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

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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.


Can I have your life please? I live in Maine, and though we have a sweet seasonal life, the summers and growing season are short, and the markets limited where I am . . . I look forward to trying these pancakes, the clients I cook for will love them. Also, where can I find the beautiful linen apron that is pictured from the back, tied, in super natural every day?

HS: Alana - it's a simple Muji apron I picked up in Tokyo a few years back.


Im trying to create a recipe for eggless pancakes for my Beijing blog because I'm allergic to eggs. Would you be able to suggest anything?

Mandy lee

Heidi, I love their rice. I make a sweet milky tea with it. I simmer the rice and milk together and add a bit of sweetness...yum!

HS: I'll have to try it Jen - thanks for the tip!


What do you serve with? I love the idea of savory pancakes, but other than breakfast, not sure how to make a meal out them.

HS: Hi Jenny, I do all sorts of different things with them... Let's see, one favorite is to drizzle them with a bit of lemon olive oil, toss a bit of arugula with the same oil, and a bit of salt and sesame....serve that with the pancakes. Some blanched, sliced asparagus is a nice addition too....Think about what you might do with a savory muffin or tart, and go from there...


Chia seeds might be a great addition or substitute for the black sesame seeds!


Aren't Saturday mornings wonderful? These pancakes look great. For a gluten-free version, do you think amaranth flour, or almond meal would work, as well?

HS: I'm not entirely sure Jill - if you give it a go, please report back. There are clearly a bunch of people curious about a good GF version.

Jill @ 42potatoes

These look great and i love the idea of cooking rice to have for the whole week(especially as I am days away from giving birth so any time saving ideas will be great). Just a quick query though, how long is it safe to keep rice after you cook it. I had the idea that it had to be eaten within a couple of days guessing I was wrong.

HS: Hi Sarah - congrats and good luck! If I feel like I'm not going to get to using all my cooked rice, I freeze it on a baking sheet in a thin layer, then put it in a freezer bag - that way it doesn't freeze into a giant clump. Rice straight from the freezer like that works great in soups and stews and the like...and these pancakes, but thaw it first for the pancakes.


These pancakes look very hearty and delicious. I love savory pancakes and experiment with different grains all the time.

simple sustenance

I love Massa's brown rice! I discovered it at Bi-Rite in SF and I can't find it in Denver, so I order it from Massa's web site. Thanks for the recipe. My husband is the pancake chef in our house, so I'll get him to make some for me.

Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

I bet the bay area farmers markets are awesome! Your morning ritual sounds awesome and your sesame pancakes look fun and different. Would definitely try this recipe!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Heidi...just made your version of Kale Market Salad and it was a revelation. It was the first time I've enjoyed kale or fennel! Thank you so much for such a great recipe. Also, thanks for mentioning Bette's Oceanview Diner's cookbook. We ate breakfast there on my birthday in May and it exceeded its reputation! We were very hungry when we were seated as we'd gotten lost after debarking BART and walked an extra mile or two the wrong way before being pointed in the right direction. Loved their pancakes! Can't wait to try these and order their book, too!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Susan - glad you enjoyed the salad!


lovely recipe and, i think i want to go to the farmers market with you!


these seem really interesting to make. I like savory pancakes... My question though is What do i use as a topping? Sweet just doesn't seem like it would blend well with the sesame flavor... Just butter? I saw someone said Kimchi, but I'm not a big fan of Kimchi? Would my topping go more salty or umami???? I guess I'll experiment and find out... Love the blog..Love Supernatural Cookbooks.

HS: Hi Dawn, I threaded a couple suggestions down below. I think the way to think about them would be related to a savory tart or muffin. Compound butters work great, and then some fresh veg/salad.


Whoa! Nori ?? in pancakes? What a groovy idea. Too bad I'm at work-I'd love to make these delish pancakes now... I made a batch of your roasted strawberries & they would be divine on these cakes. The weekend cooking will be so much fun!


What a great idea !


lovely! what are some of your favorite savory toppings?


I got this post in my email and had to click into your site to finish... My mouth was watering just thinking about slathering butter on home made bread Yum! as Julia Child's would say, anyway your rice cake recipe is perfect for turning left over brown rice into a special treat.


These sound delicious! Especially topped with a crunchy and spicy cabbage slaw. Wondering if they freeze well..?

HS: Not sure! I haven't frozen these fully cooked - now I'm curious! They'd make a nice, quick snack for my nephew that way.


