The Children’s day celebration is fast approaching, so I need to share the popular and famous Japanese street food sweet “Taiyaki”. The Children’s day is celebrated on the 5th of May to wish the healthy growth of the children in the family. Usually we celebrate the day with “Kashiwa Mochi”, rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves. and “Chimaki”, rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves. I wanted to make Kashiwa mochi but oak leaves are not available in Australia, so I decided to make Taiyaki instead. Because Taiyaki kind of resemble the Koi nobori (carp shaped streamers) that families raise up outside the house to wish the success for lives of the the boys in the family.
This is also my father’s favourite snack. There is always a food stall at the supermarkets’ or at the shopping centre entrance and also at every service station. My father gets into trouble by my mom because he keeps buying them while he already has stock of Taiyaki in the freezer. He loves Taiyaki that much.
Taiyaki is a little bit like a waffle filled with sweet red bean paste. It is said that a good taiyaki is one that has the thin crispy waffle outside completely filled with An (the sweet red bean paste) from head to tail. Some people are not big fans of sweet red bean paste, if you are one of those people, the”An” can be replaced with custard cream or Nutella. I especially think filling Taiyaki with Nutella is a great idea and would love to try it next time. This recipe makes about 6 Taiyakis and now we have some in the freezer. When our Taiyaki stock run out, I would love to try Nutella.
I am also aware that many people do not have this special fish shaped pan to specifically make Taiayakis. I certainly did not have one and could not buy it in Australia. I bought it online and got it sent to Australia from Japan. For you, I added it in my shop.
- 240g sweet red bean paste An
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 1/2 tbs sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 milk
- 1 large egg
- Sift the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Mix all the wet ingredients together and pour it into the well of flour.
- Combine them with a spatula and try not to overmix.
- Place some cling wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to rest the batter.
- Divide the An to 6 x 40g each and shape them into a 10cm long cylinder with cling wrap and set aside.
- Heat the Taiyaki pan over low-medium heat and pour about 1 tbs batter on one side of the pan. Pour the batter from the top edge so that the batter will dribble down to the bottom of the pan.
- When the batter sets, flip the pan and pour another 1 tbs of batter on to the other side of the pan.
- Place a roll of sweet red bean paste in the centre and pour more batter (about 1 tbs) over the sweet red bean paste.
- Press the pan and cook each side 3-5 minutes over low heat.
- When both sides have cooked, remove the Taiyaki carefully.
- Repeat the above process for the remaining batter and An.
You can use ready made tinned red bean paste if you prefer.
Caution when you remove the taiyaki, because it is very hot. I used gloves called "Gunte". It is a little bit like gardeners or workers glove but made out of thick cotton.