! What a terrific recipe! My partner is not a big fan of kale, and has been unimpressed with other Kale Salad recipes...until we tried the recipe in super natural every day. Bingo! He will make it and bring it to a party. Now we have a second recipe that he really likes!

HS: Love hearing it Becki


Hi Heidi, I love your recipes. I am intrigued by your mentioning that you cook up a batch of rice at weekends and use it during the week. I though rice didn't keep well and could breed bacteria quite easily after just a day or two. Am I mistaken? I'd love to have a batch there available for when I don't have time. Do you simply store it in the fridge and for how long? Thanks.

HS: Hi Silvia, I keep it in the fridge for a few days as I'm working through it, if I think it will take longer than that, I freeze it on a baking sheet (in a thin layer), and then transfer it to a freezer bag. This way it doesn't freeze into a big block. If you're concerned, you might cool your rice as quickly as possible after cooking, and go straight to the freezer.


I made your brown rice pancakes for dinner tonight and drizzled them with the scallion oil and dipping sauce from your potstickers. Delicious, thank you!

Krishni Arra

mmmmm savory pancakes make a great dinner. Perfect for when i don't want to turn on the oven.

dervla @ The Curator

this recipe sounds intriguing. i have a question about the rice, though--should it be cooled to room temperature first, or is it okay to use it warm?

HS: Hi Terri - I use the rice when it is not hot.


Ooh - I'll try it this weekend! I loved the Nettle Pasta from a few weeks back and plan on having it on the weekend as well!

HS: Happy to hear it Susansa.


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