Yum!! These look wonderful, you know my mom makes pancake mixing rice flour with the regular flour or some lentil flour. They are so crispy!! I have to try this recipe!! B/W ur saturday routine sounds so calming, I need some of the calmness and fresh warm bread in my life.. Beautiful!!

Reem | Simply Reem

Tis is great!! My boyfriend always feels like pancakes can be too sweet, so I like to put veggies in my pancakes. I have yet to put sesame seeds in. Love it.

Skylor @sproutlifestyle

I'm sure I should know this, but... Is that "1/4 cup of butter, melted " or "1/4 cup of melted butter"??? Looks wonderful--- love savo(u)ry pancakes, scones & muffins.

HS: Let me have a look KC, ok yes - take 1/4 cup butter, and barely melt it.


In the photo it looks like white rice to me.

HS: Hi Ellen - There's not a shot of the actual rice in the post, you might be confusing it with the wwp flour. Sorry for any confusion.


Heidi, these pancakes sound delicious! Your Saturday morning routine/ritual sounds lovely too! I love a little quiet time on a Saturday morning.


Heidi, do you have a gluten-free variation?


Sounds like a wonderful Saturday morning! And the food looks lovely, as usual!


I am an absolute pancake addict and constantly looking for new recipes - thank you!

Erica { EricaDHouse.com }

These look so good. I've not tried savory pancakes before so I'll have to try them out!


I love savory pancakes. I'm gluten-free so I will try it with quinoa flour (my go-to pancake flour). Maybe adding a bit of arrowroot for stability. I can image this being nice with a big bowl of Dal. Thanks!

Dawn @cuter than gluten

Fun to hear about your weekend ritual- what a great idea to make a big batch of rice for the week!

Simply Life

These are wonderfully delicious! Love this!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

These sound amazing! I can imagine these as a great snack with some cream cheese..


I've been so bad recently at cooking up a bunch of rice or grains at the weekend to use in the week, this has convinced me that I need to get back into the habit!


i guess i'm gonna try it, but with quinoa instead of rice. it looks delicious!

Ana Morais

I never had rice and sesame pancakes, I'll have to try these asap!

Mike @TheIronYou

Yummy! triggers my taste buds...i think its a high time i reviewed my weekend schedules...

James Otaka

Wow these are so original! I bet the sesame seeds in them are so interesting and fun to bite into!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

Looks SUPER yum, and I have all the ingredients on hand! Will try these out tonight.

Susan Sharp

Yum! I imagine these would be just perfect made teeny and topped with a smear of wasabi creme fraiche and a slice of avocado. Or chilled and packed along as a part of a picnic. Thanks for yet another incredible recipe!

HS: Brilliant!


I love the idea of brown rice pancakes combined with Japanese type flavors. I imagine it would be great with a spicy cabbage kimchi! I'd love to see your recent fried rice recipes. I love fried rice especially with lots of veggies and tofu in the mix!


These sound delicious! I love the idea of savory pancakes with crunchy sesame seeds. Yay!


This is so unique, yet simple! Great idea. I covet your Saturday mornings!


holy moly, these look so good! do you think they could be adapted to be gluten free? perhaps by subbing the whole wheat flour for brown rice flour? but either way, my belly thanks you so very much for sharing this deliciousness...xo

elana @ spoon&sailor letterpress

holy moly, these look so good! do you think they could be adapted to be gluten free? perhaps by subbing the whole wheat flour for brown rice flour? but either way, my belly thanks you so very much for sharing this deliciousness...xo

elana @ spoon&sailor letterpress

Heidi - these pancakes look absolutely spectacular, as does the ritual that you described of the shopping and bread eating and enjoying things. :D I am a huge fan of adding bulk to pancakes and you'll usually find me adding prepared steel cut oats and homemade almond meal. I don't usually have savory pancakes unless you count galettes, so this will be very interesting to try. xoxo Cheri

Cheri @ The Watering Mouth

lately I have become enormously obsessed with sesame seeds... and in a pancake? delightful! thanks so much for posting this :)

the petite aesthete

looks so yummy!!!!!


I hear you about being on the road - this is definitely a weekend rhythm to come home for.

Belinda @zomppa

Your recipes have become my saturday ritual, Look up something that you have perfected and wake the entire house with the smells of perfection. I have learned so much with your recipes and use them in my daily cookings. I Love your shop and cant wait for the next one. Cant wait to start cooking this weekend!


These look delicious, do you think they could be adapted to include just egg whites? Perhaps whipped? I've got a load in the freezer and I'm looking to use them up. Thank you!


...with cinnamon vanilla sunflower butter?! ;-)


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