Kanako's Kitchen

Jagaimo Mochi: Japanese Potato Pancakes

Posted in mid-afternoon snack, Recipe by Kanako Noda on November 10, 2009

Jagaimo mochiI love potato chips, but sometimes I find them too salty and oily, so they fail to satisfy. Jagaimo-mochi is a good alternative at times like that, a snack for when you’re a bit hungry and want something salty.

At heart, jagaimo mochi is an oyatsu – a mid-afternoon snack – the kind of thing moms make to welcome their hungry kids home from school, and so it’s tied to all kinds of childhood memories for me. But the recipe also works well as a light meal, or as a tasty grown-up nibble with beers.

At the end of the day, jagaimo mochi are potato pancakes, but not as you know them!

potatoesIngredients (for two):

  • Potatoes – four mid-sized ones
  • Potato Starch – three tablespoons
  • Milk – three tablespoons
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Mirin – one tablespoon
  • Soy sauce – one tablespoon
  • Cooking oil – one table spoon – alternatively, use butter
  • Sushi-nori (Yaki-nori) or flavored-nori seaweed (Optional)


  1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into small chunks
  2. Place in a small pan and add just enough water to cover them, add a bit of salt, bring to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Drain the water, keeping the potatoes in the pot. Return to low heat and continue cooking, shaking the pot back and forward to help the potatoes crumble and steam off the remaining water.
  4. Place potatoes in a bowl, purée them roughly with a fork.
  5. Add potato starch, a bit of salt, and milk. Mix well.
  6. Divide the mixture into 8 slices.
  7. With your hands, make each of the mixture sections into a ball, then flatten into a pancake shape
  8. In a separate container, mix soy sauce and Mirin
  9. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat. (Butter would work too.)
  10. Fry the pancakes on each side for a few minutes, until they are nicely browned.
  11. Add soy sauce – mirin mixture. Shake the pan to distribute the sauce. Flip the pancakes so you get sauce on both sides.

just enough water to cover them boil the potatoes throw away the water

dry potatoes purée potatoes Add potato starch, salt, and milk

Divide the mixture into 8 slices make a pancake shape Fry the pancakes on each side

Add soy sauce - mirin mixture sauce on both sides click to enlarge

You could serve them like this, but for that extra touch:
Wrap with a sheet of sushi-nori or flavored-nori seaweed.

Wrap with a sheet of sushi-nori

This is a snack: it’s ok to eat them with your hands!

If you use nori, you won’t get your hands dirty.

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2 Responses

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  1. Chris said, on November 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Can this be made with some sort of rice flour dough as well? I ask as we’ve all had Japanese rice crackers out a bag but I’ve heard they’re infinitely better when you make them yourself. I was wondering if you knew how.

  2. Kanako said, on November 29, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Hi Chris,
    I wonder that you mean Mochi… I’m not capable of making mochi by my self and I’ve never tried outside Japan. Partly because I don’t have any equipement to make mochi from scratch, and I don’t have experience. In fact my family did mochi some years ago, just to show it to my husband. He is not Japanese, so my parents thought it could be interesting to him. As you wrote, mochi made by yourself is far better than the industrial one. But it’s not easy to make good one. You need to know how to use the equipement, too.
    I know that at least in Montreal Japanese community organize the mochi making event at around the end of the year. So if you can find a Japanese community in your city, it can be possible for you to take part in the event.

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